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Killdeer woman passes along her passion of dance to local kids

When Hollie Kuntz heard that there was an opportunity to bring dance back to Killdeer earlier this fall she quickly called her husband in excitement.

Hollie Kuntz, right, teaches a group of children how to dance Wednesday evening in Killdeer. (Sydney Mook / The Dickinson Press)
Hollie Kuntz, right, teaches a group of children how to dance Wednesday evening in Killdeer. (Sydney Mook / The Dickinson Press)

When Hollie Kuntz heard that there was an opportunity to bring dance back to Killdeer earlier this fall she quickly called her husband in excitement.

Kuntz is the instructor and co-founder of Klassics Dance, a low-cost dance program in Killdeer that gives kids of all ages the opportunity to learn how to dance and have fun, without breaking the bank or having to drive to and from Dickinson every week.

"Dance has been my passion for a long time, and it's always been something I've wanted to do, to be able to dance again and share it," she said.

Klassics Dance, which derives its name from the former Killdeer Klassics dance team, offers one class a week per age group and private lessons on request at the Killdeer Aquatics and Wellness Center. Currently, Kuntz is the only dance teacher for approximately 50 students, however, she does occasionally have an eighth grade student from Dickinson come to help her out.

Cathy Frei, a parent of one of the dancers in the kindergarten age group, said she enjoys the fact that she doesn't have to run around the area to get her daughter to dance class because Kuntz can just pick all the girls up from school and walk to the aquatics center next door.

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"It's perfect because Hollie will pick them up if you can't make it, and it works out great because I live in Halliday, and so it's a 35-mile drive," Frei said. "So, it works out perfect. It's very convenient."

She added that her daughter really loves the classes and looks forward to them each week.

"She loves dance," Frei said. "... She asks every week 'Is it Wednesday yet? Is it Wednesday yet?'"

Students from across Dunn County dance at Klassics Dance, Kuntz said. So, it is not required that a student live in Killdeer in order for them to join.

Getting it started

The idea for Klassics Dance came after James Mousseau, Killdeer parks and recreation director, said he was approached by Kuntz to bring dance back to the city.

He said at one point Killdeer had a nationally-ranked dance team, but after the coach retired the rest of the program slowly started to go away.

"When Hollie approached me about bringing it back and using the aerobics room to do it in, I was all for it because I'm kind of a tradition guy, and I think that's a tradition that Killdeer should try to hold on to as long as they could," he said.

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With the addition of Klassics Dance, Mousseau hopes that Killdeer will be back on its way to being a dancing town once again.

"Hollie is doing such a great job, and it'll be exciting to see what they do in the next couple months and hopefully years if they can keep going," he said.

He said it also gives people a chance to experience the aquatics center and gets kids in a good habit of exercise.

"Despite the fact that we've (the aquatics center) been open for four months now, I still think it's really new to people," he said. "There's still people who haven't been in there. So, when they have to go in there to get their daughter or whoever, they get to see that facility."

Kuntz is currently collecting costumes for their "dancer's closet" for the kids to be able to perform in and asks that anyone who has any extra dance costumes laying around to donate them to the group.

"We're going to work with what we have," she said with a small laugh.

She said for now they plan on doing performances at various places around Killdeer and hope to eventually do performances at halftime at Killdeer High School events.

Passing along a passion

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Having grown up in a family that wasn't necessarily athletic, Kuntz said her mother enrolled her in dance classes when she was seven so she would have an activity to do throughout her school years.

From there dance turned into a passion that she spent more than 20 years of her life doing.

Now, she has the opportunity to share her passion with kids of all ages, including two of her own. Kuntz's oldest and youngest daughters both take classes with her.

She spends a significant amount of time teaching the classes, in addition to working 30 hours a week at Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing in town.

"Dancing is my passion, and it has been so much fun to give back to the city of Killdeer," she said. "So, I'm able to go back to my passion. Music and dance those are my two biggest things, and I'm hoping that we can grow our dance program here and be able to have it throughout the community for a long time."

For Kuntz, the classes are much more than teaching the girls how to point their toes and learn how to dance. She doesn't want the girls to ever feel uncomfortable with something, whether it's a dance move or a costume. She also wants the girls to take away a much more important lesson.
"Dance inspires a lot of self-confidence," she said. "But, I want them to have a positive image of themselves too. ... I want anybody who wants to dance, I want to be able to help them build their self-esteem."

To enroll a student in dance classes with Klassics Dance email Klassicsdance@gmail.com , send a Facebook message to facebook.com/klassicsdance or call Hollie Kuntz at 701-260-3390. Classes are $25 per month and no previous dance experience is required.

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