LE MARS, Iowa (KCAU)– A small family owned dance and gymnastics studio in le mars, iowa has seen consistent growth over the years, and are now planning to leave their studio where thousands of students once called home for over 40 years.
‘The Turn Around’ has been around for 45 years, moving from place to place for the first 5. However, the studio found its home on Central Avenue where it stayed for the next 40 years.
“The studio began in 1978. My mother Donna Rasmussen and my father Gale Rasmussen started it, so I am a 2nd generation owner of ‘the turn around’,” said Samantha Rasmussen, owner of ‘The Turn Around’.
‘The Turn Around’ is a two-story building, with an upstairs and downstairs dance studio, with a large area for gymnastics.
Rasmussen said her parents weren’t expecting a lot of students when the studio first opened.
“They thought the first year they would have maybe 80 kids at best, and they ended up with like a hundred gymnasts the first year and about 20 dancers,” said Rasmussen.
For nearly 5 decades, the studio has seen its fair share of students. Many gymnasts and dancers are children of past members. However, space continues to be a problem.
“We are busting at the seams, we have classes of over 20. Which is okay if you have smaller kids, but when you get into high school they don’t have as much room to move. And you need that space to for them to grow,” said Rasmussen.
To create more space for the students to grow and improve, ‘The Turn Around’ has been working on building a new studio.
“It’s gonna be a 140×90 square foot building with stories. We’re gonna end up instead of having more less than 1 and a half dance rooms, we’re gonna have four big dance rooms. Along with our gymnastics studio. Two of them fit up to 40 dancers comfortably and the other two will fit up to 20 dancers comfortably,” said Mike Copeland, part-owner of ‘The Turn Around’.
Rasmussen says while she and many others are sad to leave the building after 40 years.’The Turn Around’ will continue to be more than just a studio for many students.
“The turn around is a safe place, it is a place meant these kids feel like they are at their second home. and as they get older they find their safe haven here as well as learning dance and gymnastics. ” said Rasmussen.
The total cost was $1 million and employees and owners pitched $250,000 for the new building, which they hope will be ready in august of this year.