Rather than explain WHY LCDS....we let others do so.
More than teaching dance steps.
The relationships built here are unlike any other. It's a place where you can go at the end of any kind of
day and experience a release and open arms. It pushes you to be something bigger than just yourself
but also improve yourself in the process.
Class of 2014
I am so glad that I decided to sign up my daughter for dance lessons when she was just three years
old. Quite honestly, it has been one of the best investments that I have ever made in my daughter's life!
Our family has a had a difficult road to travel, and Miss Lou has always been here for us to lend a hand
with her arms wide open! She even opened up her home for my daughter to stay at a few years ago
when she needed a break away from her everyday life! Mr. and Miss Lou showed so much love and
compassion upon her and were surrogate parents to her during her time of need. In fact, that winter
when they were planning their yearly vacation, they even insisted upon bringing my daughter along
with them on their cruise. It was the trip of the lifetime for her and she will cherish the memories for
years to come. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you so much for being here for us over all of these
My favorite reason for having the girls take dance lessons, though, is YOU! I love the way you
work with them and teach them in a positive, supportive atmosphere. You do a beautiful job.
Not only are you their teacher, you are also their friend and a wonderful role model.
I joined LCDS at the tender age of three. Weekly classes became fifteen years of dance lessons and a
sense of family and belonging felt at LCDS. Miss Lou became a "dance mom" who taught me how to
dance en pointe, but also who assisted me at critical points in my life. More than a decade after dance
classes, college, marriage and with a family on the way I know that Miss Lou is more than a dance
teacher, but a member of my family, as I know I am a member of hers."
Michelle Dawe Tan
Hello Miss Lou! I took a few years of ballet classes from you long ago in the 80's (and then moved
away), and wanted to take a few moments to tell you how much I appreciate all that you taught me. I am
now the mother of a 5 year old who is in her first year of ballet and tap. I have been so disappointed to
see the studios that are available in my area and what they consider dance. No studio will ever be able
to compare with LCDS, and no instructor will ever be Miss Lou. I am so thankful for everything you
taught me, and I wish we were close enough for my daughter to attend your classes as well. I am so
glad to see that the studio is still thriving.....
Thank you for my wonderful dance memories!
Erin Hopkins (Shultz)
Dear Miss Lou,
How can I ever thank you for everything? You have always been there for me, ready to give
an encouraging word or a helping hand. Through my 13 years of dance, I have learned that
there is beauty and goodness yet in the world if you look, and I have found both beauty and
goodness through you. Thank you so much for everything you've done over the years- it
means the world to me.
I wanted to Thank You for the last 15 years you gave to my daughter. I am the first to yell from the roof
top how stubborn and difficult she can be! And I know over the past 15 years there were nights after
practice when neither of you wanted to see each other again. I also know there are more times then I
can count that she would stop and say "I don't think Miss Lou would approve if I did that"
I knew dance was always important to her (even when she didn't show it) but it wasn't till this morning
that I realized how MUCH of her life and identity was her dance family and LCDS. The first thing she
said when she got up was "Dance class starts today" then realized SHE wouldn't be there. The look on
her face literally broke my heart.
Thank you for having such a positive impact on her life and for 15 years partially help me "raise her".
You made her believe that she can accomplish whatever she sets her mind to, even dancing in point
shoes! I truly believe the old saying "it takes a village".
Your Dance Daughter's Mom
I was a little girl with hip problems. I started ballet to help correct some pigeon-toes. I took lessons for
about 8 years. I never made it en pointe (which saddens me to this day). I chose to stop lessons
because I could see that I was not "built" for ballet, but also because I was in high school and wanted
to pursue other types of athletics.
I now am a 44 year old, chubby woman. However, because of my training, I still feel graceful. I
understand how to "pull up" through my body and neck to elevate my posture. I know how to have
"pretty arms/hands". I know to "tuck my derriere". I can say French words--only a few, but still--I know
them! And--I am a very very informed viewer of So You Think You Can Dance and other dancing
shows. I appreciate someone who has a "good center" or "beautiful feet".
My involvement with ballet has helped me feel more beautiful and helps me to see the beauty in others'
movement. I feel empowered to move my body based on the memories of how I was taught to do it as a
little girl. I may not look as good doing it today, but I am joyful to try. "Dance is the only are where WE
are the stuff of which it is made.
