Youth Dance Ensemble takes the stage


YDE also known as Youth Dance Ensemble is a small studio of students ages 2-18. At YDE, there are 5 teachers: Dixie Rairamo, Bekah Gudim, Kirsten Iiams, Elly Stahlke, and Lauren Warmka. Dixie is the founder of YDE; she founded the studio in 1991. Before opening the studio, she attended Kansas State University and received a Bachelor’s degree in Dance. VMSS students are familiar with Dixie’s work, whether they know it or not. For those who have ever been in or seen a VMSS musical, all of the choreography (Dancing) was created by Dixie.

According to the studio’s website, “Youth Dance Ensemble is a non-profit organization run by dedicated individuals who see dance as an art form and wish to carry on that artistic vision and tradition. Our nationally recognized instructors and guest choreographers work hard to create an environment of growth, hard work, and encouragement for your child. Dixie Rairamo  has been teaching young dancers for 35 years and prides the school on it’s technical training as well as it’s supportive environment and incomparable studio family.” 

Senior, Leah Voxland has danced at the studio for 14 years. She currently she attends The Academy of Holy Angels. Even though she left a few times, she always came back. Leah also has been on the Holy Angels dance team. “Dance Team has lots of things in common with our studio,” She said. “Dance team has taught me how to learn dances quickly, which comes in handy.”

Dance Team has lots of things in common with our studio. Dance team has taught me how to learn dances quickly, which comes in handy.”

— Leah Voxland

Every year, the studio puts on a shortened production of the Nutcracker Ballet. They travel all over Minnesota. In years past, they have been to city’s like, Sleepy Eye and Buffalo Lake. The Repertoire Ensemble performs higher level dances during the Nutcracker. The higher level dances include; March of the Toy Soldiers, Ladies in Waiting, Dance of the Snowflakes, Arabian, Murlitan, Russian, Chinese, Dance of The Sugar Plum Fairy, and Waltz of the Flowers.

Every year YDE has two recitals, Winterfest and Spring recital. The Spring recital is a performance we’re each class, and ensemble, performs a dance showcasing what they learned that year. After Winterfest is over, the studio continues to be involved in the community performing other places to keep busy while waiting. Some other shows they do are: The modern dance project, the cafe concert, and Dances at the lakes.

Summer classes are about to begin! If you are interested in dance and want to try it, visit the studios website for details!(