Louise Leise, owner and artistic director of Longmont’s Dance Dimensions, will be inducted into The Dance Archive’s Legends of Dance this weekend for her instructor career.
The Dance Archive, a branch within the University of Denver’s Special Collections and Archive, honored Leise on Oct. 16 with the Legend of Dance title. The twofold event celebrates 50 years of The Dance Archive and featured dance performances at Cleo Parker Robinson Dance in Denver. Recorded interviews of the honorees premiered at the event and are documented in The Dance Archive’s collections.
“It is a great honor. There are lots of great dance educators in Colorado,” Leise said.
Leise is awarded the prestige for her four decades teaching adults and children dance, which was largely spent in Longmont. After three years directing the city of Boulder’s Parks and Recreation dance program, expanding the small curriculum to 400 students, Leise founded Dance Dimensions in downtown Longmont in 1985.
During her time working for Boulder, Leise started thinking about expanding her reach. She said a dance student inspired her to look at Longmont.
“She kept saying, you know, Longmont really needs you, they need you here,” Leise said. “So, it took a while, but we did come up and look around and decided that yes, Longmont was a good community for us and it has been. It's been a great community.”
In its 37-year history Dance Dimensions has taught ages 3 and up jazz, tap, ballet, hip hop, contemporary dance and more. It holds studio classes along with providing programs through the city of Longmont.
Dance Dimensions teaches both recreationists and, competitors and students working towards a dance career. Its competition team Starbound, competes on regional and national stages. Alum of Dance Dimensions have gone on to perform internationally or on some of the most prominent gigs including the Radio City Rockettes, according to Leise.
Leise has watched kids grow up in the Dance Dimensions studios. The family business, which includes her two daughters as instructors and husband as the technical director, has also become a part of other families’ lives.
“We are now teaching the children of the children that we’ve had in the studio in the last 37 years. So that has been really just a wonderful experience to be able to have our kids from the past, and bringing in the future generations of dancers,” Leise said.