WICHITA — When Kelcy Mohr took over Julie Keeling’s dance studio after her unexpected death in 2010, she says she saw a quote that Keeling had taped to her desk at her studio:
“What is it that I can give to you today to make you feel better about yourself,” the quote said.
“This sums up Julie’s personality and teaching style perfectly,” Mohr says. “I vowed to keep that philosophy in my teaching every day.”
With that in mind, Mohr is expanding her Kelcy’s Dance Studio and Kelcy’s Platinum Dance Co. – formerly Keeling’s Gift of Dance – to Carriage Parkway on Central just east of Edgemoor.
“We still have the same philosophy that the studio’s always had,” Mohr says. “We’re going to keep it the same, but we’re going to be able to offer more.”
The grand opening will be in August.
Mohr says Keeling owned the studio for three decades and had it at three different places where she lived. The current studio at 27 N. Cypress is the last place that Keeling lived and taught. Mohr and her family now live there, and she says she’ll continue to teach young children and some solo and duo lessons there.
“I still always want to teach from home,” Mohr says. “It’s kind of intimate.”
The other lessons and competitive dancing Mohr teaches will be at Carriage Parkway.
“We’ve tripled our business in the last three years,” Mohr says. “Dance has just grown so much as an industry.”
Mohr, who has danced her whole life, credits TV dance shows for that.
“I grew up dancing for Miss Julie,” Mohr says.
She says Keeling’s death was “sudden and unexpected and such a tragedy for all her former dancers. She had touched so many lives.”
Mohr and her husband, Matthew, took over the business.
“We want to kind of keep her legacy going,” she says.
“She had a spot for everybody to be a dancer,” Mohr says.
She says many studios require a certain number of practice hours a week.
“It was just about fun,” Mohr says of Keeling’s studio.
“You could still just dance one hour a week if you wanted,” she says.
“In her eyes, I think she believed everyone should be a dancer even if it’s just that one hour a week,” Mohr says. “It was just different than any other place around here.”
She says she shares that philosophy, which she says is why she wants to expand for her competitive dancers and still have the other classes.
“I want every dancer to leave the studio feeling better about him or herself than when they walked in.”