After the two flights of creaky stairs there is an antique heater to the left of the door. The old closet doors in the hallways are a burgundy-red color.

Inside the closets, the original wallpaper remains.

The owners just repainted the inside of the building. The walls are an eggshell white. The studio is a room full of mirrors and balance bars. The building is over 100 years old.

Ballet Etude is a non-profit dance academy located in Rexburg.

Entrance of Ballet Etude.

Entrance of Ballet Etude. Photo credit: Alondra Crutchfield

They opened in 2022 with adult classes only. This January, they have expanded their teaching to include classes for children and now have 50 students.

The Studio Dance Academy is also a dance company.

There is a difference between an academy and a dance company. An academy is basic ballet classes taught for beginners up to advanced dancers. A company is for long-term dancers. Dancers get pre-professional training for 7-10 years and are paid to dance.

Since Rexburg is small, the dancers in this dance company are non-paid and they focus more on performance opportunities.

Hallway of the dance studio.

Hallway of the dance studio. Photo credit: Alondra Crutchfield

The goal for Ballet Etude is to grow and thrive in the community and teach everyone the art and beauty of ballet. The desire is that ballet can and should be available to anyone.

There are tuition fees for classes. However, there is a scholarship program. The dancers can also get sponsored by some local businesses.

Becoming a good dancer takes a lot of hard work. The ballet world can be hard and it can deplete your self-confidence. Ballet Etude prides itself in its atmosphere that is uplifting, encouraging and nurturing.

The teachers Kiersten Lewis and Madissen Fujimoto attended a conference in Pennsylvania and learned about a curriculum from Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet created by Marcia Dale Weary.

They implemented this curriculum in their dance studio and it is how the dancers track their progress.

In March, the company will be holding a fundraiser to raise money to help with tuition and expenses.

Dancers practicing in front of a mirrored wall.

Dancers practicing in front of a mirrored wall. Photo credit: Alondra Crutchfield

At this fundraiser, they will be showcasing a few dances to give sponsors an idea of what they are being taught and to show their talent.

On May 31 and June 1, the Ballet Etude dance company is holding a performance called Snow White. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and veterans, and free for children 5 and under.

Many benefits are gained from dancing. Some of them include work ethic, coordination, mental health, nourishment and healing.

The costumes are sometimes made by hand by Lewis. Her desire for Ballet Etude is to one day become a professional company where they can pay their dancers. She wants there to be more performance opportunities for people of all ages.