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Tapping, twirling and dancing into season two

Unity and District Chamber of Commerce tours dance studio, Stand Out Dance Collective with owner Courtney Smith.
Courtney Smith, owner of Stand Out Dance Collective in Unity, and Helena Long, president of the Unity Chamber of Commerce, pose in front of SODC’s collection of trophies and plaques won in SODC’s first season of dance competition, in the spring of 2023.

In another post-pandemic “catchup” visit, the Unity and District Chamber of Commerce new business committee met with Stand Out Dance Collective owner Courtney Smith. SODC had recently celebrated its first full year in business and was in full swing into its second dance season.

Committee members received a full tour of the premises, which includes dance studios upstairs and down, washrooms, an office and a cozy area for students to hang out in between lessons.

Smith said, while she knew the dance teaching part of the business, becoming an entrepreneur has had a learning curve all its own. Like many small business owners, she is both the bookkeeper and the janitor, but of course her favourite task is teaching and interacting with students.

Smith especially enjoys teaching ballet and en pointe, and continues to further her own education. She recently successfully completed the requirements for her Pointe Safe certification, which helps ensure teachers don’t start students on en pointe work too soon.

One of Smith’s ballet students, Polina Chernii, is one of very few dancers in the province to have been chosen, after auditions, to perform in The Nutcracker, Dec. 15 in Saskatoon.

Along with regular dance lessons, both group and private, SODC hosted a summer camp and has had guest instructors visit for special workshops.

Having grown up in Unity, with both parents working in Unity businesses, Smith supports other local businesses by purchasing gift certificates from them for the raffles at her dance showcase and recitals. For Winter Wonderland, Dec. 7, SODC hosted a dance glow party and handed out many candy canes.

The Unity and District Chamber of Commerce is pleased to congratulate Courtney Smith and Stand Out Dance Collective on their first year in business and wishes them many more years of success in the future.