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Out on a Limb Dance Theater Company and School

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Community Stories

51 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

Out On A Limb enriches the lives of everyone who comes in contact with them. From the toddler learning his first somersault, the tap dancer who has come from shuffle ball step and solos for the first time a few years later to the professional choreographers and dancers who perform and contribute their talents and expertise. Performances are reimagined favorite popular shows to original works that transport you into fantasyland for a moment. This organization touches thousands of kids through the free performances that ignite young imaginations into believing they can make their dreams come true. Being part of Out On A Limb makes me feel I’m putting positivity out into the world.

Jeremy B.3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The members of this organization raised me as a performing artist since the age of 8. The Out on a Limb organization provides an environment where any child and adult can express their passion for dance through classes and performance. This is a one of a kind of place.

Client Served

Rating: 5

An amazing and supportive atmosphere for dancers of all ages and levels. With an emphasis on inclusion, this place offers dancers a place to be themselves.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I’ve been dancing here for 6 years and it has been an absolute dream! Out on a limb is my 2nd family I would never trade it for anything.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Out On a Limb is a second home for me! I grew up dancing here and always look forward to coming back. OOAL is full of love and dedication to its students. I have met so many life long friends and mentors here and could not be more grateful for everything OOAL has done for me!

Joy M.4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

OOAL is easily the greatest dance community I’ve ever been a part of. They welcome newcomers with open arms, immediately making you feel like a part of the family. The shows are extra fun to be a part of!

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is home away from home for my girls. The encouragement and support they receive and friendships they have made are priceless. We are blessed to have found this studio when we moved to the Cities, and I know there are so many more exciting adventures and opportunities to come.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a dancer and my children have grown up in the theater. I first found Out On A limb when searching for a dance studio for my oldest child when she asked if she could take dance classes herself at the age 4. Soon afterwards I realized that we had struck gold. 11 years later, all three of my children are dancing there and they are surrounded by a strong and supportive dance family. They are learning to love the art of dance and they are also learning to be wonderful role models for the young dancers and students following in their footsteps.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I’ve had a great experience all 7 years I’ve been at Out on a Limb! It’s like a family with supportive teachers and incredible dancers!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My wife and kids love dancing here. Everyone is so kind and welcoming. The instructors and students truly have the desire to help people express themselves through the art of dance. I see nothing but smiles on everyone’s faces whenever I’m there. I’d highly recommend this place to anyone - both seasoned dancers and newcomers. With much of my family actively involved here, it’s our home away from home and is like a second family.

1 Andrea K.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization does so much good for so many... a true labor of love!

1 Heather Mueller B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This studio is so much more than a place to just dance. It is a welcoming and loving home.

1 Clare M.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Out on a Limb is a dance company AND a family. After dancing at other studios for 15 years, I was welcomed with open arms at OOAL. I’ve been dancing with OOAL for 4 years now and I wish I would have found this incredible dance company sooner. I have made life long friends and mentors! OOAL sparks my passion for dance over and over again. I can’t say enough good things about this company!

1 Sara M.4

Client Served

Rating: 5

A true family atmosphere! My son dances here and absolutely loves the students, staff, company, older dancers, and the classes!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was certainly one of those people who was lucky enough to have Out on a Limb fall into my life. Circa 2006, I had recently graduated from high school, and subsequently graduated from 15+ years of time in a competitive dance studio. I wanted to keep dancing, but was not sure how to transition from the "learn a dance", perform it for competition, do the recital, etc. lifestyle. Mix that with starting college, and I wasn't sure if dance was part of my future. OOAL 100% changed how I saw dance. I slowly became a better performer, technician and found the joy that I had long been missing. There is a definite paucity of opportunities for young adults in the Twin Cities outside of majoring in dance, or diving into a contract. I fully appreciate that OOAL has been flexible with me, allowing me to have more or less involvement based on my career, life, injuries and needs without berating or repercussions. This is truly a community that I am so lucky to have. The above doesn't even start to do justice to what OOAL brings to the community at large or the younger people who walk through the doors. Inclusive, nurturing, age-appropriate, flexible, humble, loving, multi generational and creative come to mind.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Out on a Limb is an exceptional dance studio for students of ALL ages and abilities! They have allowed both of my daughters to thrive in a safe, supportive, encouraging, and challenging environment. Both girls have developed into fantastic dancers, but more importantly have been given the chance to learn to choreograph, advocate for themselves, and nurture friendships with others who truly love the art of dance. There is no other dance studio like Out on a Limb!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been lucky enough to dance with Out on a Limb (OOAL) for the majority of my life- about 14 years. When I couldn't afford to study dance at any other studio, the incredible staff at limb took me in and provided me with opportunities that have led to where I am today. I am currently a dance major at the University and still come back to OOAL whenever I can.
Limb is not just any studio, it is a community and a family. They do amazing work and there is no other experience equal to their student shows in the winter. Each winter they bring in students from local schools to see our performances for free. A lot of people see these shows as most beneficial to the children seeing them, but I strongly believe that the kids and staff performing on stage are getting just as great of an experience. Being on stage with hundreds of kids yelling, laughing, and cheering you on is unlike anything else.
Excuse my long response, but my love for this company is unparalleled. When I loose sight of my passion for dance or feel uninspired, I can always come back to OOAL and find it again.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

