by Leanne Loy
Although a new venture and having been through a pandemic, Studio B, a dance studio in Sartell, is moving to a larger location – the former Sartell police station.
Studio B has been part of the Sartell region for two years. Owner and Founder Catie Bunde has been teaching dance for over 23 years. She was inspired by the parents of some of her students to start her own studio.
“I was an adjunct dance teacher at St. Cloud State University for eight years,” Catie said. “I loved it, but when they made all the cuts, our program was part of it.”
Catie and her husband, Charlie Bunde, are passionate about their community and what they can offer not just their students, but everyone in town.
“It wasn’t easy doing it,” Catie said, reflecting on last year’s pandemic.
“But we were doing zoom classes and I was the only instructor for a while, so I didn’t have other teachers to pay, and the city gave us a grant as well,” she said. .
This grant was unexpected, but the Bundess were so grateful.
“The town of Sartell was really good at going around all the businesses,” Charlie said. “That’s how we met the city administrator, Anna Gruber. She was thrilled to help any small business, and we didn’t even know it was coming our way, and it saved our lives.
Help from the city and the studio’s dedicated clientele is what has kept Studio B afloat through all these difficult times. Now the class sizes are increasing and the interest is growing.
“Last summer it blew up again,” Catie said. “Competition groups have grown from five competition classes to 25.”
As for the building itself? Well, first and foremost, the large garage doors on the side will remain. During the warmer months, these doors can be opened to let in light and cool breezes.
“We’re leaving the industrial aspect behind,” Catie said. “A bit like our other studio, but here the ceilings will be higher.”
They will go from one studio to three studios. Currently, classes last all day to meet the needs of students. Having more studios will give families more opportunities to take classes on their schedule.
“We’ll be able to accommodate better times for different age groups of people and parents,” Charlie said.
The Bundes are hoping for an opening in the fall.
“Labor Day was our original goal,” Charlie said, “but things got pushed back when we couldn’t get supplies and equipment.”
They’ve been told an October opening is likely, but they wouldn’t mind if it came a little sooner.
“A lot of the classes we have start in September at the other studio,” Catie said. “We will keep [them] the same day and same time for a lot of courses, as we pass, it’s not brand new [schedule] for families to remember.
Studio B is much more than dance. Students, especially younger ones, will also receive other lifelong lessons.
“What we’re hoping for with our dancers,” Catie said, “is just to continue to promote not just a quality dancer, but a quality person.”
“So those little lessons,” Charlie added, “(are) like being polite, opening the door, saying thank you, looking people in the eye, shaking people’s hands.”
These lessons will also be taught in the studio. As a retired police officer and military man, these social skills are what he learned, and he and Catie believe they are valuable.
Catie also shares her own struggles as a dancer with her students in hopes it shows them how much hard work can pay off.
“The first time I tried to make the high school dance team, I didn’t make it,” Catie said.
She was in eighth grade about to enter ninth grade. People always told her she was a great dancer, so she felt like she would have no problem being part of the team. Not entering that year changed her perspective and lit a fire within her.
“I wanted to, so I worked really hard to train a little harder,” Catie said. “And then the following year, I succeeded. My senior year, I was captain and we won state for a high kick.
Studio B students will benefit from a complete experience. These lessons are all worth it, but it will take time to get them, and that’s the point.
“A lot of what we’re seeing is kids getting instant gratification these days,” Catie said. “We forget how hard we have to work for something. We try to instill goals in our dancers, especially with our competitive dancers.
Catie said she remembers a time when journaling really helped her and now shares that with her students.
“We sit them down and give them a notebook and ask them to write down personal goals and team goals for the year,” Catie said.
The idea is that students will revisit these goals and see how far they have come.
“It takes a village,” Catie said.
And that goes for herself too. The support she receives from her husband Charlie is what one hopes for in any marriage. They push each other out of their comfort zone to help each other achieve their goals.
“I wouldn’t be able to do this without Charlie,” Catie said. “I don’t think I would have been brave enough to do this without him. He couldn’t have done this without me either.
They are a team through and through, and this bonding attitude is built into the lessons students will learn at Studio B.
Studio B is open to anyone, age and experience.
“We have ladies who come here in 70-year-old tap dancing, and they kill it,” Bundes said.
You can find more information about classes and schedules on the Studio B website at: https://www.studiobmoved.com/