For the last four decades, the people of Muscatine have had the opportunity to learn to dance from a professional–a professional who is a second-generation dancer, whose mother taught her and other students in Chicago and trained dancers for 50 years. Miss Louise Munday began dancing at the age of three at her mother’s dance school.
After traveling the country to learn different styles, such as ballet, tap, ballroom and more, Miss Louise attended the University of Iowa, where she studied piano, dance, and French. During her time in college, she opened a dance school in Muscatine.
For the last 40 years, the Miss Louise School of Dance has taught students from the age of three to 18. While many other dance schools may have teachers only teach students for one year, then pass them onto a new teacher, Miss Louise trains these students from the time they arrive to the time they graduate at age 18.
“It’s been the best time of my life. It’s been my life. The studio is my life, the children are my life,” Miss Louise said. “Who knew that 40 years would come and go and I’d have all of these students in my life, the parents’ children and the parents’ children’s children.”
The Miss Louise School of Dance has a family atmosphere to it, largely in part to the tremendous amount of time that Miss Louise spends with her students. Over the years, Miss Louise has attended many events that her students participate in outside of dance.
“Everything they’re involved in, I try to participate and be there,” Miss Louise stated.
“That’s what you do: you give back, you give your best and at the end of the day, you hope it was enough, but at least you tried,” Miss Louise said.
The dance school’s annual recital celebrated this 40th anniversary on May 11 and 12 at Central School Auditorium. The show began at 7 p.m. both nights. While Miss Louise stated there was no specific theme, this recital was a celebration of 40 years. The performance, titled “Just Dance,” brought back some older pieces of dance and showcased new ones.