First of all, I have been dancing with Out on a Limb for about 10 years now and I would never want to change that. OOAL is not only a place where I can be myself and express who I am, it is also a home and the people there are my family. The teachers at OOAL are teaching me something that I love, and they have made it possible for me to follow my passion where I would not be able to anywhere else. The support and love I have been given from the students, teachers, (and company members), is remarkable. This company will forever be part of my life and forever be in my heart.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We love Out on a Limb! Our son and daughter take tap, jazz, ballet, acro and hip hop classes at OOAL. They have grown so much in their dance and their ability to tell a story through dance. My son says that he loves that the teachers are open to new ideas and that if you make a mistake they help you fix it. My daughter says that the teachers are nice and they teach me many things and if you don't understand something they work with you to help you fix it. We like that OOAL includes everyone at all levels. It is a safe place to explore dance.

Client Served

Rating: 5

OOAL is our dance home! All of the staff and dancers nurture our daughters' positive self-esteem and quest for dance excellence. All dancers experience top-notch dance teaching and superior public dance performances. We are never leaving OOAL!

CallaMcDermott

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been dancing at Out on a Limb for five years now and when I look back on the years, i don't think there was ever a time where I felt disconnected from the community. Whenever I needed something someone was there to help me and I am very grateful for that. I am also very thankful for OOAL's scholarship program because without it I would not be able to afford my dance training. Lastly thank you to all of the members of the board who made Out on a Limb what it is today!

