Crystal Dance Studio Owner Requests City Help to Reopen
A Crystal business owner is asking the city of Crystal to help reopen the company. Melissa McCabe operates Intrepid Dance Company, which holds dance classes for small kids to adults. McCabe attended the May 19 virtual city council meeting to ask city leaders if they could assist her in getting her business back up and running. Intrepid Dance is currently closed because of Governor Tim Walz’s existing stay-at-home restrictions.
Crystal Mayor Jim Adams sent to a letter to the governor requesting small companies like the dance studio be allowed to reopen. Every council member signed off in favor of Intrepid Dance reopening.
“In this particular case, the work that she’s doing with these kids is vital to their well-being, mental health and physical health. I felt this was an important one to see if there was any way we could find a way to reclassify this business for the state,” said Crystal City Council member Nancy LaRoche.
Crystal Dance Studio “Not a Fitness Center”
According to McCabe, Intrepid Dance Company is not a gym. So, if and when gyms reopen, the dance studio would remain closed.
“We are not a fitness center. We don’t know what we’re classified under, but we do provide services to youth,” said McCabe.
Intrepid Dance Company opened in 2018. It was voted best dance studio in 2019 by the city of Crystal and Readers’ Choice 2020 Best Studio.
McCabe is now conducting classes online, but says it’s not the same as having people in a studio practicing dance moves.
“A lot of kids were nervous the first time. I get it, and you’re talking to a screen. They’re 3, and 4 years old. They don’t know how to do that,” explained Melissa McCabe.
Studio Owner: Dance Has Physical, Mental Benefits
McCabe has banded with other dance studios in Minnesota to push for reopening. She says dancing benefits children both mentally and physically. The Crystal business owner says children need social interaction to help with development.
“I’m not only an owner or teacher or choreographer, or a parent or a mom. I’m an outlet for these kids to express things that might be going on in their life. They can’t be cooped up like animals in a zoo.”
McCabe also says some customers are struggling to continue with dance classes because they lost their jobs. As a result, she created a program called “Sponsor a Dancer,” so children can continue to twirl or tap.
“It’s more like a scholarship to have people donate to help cover some of those expenses. It hasn’t been like big chunks of money by any means, but it’s been enough to my families that have been impacted,” explained McCabe.
She says if the studio is allowed to reopen, it will follow CDC and Minnesota Department of Health guidelines and practice social distancing policies.
“We know that kids can’t breathe with a mask. We know certain things can’t be done. if they tell us kids can’t touch, we can create a dance where we can make that happen.”
Intrepid Dance Company has an end of the year recital in June. The business is working with Crystal city officials to possibly hold the event at an outdoor venue.