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Thursday, May 5, 2016

In step with LA Centre of Dance

Friday, October 16, 2009

Lisa Ann Hunter, right, is pictured at her dance studio along with some of her students, front to back, Cassady Curtis, Kennadie Cline, Libby Peterson, Bailey Gaydo, and Hanna Hensen. Hunter recently opened the LA Centre of Dance in the Kountry Klass Mall in Cherokee. Photo by Mike Leckband
Within eight years Lisa Ann Hunter of Cherokee had worn out 18 pairs of dance shoes. That's a sign of the love, passion and commitment that Hunter has given to the art of dance.

Hunter's love of dance began at an early age. She competed at many different levels of dance while attending high school in Jefferson Iowa, with her most memorable experience being her competing in the Bill Riley Talent Show at the Iowa State Fair.

Later, while attending college at Iowa State University, she performed for six years in "The Nutcracker" through a performance dance center in Ames. She eventually moved up in the show. and for two years performed the Ballerina Doll solo. From there, Lisa danced with the Dance Members of America and competed throughout the Midwest in several competitions.

Hunter also studied two summers in New York City, where she took classes from many Broadway performers, including the late Patrick Swayze's mother Patsy Swayze, a legendary choreographer and dancer.

While attending ISU, Hunter received her degree in Radiography and worked for five years in Des Moines. She has worked for Allender Chiropractic in Cherokee since 2005 as an x-ray and exam technician. About that same time, she began to instruct a couple of local girls in dance. Slowly, she gained more students, and then realized she really loves to teach dance.

She credits her students with helping her make the next move. Over the past summer, the kids kind of talked her into having a place were they could come and practice their routines. It was something that had been in the back of her mind for a while, and so she rented out one of the old classrooms at Kountry Klass Mall, the old Garfield Schoolin Cherokee. Thus began the LA (for Lisa Ann) Centre of Dance.

Currently, Hunter has around twenty students, which for her is perfectly fine for now, She likes keeping her class size small. She has been instructing her students in Classical Ballet, Ballet technique, Classical tap and Classical Jazz.

Her dance studio is open mainly by appointment, but she and the girls get together on Tuesdays, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturdays, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The cost of lessons is $40 a month, which includes about one hour and 15 minutes a week,or $10 for a half-hour solo lesson.

Hunter is excited about the future. She is planning at least three competitions for the girls to get involved in, and her students are currently working on their routines. "There are so many competitions out there, and the kids love competing. I know I sure did," said Hunter.

She also has been thinking about having some adult classes, which would feature both dance and fitness, and is also thinking about having a senior class.

The LA Centre of Dance is located in the Kountry Klass Mall, Suite 109 at 515 West Cedar Street. You can reach Lisa Ann Hunter at 712-261-8810 for an appointment.

For a few photos of Lisa and her students, see the "LA Dance" Photo Gallery.

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