Kim Johnson went from being a Milwaukee Bucks dancer to a business owner and now business is booming.
Johnson, who has danced since she was 3 and spent three years as a Bucks Energee! dancer, opened her first studio, Studio VIA - School of Dance in 2010 in Brookfield. A new Menomonee Falls location is scheduled to open July 2. Johnson said she is expanding because she needed to in order to accommodate a growing number of people interested in dance lessons.
The Menomonee Falls location, N56 W16743 Ridgewood Drive, will have two rooms for classes, a dance boutique, and an extra space for dance photography and making videos. Johnson said the location is about 5,500 square feet, roughly twice the size of the Brookfield studio at 14685 W. Capitol Drive.
She said she plans on giving the Menomonee Falls location an upscale look. "It is about making it upscale and having chandeliers, and to make all the kids in it feel special," she said.
Her studio offers dance classes in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, pom, and hip hop for ages 3 to adult. She said she offers classes and programs from recreational to competitive dance. "Some just want to dance, but they may decide to be competitive later. We cater to everyone."
She said that, through the dance classes, staff work with clients on personal growth and development. She said that one week they may focus on teamwork and another week they may focus on having self-confidence.
"We try to use life lessons in dance," she said, which is something she's gleaned from her decades of experience. "(Dance) taught me to have a strong work ethic and to continue going when you fail," she said.
Johnson graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point in 2007 with a degree in dance and athletic training. She has performed regionally and nationally since age 12 and was captain and MVP for the Brookfield Central Lancerettes her sophomore through senior years of high school. She was also named a Universal Dance Association All Star and traveled abroad to Paris for a two-week performance opportunity.
Johnson said that the new studio will hold dozens of dance classes. She is planning to hire three full-time dance instructors who have professional dancing experience.
Studio VIA is also accepting students for the 2022-2023 dance season. For more information, visit www.studioviallc.com or call 262-510-3552.
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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Ex-Milwaukee Bucks dancer to open new Menomonee Falls dance studio