Ten years ago, Charlie and Stephanie Vogl were wrapping up their respective college degrees and working full-time jobs.
Who would attempt starting a business from scratch at that stage? Only those with a true entrepreneurial spirit – and Charlie and Stephanie certainly qualify.
Their passion for dance, and their desire to share that passion were their motivations. In 2008, they built a small two-studio facility on N. Center Point Road in Hiawatha. They couldn’t have dreamed how fast their business would grow. Beginning with about 75 students in 2008, they have grown their studio to teach approximately 900 students. They offer classes in a variety of dance genres, including ballet, classical ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, hip hop and lyrical. Their students range from toddlers to adults.
Seeing an opportunity to bring consistent curriculum and safety to the area, Stephanie pursued a certification with the American Ballet Theatre in 2009. This is a rigorous training program focused on dancer health and development. Initially, they rejected her application, as she was very young at the time and it is typically attended by more seasoned instructors. Not taking no for an answer, she persisted because she felt strongly that it was for the good of their students at Dancer’s Edge.
Along the way, Charlie and Stephanie got married in September of 2010. By 2011, they had outgrown that first studio. Another studio, EDGE 2.0, was constructed in late 2011 at 1550 Hawkeye Drive. Charlie left his job as a software developer to run the growing business. Stephanie continued in her full-time position working in corporate finance at an insurance company, while providing dance instruction to hundreds of students, co-managing a staff of nearly 60 and securing master dance teachers from all over the world.
In June of last year, they broke ground on a major building expansion and this year, they have unveiled a new $1.3 million, 30,000 square-foot commercial building that has room for further expansion. It’s one of the largest private dance studios in America.
Always looking to advance opportunity, the Dancer’s Edge established a competitive dance group known as “The Company.” Over the past eight years, members have traveled throughout the Midwest, competing against some of the most outstanding performance teams in the nation. Company membership has increased from about 25 students in 2009, to over 90 today.
Like coaches across the sports spectrum, Charlie and Stephanie have devoted thousands of hours to improving the lives of their students by teaching them life skills that they will carry with them into their adult lives.
Charlie graduated from the University of Iowa in 2009, after having studied Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management and also holds a minor in Vocal Music Performance from Cornell College.
Stephanie is also a 2009 graduate from the University of Iowa, with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance, an Entrepreneurial Management Certificate and a minor in Dance.
This duo is an excellent example of local talent, educated here in Iowa, who have combined their passion and entrepreneurial spirit into a thriving and beneficial business in the Corridor.
Congratulations to these two young entrepreneurs on their success in building and growing The Dancer’s Edge.