The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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August 17, 2013

Steppin' With Stacey celebrates 30 years


“I started across the street from Rastrellis in ‘83 then about five years later I moved to the 200 Main Avenue location,” Hagge said.

After a fire in May 2007 destroyed Hagge’s second studio, distinguished by its anterior, plate-glass windows, the studio once again moved east toward the river to its current location at 81 Main Ave.

Now, in her third year at the location, Hagge feels content with her studio and all the things she and her dancers have accomplished in the years. The awards and trophies displayed along the walls in the studio attest to Hagge’s pride and satisfaction.

One thing she attributes that success to is her constant drive to push herself and her students to the next level.

“I’m still very passionate about dance and sometimes Marian and I have to stay on the younger girls to try to keep up with us big dogs,” laughed Hagge. “I always say, ‘I’m out here doing it, you can do it too.’”

Marian Bernstorf, Hagge’s closest friend and point dance instructor, has been by her side for the last 25 years at the Steppin’ With Stacey studio, but she is not alone.

Mary Hansen, who has danced with Hagge since the studio opened in 1983, is not only her sister-in-law, but considers Hagge to be one of her best friends.

“She’s one of the most generous people that I know,” Hansen said. “Everybody loves her; she’s just a great person.”

The connections Hagge has made in her 30 years are ones that will last a lifetime, and for many of her students, she is not only a teacher and mentor, but a family member and a friend.

Justine Lind has danced for Hagge for 24 years and said the things Hagge taught her in dance, are aspects that she applies to her every day life.

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