Krista Matlock’s California dream has been fulfilled in Hillsboro, Kan.
“I always dreamed about opening a dance studio since I was a little girl, but I never really thought it would happen,” she said. “I don’t know why, because it was totally attainable.”
“Studio 23” became official Dec. 1 with a chamber of commerce ribbon-cutting at its 107 S. Main location.
Krista came to Hillsboro with husband Jeremy when he was candidating for an associate pastor position at a local church.
It didn’t take long for Mayor Delores Dalke to encourage Krista’s dream.
“Delores said we need a dance teacher here because we haven’t had one for several years,” Krista said.
At the time, “We didn’t even know if we were going to move here,” she added. “I think I was offered a job as soon as (Jeremy) was offered a job.”
Krista Matlock’s experience with dance goes back to the age of 2, when she began taking lessons.
“I danced until I was a freshmen in high school for a dance studio competition team,” she said. “Then I started high school and danced for the high school team.
“Through college I took a few classes here and there, but then started coaching cheerleading and teaching dance classes in our community.”
The couple took a break for a mission assignment in Russia. Soon after they returned to California, Jeremy was contacted by the Hillsboro church about a ministry opening.
During the candidating process, the couple assumed Hillsboro already had a dance studio and simply was looking for an instructor to lead it.
That wasn’t the case. The former dance studio is now part of a local restaurant. The couple was not deterred, however.
“After being here for a little bit, I knew I wanted my kids to experience dance and I might as well be the one to get it started,” Krista Matlock said.
Finding a location
The location on South Main was one of many buildings the couple toured. Krista felt drawn to 107 S. Main.
“I would actually park there and pray for this building,” she said. “Then things happened, and it didn’t work out. It was devastating, but at the same time we were still at peace that it would work out.”
More than a year went by while the couple looked for a studio location. In the meantime, Krista began offering classes at the city building through the Hillsboro Recreation Commission.
“I had gotten to the point where I thought we’d have to have to shut down for a while, because I can only teach to a certain point without mirrors and bars and the right flooring,” she said.
“It was during that same month when this building became available again,” she said. “It was totally a God thing.”
The Matlocks began the remodeling process in September to get it ready for classes in October. The week of the ribbon-cutting, the bars were added and the studio was ready for use.
Krista said she is excited about the program she and fellow instructors will be leading. The age range is 2 years old to adults.
“My goal is to provide a safe environment where kids and adults can learn dance, but in an atmosphere that also is inviting and comforting—and not competitive,” she said.
“We have adult aerobic classes on Saturday at the moment and I feel like we’re expanding every month since we opened.”
Matlock has added staff to accommodate the growing interest.
“We each teach different age levels,” she said. “I teach the littlest, and I have Hannah Klaassen, who teaches kindergarten through second (grade).
Crystal Holmes teaches third-grade students and up, including hip-hop classes.
“We’re hoping to keep expanding,” Krista said. “The hardest thing is figuring out where we start. Everyone’s kind of at the same level, which is good.
At some point, she would like to offer ballet classes as well.
“Starting with ballet is really the foundation of everything else,” she said. “Even if (students) don’t want to focus on ballet, I would recommend that they take one class in it—just to get to know their body a little better—and then move into tap or hip hop or whatever.”
Finding a name
Choosing the name “Studio 23” was a deliberate effort to not limit clientele to Hillsboro or even Marion County area. Her classes have already attracted students from Canton, Galva and Marion.
The Matlocks hope that trend continues.
The “23” is a subtle reference to Philippians 2:3, a verse that underlies their approach: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourself.”
For more information, Studio 23 has a Facebook page, and Krista can be reached by phone at 909-997-4986 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To sign up for lessons, call the Hillsboro Recreation Commission at the office number, 620-947-3490, or Doug Sisk, rec director, at 620-877-7512.