LoMI Studios will fill a gap many have said the Lowell community has been missing for years. The new dance studio will open on September 6. Julia Schaefer is the co-owner with her husband, Ryan, who is also a full-time realtor. The studio is located at 508 W Main St, Suite C. The studio offers classes for kids and adults in a variety of disciplines.
Members of the community are invited to an open house to take place on Friday, August 19 from 4pm – 6pm. The studio will also offer a free trial week from August 29 to September 3 before the first official classes begin on September 6.
Making Roots in Lowell
While Schaefer herself is not from Lowell, her husband and father-in-law graduated from Lowell Area Schools and are involved in real estate in the community. They will share an office with the dance studio. Schaefer and her husband, Ryan, were married four years ago and have two kids – Kit who is 2, and Ivan who is 1, as well as a dog, Ella. Schaefer is looking forward to her kids growing up in a studio environment.
While Schaefer lives in Greenville, she was introduced to the Lowell area five years ago and feels it is the perfect place for a dance studio. “[Lowell is] a booming culture of family and athletes with a small town feel. I also am happy to provide the community with a local dance option so they don’t have to drive so far!” she remarks.
Background in Dance
Originally Schaefer started off training as a competitive gymnast, but when she was 12 she switched over to dance. Throughout middle school and high school, she trained 20 hours a week in ballet, pointe, jazz, contemporary, hip-hop, tap, modern, and musical theatre. When she was 19 she had a cruise ship contract and was performing and traveling the world.
Following working on a cruise ship, Schaefer attended Western Michigan University and earned a Bachelor of Arts in dance and a Bachelor of Science in exercise science. Since graduating she has been teaching and managing teams for a few different studios in Michigan and is now ready to start her own.
Schaefer loves all styles of dance for different reasons saying, “I enjoy the physical challenge and elegance of ballet, the fierceness and power in jazz, the attitude and intricacies in hip hop, the grounded-ness and floor work in modern, the expression and emotional release in contemporary, the strength and awareness in partnering, the musicality of tap, and the list goes on.”
Focus on Technique
Students at LoMI Studios will focus on technique, which Schaefer takes pride in as an instructor. She takes what she has learned through her exercise science background and designs cohesive classes that train dancers as athletes. She says injury prevention, strength, flexibility, mental and physical stamina, and artistry are priorities in her teaching. These elements build strong and healthy dancers that will set them up for success in dance as a career or just for fun.
When asked which style of dance is the most challenging, Schaefer names ballet. “Ballet has the richest historical background and hence provides the basic technical foundation for all styles,” she comments. “The reason it is so challenging is because it requires outward rotation of the hips, incredible core, leg, and foot strength, and an intrinsic muscular awareness. It builds correct alignment, strength, coordination, and safe execution of movements/skills found in every other style of dance.”
Additionally, she says there are numerous things to think about when performing ballet all while making it look elegant and graceful, which means it’s a challenging style to learn, practice, and perfect.
Classes are available for kids as young as one and as old as 60+. One-year-olds participate in a 1+1 class, which is the child and their plus one. Those ages 2-5 will learn the fundamentals of dance techniques in engaging classes that are fun and developmentally appropriate. Age six and up are able to pick their style(s) of dance including ballet, jazz, hip hop, contemporary, tap, and tumbling. Starting at age 9, advanced levels are also available. Class descriptions can be viewed here.
During the first year, students will perform in-house showcases of what they’ve learned. Schaefer says she will aim for full in theatre recitals in the spring of their second year.
Schaefer tells Lowell’s First Look that movement is essentially life. She says movement heals, strengthens, expands, and connects us. “We were made to move and when we put it together with music in a safe and inspiring environment, magic happens.” she comments. “I believe it makes us better humans and will bring people together in the most beautiful way.”
In addition to Schaefer, LoMI Studios has a Ballet Director, Hannah Trulock. Trulock began her training in this style when she was three years old. Her husband, Noah is also an instructor at the studio alongside Olivia Gaudreau who is an instructor and also takes on administrative duties.
Class schedule and pricing can be seen on the LoMI Studios website here. Online registration can also be completed there as well. There are no registration or performance fees. A maxim of 20 students will round out a class and a minimum of five students is needed to hold a class.
Upcoming Open House and Free Week of Classes
On August 19 from 4pm – 6pm LoMI Studios will host an open house. Tours are also available from 2pm – 8pm for those who cannot make the open house hours. During the open house, there will be snacks, face painting, music, and more. It will be a great opportunity to see the studio and ask questions.
The studio is also offering a free trial week. August 29 – September 3 all classes are free of charge. This offer is open to any age. Those who have already signed up for classes are invited to bring a friend or try a new class during this week. Fill out the form here to sign up.
Standing Out in the Crowd
LoMI Studios hopes to fulfill a need in Lowell so the community does not have to travel to find dance lessons. It also aims at setting itself apart from other dance studios. Schaefer lists the following reasons she feels her studio is set apart from others:
- Complementary technique classes – anyone who is enrolled in one or more dance classes (ages 6-18) can participate. These weekly classes are meant to help strengthen each dancer and set him or her up for a safe, successful journey in dance.
- Performance Company – those who wish to enhance their dance and stage performance experience can participate. There will be opportunities to perform at multiple events, receive additional training and feedback from professional dancers in the industry, and experience what it’s like to be part of a group that inspires and enriches individuals and a team.
- Building people up – a positive environment that pushes everyone who participates in classes to be their absolute best.
- Adult Dance and Fitness classes – a place for those who have danced in the past and want to get back into it or for those wanting to try something new. Classes will include DanceFit (a Zumba-like class), ballet, full body HIIT, and hip hop.
- Side-by-side classes – this future offering will allow adults and their kids to have classes at the same time. These classes will likely begin in January.
Following the free trial week, September 6 is the first day of classes. Schaefer is eager to get to know members of the community and be able to offer a local dance option for people of all ages and abilities. More information about the studio, class options, instructors, and more can be found on their website or Facebook page.
Photos courtesy of LoMI Studios and used with permission.