We sat down with studio director and owner, Sarah Linner Quie, to reflect on the past 20 years of directing Prairie School of Dance. For those of you newer to our dance community, you may not know very much about the studio’s humble beginnings years ago. For those of you who were a part of the original program, you will be nostalgic and proud to hear of what the school has become. Like a church, a dance studio is not a building, it is made of its people. One of the most important people at this school is the dreamer and leader, Mrs. Quie.
- Was there a moment you knew Prairie School of Dance needed to be formed?
Our family moved to Eden prairie in 1996 and wherever we would move I always wanted to start a dance school in our church. My husband Joel was the minister at Prairie Lutheran and some of the church families approached me to ask if I would teach their children to dance. I was thrilled with that offer because it is what I love to do!
I feel “called ” into this profession — I believe that all of us have been created in the image if God and have been given special unique gifts.When we are able to use them it is a life of deep fulfillment and blessing. God has gifted me with a love of dancing and a passion to teach others to dance.
There is no greater joy than to be a teacher in a classroom and dance with your students! To see the pure delight in their whole being when they “lose” themselves in the dance is simply the best, and to know the natural healing that comes from dancing with all your heart, mind, and spirit!
That is what we teach at Prairie — to dance from the inside out — for each student to lead with their heart and to believe that they are beautiful, smart, and loved. So I started the dance school because I believe it is what God has purposed me for and it is what I believe I was created to do! I am so thankful for this gift and blessing. I love dance!
2. What were your initial dreams and hopes for PSOD 20 years ago?
To start a dance school where every child feels loved and beautiful and where they express their faith through dance! I wanted a school where girls could dance in a wholesome environment and parents would trust that the music and costumes would be appropriate and modest for their children. I dreamed for students to dance to their highest potential no matter what shape, size, or talent and that they would be affirmed and encouraged for who they are. I hoped that we would have a performing company of advanced dancers that would perform quality art in the community.
That I want to do all things!
The verse Mark 8:36; “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, but forfeit his soul?”
Sometimes I take on too much and I lose sight of the essence of dance. It is most important that we continue to offer excellent dance lessons in a wholesome setting. I also am a people pleaser and when you run a school it is impossible to please everyone. I try not to take it personally but that is difficult to do.
- What have been the great blessings and joy of directing this school?
I love our families!
I love our staff!
The greatest joy is to have a relationship with all these families that want the best for their children and to have the honor of teaching them. To be able to influence our students and staff with a faith foundation and lift up both excellence and grace is one of the greatest blessings there is!
It never feels like I’m going to work. It feels more like, “what wonderful things will I learn today and what wonderful people will I connect with?”
My belief has always been that family comes first and then our job. I want our dance teachers to spend time with their families and I encourage them to take Sundays off. Honoring the Sabbath has been a saving grace for me. I believe I have made it this long as a dance director because I take Sundays off to go to church with my family and try to consciously rest.
5. What are your dreams for PSOD in the next 20 years?
My dream for PSOD is that it would be the same great school it is – an oasis in Eden Prairie offering wonderful dance classes that enrich families and bring value to our community. I hope that PSOD would have a dance company that both pre-professional students and professional dancers could be a part of to create dances that bring hope, realness, and vitality to our Christian journey.