When Kelly Peckholdt put on her ballet slippers for the first time over 20 years ago, she probably never imagined that she would one day own the dance studio she was being taught at in Babylon Village. However, that's exactly the case as the West Islip resident takes the helm at the over 40-year-old .
"I grew up here and the previous owner and I had a great relationship," she said. "The owner took me into the back office... and she wanted me, if I wanted to, to take over for her."
She added with a laugh: "It was such a crazy thing to think of, especially being so young and I'm also a teacher – I have a lot going on."
She started dancing when she was three years old at Positions.
"I used to stand at the back door screaming and crying waiting for my mom back then," she laughed. "A few years later though I said, 'Hey Mom, I want to be a ballerina again.'" Peckholdt continued classes up through high school.
"I really am a ballerina at heart," she said. While in college, she continued to study dance and even auditioned with the Radio City Rockettes.
"I always wanted to try it for fun and it was a really interesting experience."
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After finishing up college, Peckholdt returned to Long Island and began teaching dance classes at the studio again.
Positions Dance Studio has been in Babylon Village since 1971, although originally under a different name. Peckholdt becomes the fourth owner of the studio – she noted with a laugh she started when the second owner was still there.
With the fall approaching, the studio has been gearing up for another year full of happy feet and pointed toes.
"It's been a whirlwind couple of months getting everything up and running," Peckholdt said. The studio is currently undergoing renovations as the fall dance season approaches.
She said the studio will be trying out some new classes this year trying to keep everyone interested. Peckholdt said a special needs class with an ever-changing topic for each class.
"We'll do whatever the kids feel like – they want ballet, we'll do some ballet; tap, we'll do tap," she said. The studio is also adding Irish Step-dancing and kickline preparation for younger girls. The students' choice for a new class this year is the popular breakdancing lessons.
"They are really excited to try it out!"
The studio will be hosting an on Saturday, August 25th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. All residents are encouraged to stop on in and check out free 30 minute introduction classes. If you end up enjoying the class, Positions will waive their registration fee for the year!