Innovative Dance doubles in size while adding three new class offerings

by: JOSH KULLA - This new studio space was constructed in recent weeks and is just about ready for use by Innovative Dance and its 200-plus students. The year 2014 is shaping up to be monumental for Wilsonville’s Innovative Dance Studio.

Fresh off its 15th anniversary in June, owner Molly Kaleikilo is about to unveil a huge expansion of the studio in the Old Town neighborhood. And with the move comes concurrent growth in the types of classes Innovative Dance will be offering going forward.

“Basically, the last couple of years we have been bursting at the seams,” said Kaleikilo. “We’ve been starting classes as early as possible and going as late as possible to fit everything in. I’m kind of a believer in the universe, so my theory was that when the opportunity came to expand that meant it was time.”

Innovative Dance has been at the same location its entire existence. During that time it has undergone several renovations, including the addition of a second dance studio in 2005. The studio’s growth has continued apace, climbing from 70 when it first opened to more than 200 at present — before fall registration is even close to complete.

The most recent renovation is much larger than anything that has come before and will double the studio’s effective instructional space as well as add offices and restrooms.

It was made possible when Doggy Daycare, which formerly leased the space next to Innovative Dance, closed shop earlier this year. When the dance group learned the space was available, Kaleikilo said, it did not take long to renegotiate the lease to make the leap into a bigger, more ambitious future.

Everything was made official Aug. 1 when they took possession of the new space, which will place the studio directly adjacent to First Friends preschool at the north end of the building.

“The emptying next door was the key,” Kaleikilo said. “It’s a risk, it’s a lot of space, but we already have classes in all three of our rooms every day, and we’re having classes seven days a week. It gives us the opportunity to start these new programs.”

On that note, Kaleikilo is adding a trio of new and specialized classes to round out the ballet, tap, jazz and other dance forms upon which Innovative Dance has built its reputation.

One of the new classes will offer dance for children with special needs or disabilities. These eight-week sessions will teach basic dance techniques, as well as develop rhythm, imitation and social skills.

The class will be taught by Mikaela Ostrander, a speech therapist who works with autistic students at Wood Middle School. It will be limited to just six children per class, and cost $110 for each of the four eight-week sessions. The first session starts Sept. 14 and runs through Nov. 2.

Wilsonville singer/songwriter Michele Van Kleef will instruct a second new class, Music Together, which is 10 weeks in length and offers music and movement instruction for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Part of a national organization, Music Together offers a standardized curriculum, topped off with Van Kleef’s instructional experience gleaned from years of performing as a professional musician.

Ten weeks of classes will cost $150 and includes all materials needed to participate. Classes will be held at 9, 10 and 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays. The same class is offered in nearby Hubbard on Wednesdays.

Finally, one of Innovative Dance’s own will be heading a new preschool performing arts class. Megan Edwards, who was selected as the 2004 Innovative Dance Performer of the Year, is returning as a licensed teacher who will introduce children to everything from ballet and tap dance to tumbling and singing.

“Megan’s performing arts camp is like Princess Camp all year,” Kaleikilo said. “It has all forms of dance and singing and special crafts and dress-up time. It’s meant to partner with academic preschool to give them another day, but one that is in the arts to expose them early to the arts.”

It’s taken a huge amount of work behind the scenes to prepare everything for a timely opening, she added. And while that has taken place, it has even served as a draw for new potential customers, one of whom peeked her head into the studio during last week’s interview in hopes of finding a suitable class for her two children.

The woman left with plenty of information on options she had not known existed.

For Kaleikilo it was added justification backing expansion.

“This is making a triple threat for our students to learn all forms of art so they can go and do anything,” she said. “It’s time to have something for all these new kids who are moving to town.”

Innovative Dance Studio is located at 30625 SW Boones Ferry Road. For more information, visit or call 503-570-8858.

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