By Julie Schooley
MARSHFIELD – In 1998, Heather Conrad purchased Tricia’s Academy of Dance. Heather had been a student of Tricia’s from 1986-1992 and taught at the studio after college from 1995-1998. Immediately after purchasing Tricia’s from Tricia Marion, Conrad opened the studio in a new location – above China Chef/Guardian Jewelers on Central Avenue – and this began the Main Street Conservatory of Dance (MSCD).
The studio was moved to its current location, in the former Jefferson Elementary school building, in 2004.
Heather says her favorite part of the business is teaching, because she love seeing kids reap the benefits of having dance in their lives, as dance gives them “confidence, discipline, organizational skills, a better memory, musicality, an opportunity to express themselves, and so much more.” It’s so good for their whole well-being.
She is filled with pride when students refer to MSCD as their “home away from home,” and she says it is a privilege and a great responsibility to be a place where these dancer’s parents allow them to spend so much of their time. It isn’t uncommon for students to take classes from age three or four through high school graduation, so they get to watch the dancers grow, and she says it is so fun to be a part of their lives for so many years.
“Our success really boils down to having a great staff who shares a common focus of bringing a quality dance education to this community,” Conrad said. “We believe in being positive role models to our dancers and always teaching age-appropriate, technique-based classes. Our MSCD family is filled with really good kids who also happen to be really good dancers. That is the best advertisement for our business!”
One of the most common things you will hear from the graduating seniors is how the studio was like a second home. Some dancers are there three to five nights a week.
Malorie Schooley, who has been dancing at MSCD for 10 years, says that dancing keeps her active in a fun way. She has learned the correct ways to stretch and has become more flexible. “The teachers and students are kind and always willing to help each other out,” she said.
Throughout the years, Malorie says that she went from watching the other girls in the class to now being the one the other girls watch and that learning ballet has truly shown her how much she loves to dance.
In May, Main Street Conservatory held their 20th dance recital. They had six shows, with over 600 dancers showing off their new dance skills. During the school year students ages three through high school senior can sign up for a variety of different types of dance.
Types of dance taught at MSCD, include: ballet, jazz, hip hop, modern, musical theater and tap. The dance studio is closed during the summer but does host summer dance camps for all ages. For more information, call the studio at 715-384-8584.