Written by Malinda Just Wednesday, 29 August 2007 09:50
|Vicky Mohn: “I’ve just always been fortunate that I’ve had a job I’ve loved. Free Press file photo. Click image to enlarge|
Since 1982, Vicky’s School of Dance has been a childhood dream come true for owner and operator, Vicky Mohn of Hillsboro.
“When I was a young girl I always wanted to be a dance teacher,” she said. “I realized 25 years ago that I could actually do that for a living.”
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the studio that has provided area youth with the opportunity to dance for 16 years.
Prior to arriving in Hillsboro, Mohn owned and operated four studios in Belleville, Concordia, Beloit and Hebron, Neb., for nine years.
“For many years I was running four studios,” said Mohn. “I just found it really refreshing to have just one dance school (in Hillsboro) and have people come to me instead of me to them.”
What started as an opportunity for Mohn to stay at home during the day with her daughter grew into something more—a passion.
“I’ve always felt that I’m living my dream come true,” she said.
“I’ve just always been fortunate that I’ve had a job I’ve loved. I didn’t dread going to work, I loved going to work,” she said. “I think when you have a passion for what you’re doing, it makes it easier.”
Her passion lies not only in teaching dance, but also in her attachment to students.
Mohn said over the span of 25 years in the dance industry, she has taught thousands of students.
“I just love working with children, and I love seeing the response I get,” she said. “The chance I have to impact their lives in a positive way—I think that’s so important.
“I like to think that I’m helping to build self-esteem in young people and giving them some precious memories,” she said.
The memories are also important for Mohn.
“I’m very sentimental,” she said. “I’ve saved every little note that students have drawn me—little ballerinas, toe shoes and things —and I have scrapbooks from all my years of dance.”
Also among her “precious memories” of the past 25 years are helping with the Wichita Metropolitan Ballet’s “Nutcracker” while teaching in Concordia, being able to teach her daughter as well as her grandchildren, and being able to perform a ballet with her daughter and granddaughter two years ago.
She has also enjoyed previously teaching adult dance classes as well as water aerobics during the summer.
“The times I (taught adult classes) were some of my favorite classes because I would just end my day with an adult class and, after being with kids all day, cut loose,” she said.
Currently, students age 3 years and older can enroll in ballet, tap, jazz, Irish and pointe ballet. There will also be two boy’s-only classes this year.
“I think having boys in class adds a lot to the show,” she said.
Students perform at different events throughout the year, including a spring recital and performances at area nursing homes. They also perform by invitation at events such as mother/daughter banquets, church functions, the Marion County Fair and the Trojan Classic basketball tournament at Hillsboro High School.
Mohn also usually holds a summer dance camp, with this past summer as an exception.
“Dance camp is a great opportunity to try out dance without making a year-long commitment,” she said. “They can try it out and see how they like it.”
Students currently attend Vicky’s School of Dance from communities spanning three counties. Mohn said her dance students not only benefit from the physical exercise that dance provides, but also from confidence building.
“Sometimes I’ll have a student that’s so shy at the beginning of the year that can’t even make eye contact with me,” she said. “And by the end of the year I just watch them blossom into a beautiful dancer—confidence is a big part of that.”
While Mohn has reached her goal of becoming a dance instructor, she doesn’t plan to end her tenure in the near future, even though she and husband Gordon will be moving to McPherson sometime during the upcoming year.
“I think people are questioning whether I’m going to come back or not,” she said, “and I have every intention to come back.
“I love what I’m doing, and even though my husband was ready to make a career change, I’m not ready to do that.”