Yuma 4×4

Media and Communications

Forever Home with Kimmie Nott & Lauren Krohe

Forever Home with Kimmie Nott & Lauren Krohe

Well, my mom works at Western, and my dad actually worked at Western as well and so I kind of grew up with community
theater and being in some musicals, so I just really liked the campus so that was
my main choice for college. I chose Western because I just really didn’t
want to leave home. I grew up around here my whole life and it’s just kind of
always been a part of the community and my home was here. I just know I just
didn’t want to leave. Some of the student organizations I was in, I was a part of
University Dance Theater through the dance department, and I really didn’t do
anything else – that was about it for me. Um, organizations that I was
a part of involved University Dance Theater, through the dance department –
being a broadcasting major you really got to start doing things right off the
bat when you got here like most schools I’ve always I always heard that you have
to wait a couple years before you get hands-on and right away you know you’re
kind of allowed to be a part of things. So we did a lot of sporting events,
I also took pictures for athletics for a couple years for football games and
basketball games baseball games for their athletic department that they use
for promotional purposes. Well it was actually, Bridgeway was one of my favorite pieces because everybody is just so excited to learn a dance and it was kind
of like a collaboration between the Bridgeway residents and the University
dancers, so it was it was definitely a fun experience. Bridgeway is a place that
provides like job opportunities for those with disabilities and it gives
them an opportunity to go out and work. Being in the dance department, it kind of
helped shape me, just to learn some more dance backgrounds and dance techniques to help teach my students here in Macomb. Then, going through kinesiology has
shaped me to, I guess, really be aware of the muscles and the bones that are being
used through dance and helps with injuries, injury prevention, so that
really helps being in a dance studio and being around tons of kids. I had many
professors here that influenced me. One of them specifically was Sam Edsall. He
was really hands-on with video and I used a lot of that technique that I
learned here to do a lot of promotional advertising for our studio and our
business through either you know videography or taking photos. I
honestly don’t think I would have learned how to use any of it if it
wasn’t for the classes here. We were given our dance studio before we
graduated Western so I was in my…I just finished my junior year – I was a
sophomore – and I was getting ready to start my senior year with internships
and everything and our boss actually decided to hand the studio over to us if
we wanted it and we decided to, yeah, we decided to open up Project Dance Company together and it’s just grown ever since. Yeah, we had a handful of kids that we,
you know, there was like maybe five or six at the time, and, you know, it’s
something we love to do and basically, since we were in college,
Project Dance Company has been a thing…so, yeah. Well, like Lauren said, when we
opened up Project Dance Company, we just had maybe like a handful and we have
some that are from Hamilton, Illinois as well, and they come to Macomb almost
every single day, and the surrounding areas too, like Bushnell, Good Hope, Ipava, Table Grove…and every single
year we just bring in more students. Right now we’re currently about 150
students so and we’re on year six. Um, my dad, since day one really, has been the
one that’s done all the renovating of our studio. We needed more space in our
waiting room so we needed to get…there was a huge space of windows that just
took up way too much room, so my dad and a couple of the dance parents helped. My dad demoed the front lot, or the front windows, and expanded our lobby. It’s not
quite done yet, but…the weather’s been kind of…it’ll get there. We both stay connected to the University
through, um, the theater and dance department. We actually have been asked a few times
to come in and be guest artists for some of, like, the musical theater dance class
or the jazz class that Heidi Clemmens and Lisa Fox offer here on campus. I also
come in and teach the tap class also once or twice a semester as well, so we
both do that. We like being involved in the parade every year – it’s the girls
favorite parade, by far. It’s long, but it’s, it’s the girl’s favorite parade
because, everyone, it’s like the one time, or a couple of times a year, that the
community comes together and they can all celebrate Western and the alumni
that have come through and returned. Western gives many opportunities even though it is a smaller community. It prepared me for
what I’m doing now, even if it’s not what I steered towards at the beginning. I was
born and raised in Macomb, and I’m such a family person – I couldn’t imagine going
far away…me either…and my mom is still here; she still works at Western
