by Léanne Loy
Despite being a new venture and going through a pandemic, Studio B, a dance studio in Sartell, is moving to a larger location – the former Sartell Police Station.
Studio B has been part of the Sartell district for two years. Owner and founder Catie Bunde has been teaching dance for over 23 years. She was inspired by some of her students’ parents to start her own studio.
“I was an assistant professor of dance at St. Cloud State University for eight years,” Catie said. “I loved it, but when they made all the cuts our program was one of them.”
Catie and her husband, Charlie Bunde, are passionate about their community and what they can offer not only their students, but everyone in the city.
“It wasn’t easy to get there,” Catie said, reflecting on last year’s pandemic.
“But we were doing zoom lessons and I was the only instructor for a while, so I didn’t have any other teachers to pay, and the city gave us a grant as well,” she said. .
This grant was unexpected, but the Bundestag was very grateful.
“The town of Sartell was really good at going around all the businesses,” Charlie said. “This is how we met the city administrator, Anna Gruber. She was happy to help any small business, and we didn’t even realize it was going in our direction, and it was a lifeline.
Help from the city and the studio’s dedicated followers is what kept Studio B afloat through all of these difficult times. Now the class sizes are increasing and the interest is increasing.
“Last summer it just exploded again,” Catie said. “The competition groups have gone from five competition classes to 25.”
As for the building itself? Well, first and foremost the large garage doors on the side will remain. During the warmer months, these doors can be opened to let in light and cool breezes.
“We are leaving the industrial aspect,” said Catie. “Kind of like our other studio, but the ceilings will be higher here.”
They will go from one studio to three studios. Currently, classes are held all day to meet the needs of the students. Having more studios will give families more opportunities to join classes according to their schedule.
“We will be able to accommodate better times for different age groups of people and parents,” Charlie said.
The Bundes hope for an opening in the fall.
“Labor Day was our initial focus,” Charlie said, “but things got pushed back when we couldn’t get supplies and materials. “
They were told that an opening in October was likely, but they wouldn’t mind if it happened a bit sooner.
“A lot of our classes start in September at the other studio,” Catie said. “We will keep [them] same day and same time for most lessons, so the transition isn’t a whole new thing [schedule] for families to remember.
Studio B is much more than dancing. Students, especially younger ones, will also receive other lessons throughout life.
“What we hope for with our dancers,” said Catie, “is just to continue to promote not only a quality dancer, but a quality person.”
“So those little lessons,” Charlie added, “(are) like being polite, opening the door, saying thank you, looking people in the eye, shaking people’s hands.”
These lessons will also be given in the studio. As a retired police and military officer, these social skills are what he has learned, and he and Catie believe they are invaluable.
Catie also shares her own struggles as a dancer with her students in the hopes it shows them how hard work can pay off.
“The first time I tried for the dance team in high school, I didn’t get it,” Catie said.
She was in eighth grade about to enter ninth grade. People always told her that she was a great dancer, so she felt like she would have no problem being part of the team. Not going in that year changed her perspective and kindled a fire in her.
“I wanted to, so I worked hard to train a little more,” said Catie. “And then the following year, I succeeded. In my senior year I was the captain and we won the State for the high kick.
Studio B students will get the full experience. These lessons will be worth it, but it will take time to get them, and that is the point.
“A lot of what we’re seeing is kids are getting instant gratification these days,” Catie said. “We forget how hard we have to work for something. We try to instill goals in our dancers, especially with our competitive dancers. “
Catie said she remembers a time when journaling really helped her and now shares that with her students.
“We sit them down and give them a notebook and ask them to write down personal goals and team goals for the year,” Catie said.
The idea is that the pupils come back to these objectives and see how far they have come.
“It takes a village,” Catie said.
And this also applies to itself. The support she receives from her husband Charlie is what one would hope for in any marriage. They push each other out of their comfort zone to help each other achieve their goals.
“I wouldn’t be able to do this without Charlie,” Catie said. “I don’t think I would have been brave enough to do it without him. He couldn’t have done this without me either.
They are an end-to-end team, and this bonding attitude is built into the lessons students will learn at Studio B.
Studio B is open to anyone, age and experience.
“We have women who come here in their 70s tap dance, and they kill him,” said the Bundes.
You can find more information about classes and schedules on the Studio B website at: https://www.studiobmoved.com/