by Patric Lewandowski
As they have for the past 30 years, dancers took the floor for the Sartell Community Education dance show on Saturday, April 21. While all the dance shows of the past three decades have had something special about them, this one was a true tearjerker.
The 30th anniversary dance show was also founder Shelly Teff’s last.
Sartell Community Education Dance was started by Teff in 1988, and featured 23 kids of all ages in one group. The very first dance show lasted five minutes, and had no costumes or sets. By comparison, this year’s show featured 16 different dances by 11 different classes of dancers from ages 3 to 18, with more than 120 participants.
The show hit all the highlights, including a routine with all the dancers to start the show, a father-daughter dance and ending with a lightshow with all the dancers (minus the Tiny Tots group).
But, as with all good things, the end had to come, and with it, an emotional goodbye. It began with Teff recognizing two seniors who had been with her since they were Tiny Tots, Kimberly Kirick and Katherine Ronyak. Teff then recognized dancers who had been with her five and 10 years, as well as her entire team, including Hannah Ronyak who will be taking over the lead instructor position in the fall.
Finally, Teff began her personal thankyous, mentioning her husband, Larry, her aunt Virginia Lewandowski, and her sister Linda Tauber. Also mentioned were Teff’s parents, Margie and Raymond Reymer, who have passed, as well as her sister Mary Jo Boyzch who also passed away. As Teff wrapped up, her team took their moment to thank her for all she had done to create and build the Community Education Dance program. The show ended with a standing ovation for Shelly Teff.