Devotion in Motion dance studio to open in Reed City in autumn

It's studio owner Ayla Schmidt's dream come true

Ayla Schmidt and her boyfriend Josiah beard outside the soon-to-be dance studio in downtown Reed City.

Ayla Schmidt and her boyfriend Josiah beard outside the soon-to-be dance studio in downtown Reed City.

Herald photo/Dylan Schwartz

REED CITY — Seventeen-year-old dancer Ayla Schmidt is making her dream come true by opening a new dance studio, Devotion in Motion, in downtown Reed City.

The studio is still in the early stages of development. Schmidt and supportive family members are currently renovating the interior of the space they bought at 119 West Upton Avenue in downtown Reed City to turn it into a combination of a dance studio and boutique for dance wear, so students can "try before they buy" as Schmidt's mother Shannon Schmidt put it.

Registration will be Aug. 25-27, and Schmidt is hoping to tentatively have it open by Sept. 5.

Having danced since she was 5 years old, Schmidt wants to bring the experience she had learning dance as a healthy form of self-expression and exercise, as well as a social outlet, to more kids in the Reed City area, which currently lacks a dance studio.

"I want more kids to have the opportunity, and have another thing in town or nearby that they can join," Schmidt said.

Devotion of Motion is welcoming of dancers of all religious backgrounds, Schmidt said. Outfits and dance routines will be perhaps a bit more respectful and modest than other dance studios.

Excited, nervous and overwhelmed are the emotions that Schmidt used to describe herself during the process of setting up the studio. 

"It's a lot to take in at 17," she said. "It's not something I'll just give up in two years. I've been dreaming ever since I was 10," Schmidt stated.

"She's a pretty young business owner, and very passionate," Shannon Schmidt said about her daughter. "She has a lot of support, and a history of business too."

Schmidt hopes to be able to teach 40-50 kids by the time the studio is in full swing. 

"I don't think it'll take that long to get ready," Schmidt said. 

Schmidt and her family will install mirrors, sweep and sand the floors, and put up wallpaper in preparation for the hopeful opening in September. 

"I'm just excited for the recital at the end of the year to see what other kids have learned, and just making friendships and having fun," Schmidt said. 

Schmidt traces her love of dance to the healthy, carefree form of self-expression it gives her. 

"I'd be at the studio, until 11 at night, just blaring music and dancing my heart out, and nobody is there watching me," Schmidt said. "It's also just a way to make relationships and new friends and meet new people," she said.

Shannon Schmidt said Ayla has a knack for dealing with kids, and hopes she'll be able to bring many age groups together. 

The studio already has a Facebook and Instagram page, both "Devotion in Motion." Schmidt hopes to have early registration by Aug. 15 via an online sign-up sheet, to gauge interest in the community, though she said she already feels there is excitement around her opening the studio based on interactions on social media.