Superior Ballroom

by Ted Heinonen

Instructors Marija Ilchenko and Benjamin Welch hone their steps.  Photo credit: T.Heinonen
Instructors Marija Ilchenko and Benjamin Welch hone their steps. Photo credit: T.Heinonen

Slow, slow - quick, quick…

This could be how one could describe the progress Andrea Kuzel’s Superior Ballroom dance studio has been going through. These past few year have been exciting for Andrea and her husband. With the start of her ballroom dance studio business over five years ago, to raising two little boys has kept her moving. With the purchase recently of Norway Hall this past year - Superior Ballroom now has a permanent place for her expanding staff of certified instructors and increase in dance students. Those who remember taking dance lessons at Norway Hall in the past will see just slight changes, the old lettering in Norwegian are still there above some of the doors and it still retains some of the hall’s old feel. 

Photo courtesy of Superior Ballroom
Photo courtesy of Superior Ballroom

Andrea has been working with Suzi Vandersteen of Kitchee Gammi Design and one of the first things they worked on were the floors. Some of us who remember Norway Hall in the earlier years, remember the maple floors - which are great for dancing. Time and wear and tear took their toll and when they spoke with a flooring expert about “refinishing and sanding” they were told that there wasn’t enough left to work with. So this past year they invested in a new “floating” floor system and if you dance - you will feel the difference. The old floor was sealed and the new system was installed with a inch and a half foam cushioned liner, that you can see give as dancers move about the floor. Visiting pro instructors have given high marks to this improvement. This is part of the 3 year plan Andrea explained. She has more improvements to make, some of which will enhance the ability to “let out” the hall to outside events. She has two tenants - Prøve Gallery and the Nordic Center and has worked with them on improvements also. They are great tenants and make the building a cultural destination.

Norway Hall's influences are still part of the ballroom. Photo credit: T. Heineken
Norway Hall's influences are still part of the ballroom. Photo credit: T. Heinonen 

 With the steady success of the studio and the ability to hire more office staff she has been able to catch her breath, reflect and plan for the future. With the increase in people seeking dance instruction the studio hope to be offering DVIDA dance testing sometime near the end of the year their students who wish to “up their game” so to speak. The syllabus and exam structure are a nationally recognized certification. 

They offer dance instruction to all levels and all ages and have a Latin aerobic classes on the weekend.

“Dance is a healthy way to stay fit.”  One can take lessons for the fun of it and the social dancing offerings in the area. Superior Ballroom sponsors a few events every year from their Danceapolooza which will be in April of next year to their upcoming “Sparkle” event at Lincoln Park Middle school this October 18. 

Andrea said also they hope to have simple dinner/dance socials throughout the year. It has been and exciting year of positive growth… you can reach the studio at their website at superiorballroomdance.com or visit the studio at 21 North Lake Avenue in downtown Duluth. If you’ve always wanted to learn, this is the place to start. They have adult beginner classes throughout the year and classes for the kids. And for those who have only two left feet… they have spare right feet for all who need them when you “slow, slow - quick, quick.