Thank you for being my teacher
So as I was waiting for my pizza to warm up in the oven I found myself doing balances and pique turns
to the Guns and Roses ballad playing on my computer. It made me think of how much I miss you and
I wanted to share with you what LCDS has done for me. LCDS was a home away from home, a second
family. Dance gives us girls and guys confidence, poise, and freedom. Still to this day thanks to you
and LCDS use dance to "escape" from the real world and create my own. Dance has been such a
wonderful part of my life and I want to thank you for working so hard for your dancers. Even though we
grow up and move on with our lives you will always be our dance mom! Love you Miss Lou!
I started dancing with Miss Lou when I was 5 and am I now **. I am thrilled to be able to
stand up at recitals as an alumni can-can dancer, and I'm still dancing as an adult. Many of
my happiest memories are of dance lessons with Miss Lou. Yearly recitals, dance
conventions, weekly classes, even being able to do a bit of teaching. The opportunities that
she creates for her students are top notch. Most of all, I appreciate the emphasis LCDS
places on technique. Ballet is the core of it all, and it is taught so well that it made the
transition to other types of dance cleaner. I danced at Hope College for a semester, and
was often asked who taught me such amazing dance technique. Besides learning to dance,
I learned to appreciate dance and all that it can be. My posture is better, my life is happier
and dancing is a big part of it all. Miss Lou loves all her dancers, I feel blessed to be one of
them. I hope that one day my niece will be one of Miss Lou's dancers as well.
Christy Conway Class of 1988 Alumni dancer, now a teacher at Holland Public School
Miss Lou gave me the love, the courage and self confidence. I started with Miss Lou when I was 5
years old out of medical recommendation for a condition where my hips were turned in. The doctor
recommended ballet to help "turn out" those hips. I was an extremely shy girl and danced only that one
year. But I remember that dance recital well. I was terrified and I cried the whole time onstage but I kept
that light blue leo, my ballet slippers and my "dutch girl" hat for years. And I kept the memory of that
really nice teacher. I wasn't able to get back into dance until half way through my 8th grade year but
Miss Lou still taught with that same loving, accepting and creative personality she is known for. (And
she remembered me!) From that day on I stuck with dance for good. I went through many recitals at
LCDS, graduated with her, went on to dance at college, came back and danced with her, continued to
dance into my late 20s and then worked as a professional ballroom dancer in Milwuakee. I now own my
own studios (2 of my own locations and I run 2 outreach programs) in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Miss
Lou taught me the passion for dance and because she teaches strong ballet technique as the base of
all dance forms, I am well versed in being able to teach ballet, pointe, lyrical, ballroom, jazz, modern,
tap, musical theatre and hip hop! Miss Lou and I still keep in touch and often trade "secrets" of the
dance business to help me keep my chin up when the days get long and the dancers get weary. One of
these days I'll get back home to stand up with the other Can Can alumni - perhaps you will even get to
see an alumni Can Can group up there dancing one of these recitals!!!
Cynthia (Tibbe) Luell, Alumni Dancer - Class of 1989
Looks like a lot of your former dancer's keep in contact with you. That- in its- self makes me think you
gave them more than dance. Miss Lou you gave them a future filled with memories- of the past nd a
way of lookig at life with "acceptance and a 'can do attitude' you made them faithful in your own little
way." Miss LOU WE TALK ABOUT DANCE A LOT! and diffent things you taught Anna. Just wish we
would have realized all this at the time. Just think Anna and our family still talks about dance AND every
Christ-mas we get tapes out and watch a few. We laugh, and sometimes cry..but still gives us good
memories and a lot to hold on to throughout life!!! Thanks MISS LOU for the memories and life lessons!
good times and God bless you!
For the many good things you represent to my girls of their hopes and dreams and
fantasies, I again say thanks! All of your work with them and time and patience are truly
making memories for them (and for me) and lasting impressions they'll carry with them to
wherever their futures lead...It is very obvious that you have a deep love of dance and a
deep commitment to the many aspiring ballerinas....As the girls flit through the house on
their toes and leap to and fro, I will always be grateful to have had you to inspire them.