Keeping kids happy, healthy and safe is the mission of Sunflower State Dance. The studio offers classes for students ages two and older and ensures everything is age-appropriate regarding music, costumes, and moves. It is also a non-competition studio, focusing on learning new skills in a supportive atmosphere rather than kids competing against each other.
"Dance has so many different elements to benefit kids besides just the physical activity,” says Rachel Weitekamp, owner and artistic director. “It also engages the brain through logical thinking, spatial awareness, and body awareness. It can positively impact confidence, self-discipline, and time management. The list of things that dance offers is extensive.”
The teachers are university-trained or going through training at the university level. They also passed background checks and are CPR and first aid certified. Plus, Weitekamp and another staff member are youth mental aid certified to recognize young people experiencing a mental health challenge. That way, they can connect the family with resources to help.
There are classes for all age groups at Sunflower. Weitekamp's favorite ones to teach are the Little Seeds preschool division classes, such as the Move and Groove parent-and-me class, the Itty Bitty Ballet class, and the Tiny Dancer ballet and tap combo class. Next in line is the Dance Roots school-aged dancers' division to help kids strengthen ballet, tap, jazz, and hip-hop skills. The highest level is the Bloom Division, which is for students who have a strong foundation through completing the other divisions.
Weitekamp says, “For the kids, we're a place that will help support them and ensure they live their best life through the art of dance. So, to me, it doesn't matter if they become a professional or if they go to college for dance. As long as they carry those things I've taught them throughout their lives, that's the most important thing."
To learn more about Sunflower State Dance and to sign up for classes, go to SunflowerStateDance.com.