and, um yeah, it’s, it’s just home. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. Yeah, we do, or we like being involved with things and, um, the kids really help as well,
it’s, we live in a really rural, small community, but the experiences that I
know we’ve given a lot of our students and the children for the area, will help
prepare them for their future and it has brought them many opportunities to
succeed and to better themselves at a very young age. So, we take a lot of pride
in knowing that we can provide that for them. The ages we accept are from age 2 until about 18. We offer a whole different variety of classes. We offer
tap, ballet, jazz, lyrical, tumbling, hip-hop… I even teach Zumba classes for adults, so
we definitely offer quite a variety there. We’ve kept basically kind of the
same classes since day one. We have what we call tiny tots for our 2-year-olds,
and then combo classes for our 3- to 6-ish-year-olds. It’s kind of like a
it’s a combo between tap and ballet. At that age they don’t really they don’t
really know what they like and don’t know what they want yet, until they reach
around 6 and they kind of branch off to the individual classes that are half
hour, 45 minutes, or an hour. But yeah, it’s just, this is kind of a
structure for any dance studio and yeah throughout the years we’ve added more
because we have gotten bigger and the bigger you get the more levels of kids
that you get, so we have added that. We’ve been asked to come in to Lincoln School for Adopt a Classroom, so we are currently working with Mrs. Thompson’s
class in first grade, so we stopped in there a few times and we teach all of
her students some dance skills and some dance combos. Kimmy is also really
involved in the Bomber Dance Team at Macomb High. She, for the past couple of
years, or three years maybe, she choreographs their dance team routine
and works with them, voluntarily, because we have a lot of our older, all, or most
of our high school dancers are on the Bomber Dance Team at Macomb High. So, we like to support that and be involved in that. Going to school and running a business
at the same time – it’s time-consuming, but it was my senior year so I didn’t have
as many classes – it was a little bit easier for me and plus, when I went, when
I did my internship spring of 2014, I was doing my internship through Dana, so she
was kind of helping us learn what we needed to do as far as, like paying
employees and how to set up a schedule, things like that. So, we were still kind
of working with her our first year of owning Project Dance Company. She helped us out a little bit and then from there we just figured it out on our own kind
of – and still having the help of our parents and…we are in there basically every day of the week. You’re in there Saturdays even
sometimes, but we’re in there every day and a week from 3-10 o’clock at
night…even on Fridays, and back then it was like Thursdays for like, and it
wasn’t even as long it was like maybe before like 4-8, Monday through Thursday,
so it’s really, it’s crazy to think how, you know, I know we were in school, but
how much it has grown since, you know, day one. Like I said, we said, we’re on our
sixth year and we hope to keep continuing to inspire younger children
to express themselves. We’re constantly learning new things, you
know. We’ve made plenty of mistakes growing up and learning our business.
Mistakes happen and you learn from your mistakes, but also, it’s definitely a
rewarding experience, so all of that. Maybe with the struggles and the tough
times we’ve been through, it’s so rewarding to see where all of it’s going
and seeing our students grow and accomplish new skills and becoming the
people they are – it’s all worth it. It’s amazing…it’s definitely amazing. I think one thing about Macomb that I love the most
is everybody’s just so close here, I feel like. Everybody, everyone knows
everybody knows each other…and the schools aren’t terribly big. You still
kind of, you know, you’re, you’re involved with things – there’s things I hear
the kids talk about, they’re involved in things. Yeah the support is wonderful
and everybody’s just so tight knit, it, it, it’s just a homey place, I feel like, and
welcoming. I mean as long as, as long as there are
kids, there’s always going to be, you know, kids who want to dance, I feel like. I
feel like it’s like that anywhere, but specifically here. Like we said, it’s
where we grew up it’s our home and we have a lot of relationships here and the
older the kids get, the more they turn into people, so they become, you know, you become attached, they become attached and, you know, it’s not like it’s school where
most, I guess, teachers have kids for fourth grade and they move on the fifth.
We, I mean, there’s some kids we’ve had since they were 6 and they’re juniors
in high school now, and, or sophomores, even, so we, I feel like, we’re a lot of,
we’re a big part of their life we’re big influence and a role model in their life
and we try to be the the best influence as possible on them.

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