Dance studio gets a kick out of its new digs

Tanya Bleil-Geiselman never envisioned an abandoned muffler shop as the future home of her Just For Kicks School of Dance.

But with the help and inspiration from family and friends, her dream of a permanent studio has come true.

Formerly Walt’s Muffler Shop, the building has been converted into a top-notch facility that includes a waiting room, dressing room, teacher’s lounge, office, and storage.

The studio also includes space upstairs that was formally occupied by Cal’s Olympic Boxing.

Bleil-Geiselman said her dream wouldn’t have come true if it weren’t for the dedication of her husband, Terry, and friends Mike Wernet and Dan Ahrens, who volunteered hundreds of hours.

“Dan, alone, worked almost 350 hours himself and he didn’t have to do this,” Bleil-Geiselman said.

The trio spent four months remodeling the facility.

Some of the tasks included getting rid of slanted floors with drains in the middle and replacing them with level, raised dance floors.

A constant echo also forced the installation of soundboards.

After four months of remodeling, Bleil-Geiselman said she was shocked at the transformation.

“I was skeptical of the idea at first,” Bleil-Geiselman said. “I was shown the upstairs, which was a former boxing gym. I thought it was disgusting but I could see the potential. We spent $20,000 of our own money for this and it’s for the long term. We’ve got this building at least for seven years.”

Bleil-Geiselman likes the words “long term”.

After years of splitting time in various buildings, Just For Kicks finally has one place to call home.

After starting her business in her parents’ basement 10 years ago, Just For Kicks expanded into Manchester, the upstairs of Mile High Gymnastics, and the Olympic Fitness Club.

After starting out with 26 students in her parents’ basement, Bleil-Geiselman now has more than 300 students.

Even with the hiring of other dance instructors, Bleil-Geiselman said the growing number of students was reason enough to find a building large enough.

But to put together facilities that meet the needs of instructors, students, and parents was a blessing, Bleil-Geiselman said.

As for the external aesthetics of the business, Bleil-Geiselman said it’s tough to spot just from driving along Mile Hill Drive.

“A lot of the students refer it as the Red Dog place because it’s behind the Red Dog Saloon,” she laughed.

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