Client Served

Rating: 5

It began with my 5 year old wanting to take a dance class. We soon learned, that Out on a Limb is more than a place for lessons, they are a family of dancers who seek to bring out the dancer in us all. Dance has become a passion, a driving force for my daughter. And, we are grateful for the tremendous support we've received from her 2nd family at Out on a Limb.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We've been going to Out on a Limb for about 4 years. It was recommended to us by a friend who knew we were unhappy with another studio. The other studio was expensive, there was almost no community building and the teachers, while good, just went from one class to another without any real connection to the parents. Our experience at OOAL was immediately different. It is very much like family. The level of support our daughter gets is phenomenal. The dancers are quite supportive of each other and the older, more experienced dancers do take time to encourage the younger ones. The instructors and staff are so flexible and welcoming; I just can't say enough. In addition to a very warm and welcoming atmosphere, the instructors are top notch; my daughter has learned and progressed so much.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughters had such a positive, formative experience while attending classes at Out on a Limb. My older daughter had attended classes at other schools prior, she would become frustrated with the repetition needed to develop discipline and ask to quit. The teachers at Out on a Limb create a learning environment where students support each other to do their best, regardless of difference in ability. This promoted persistence and belief in themselves, crossing over to other areas of their lives.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love watching the shows. They're both fun and inspiring to watch.
This school also had an opportunity for me to get back in to dance as an adult, and it was a wonderful experience!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Out On a Limb provided my sister and I with a loving home and family when life was extremely difficult. They supported us and helped us grow with compassion and creativity. Not only were they accepting of our (literal) poor circumstances, but they also extended their love and support to our father, who had trouble maintaining a job due to mental health issues. They truly encourage a sense of community among all of their dancers and their families. OOAL is a beautiful place full of genuinely kind people!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Out on a Limb is an absolutely affirming and welcoming place for every child and person. I was looking for a dance studio that was low pressure, body affirming, with kind teachers, and a friendly environment, and that is EXACTLY what I found in Out on a Limb. As Amber stated at the recital this spring, Every BODY can dance and they really live and breathe that philosophy. My daughter started at age 3 and she's loved it! Bonus, they even have volunteers that make the costumes for recitals so there are no extra fees. I love that it's a non profit and their goal is to make dance accessible to all. Their mission makes the dance studio a truly beautiful place for everyone!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Out On A Limb Dance Company & School has given my daughter a place to shine and show her true spirit. The staff at OOAL inspire young dancers to not only celebrate dance but to be engaged citizens in their community and to treat each other with kindness and respect. OOAL truly lives the mission that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE can dance. This dance studio makes it possible for every BODY to live to their full potential through dance. I am truly fortunate to have found such a wonderful studio for my young daughter. I will shout it to the world that OOAL is the most amazing dance studio I have ever been a part of and it has become a second family to our family. Thank you OOAL for all you do!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Out on a Limb is a great place for students who want to learn to dance well while also gaining a love of dance. The environment is positive (kid positive, body positive, dancer positive, parent positive) and supportive. The instruction is also thoughtful and well-balanced between the art of dance and the craft of dance. The shows they stage are beautiful and expressive but also allow students of every age a chance to participate. Our family has been connected to OOAL for more than ten years, and the experience has meant a tremendous amount to all of us.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughter & granddaughter currently dance with Out On A Limb, and this fall another granddaughter will be joining them. As I have taken my granddaughter to rehearsals, been to recitals & other spectacular performances, I have learned the most beautiful philosophy behind Out On A Limb: That ALL should be given the opportunity to dance!!!
Having always had a love for all things 'dance' this makes my heart happy. At Out On A Limb, it's not about the prettiest tutu, the best photographer, the chachka to purchase or glamorous sets. It's ALL about the girls/boys, women/men and their desire to dance.
Out On A Limb goes out of their way to give everyone a chance to participate by offering free classes on occasion & going into areas that may not have such programs and offering workshops. They also open the performances up to others that may never experience the joy of live shows by performing at alternative venues such as a mall.
As if this was not all enough, I will close with my favorite piece of Out On A Limb, their humility. They do not put on a show of Glitz & Glam. They hold up to the light their DANCERS. By not making it about expensive costumes or training clones to compete, you see & notice each unique & beautiful dancer; their character, their smile, their technique, their beauty & grace.
Affording this gift to all is priceless, & if I'm honest I can barely leave a rehearsal without a tear in my eye, for this kind dedication. Sue Ann Laier

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our son fell in love with dance because of the environment created at Out on A Limb. We were encouraged to join the family by our friends and we continue to encourage our friends to do the same.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I absolutely love the mission of the dance school. My daughter is young and I was looking for some place open and accepting that really cares about the group dynamic of the dancers first. We have had really wonderful teachers and you can tell they put their students and parents first on their priority list.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Wonderful dance school! My daughter started out taking summer classes and loved it so much that she joined the Performing Arts Ensemble that Fall and danced 4 days per week. She has grown so much as a dancer and as a person. OOAL focuses on performance dance, not competition. She has made lifelong friends!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a professional dancer in the Twin Cities who has worked in NYC and in regional theaters across the country. I am also a product of Out on a Limb Dance Company. The two pillars of the organization, Kim Martinez and Amber Erling Keeley create an atmosphere of support and excellence that students and families are drawn to. Beyond that, the fundamentals and skills students learn while participating directly relate to the demands of the professional world. I would not be the success I am today without the influence Out on a Limb has had on my life.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We love everything about Out on a Limb. Great instructors, excellent technique, supportive environment. My favorite part though is the constant commitment by everyone in the studio that all bodies and people can be dancers. It is just breathtaking to watch

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 11 year old daughter has loved dancing at Out On A Limb for the last 2 years!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter is a student here currently and absolutely loves it. The teachers are wonderful, it a welcoming and warm place. Every one seems to be very supportive of each other with none of the competitive nonsense I have seen with other dance schools. It's just such a unique place and the dancers are all very well trained. We love it and plan on continuing here for many years.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have known the people who started this Dance company/school since inception and this is the school wherever everyone can dance and shine. I know several dancers and it is a little village. This is the place you want YOUR child to experience any type of creative movement.

Client Served

Rating: 5

OOAL is an EXCEPTIONAL place to dance, learn and grow. I have always felt welcome and a part of something larger. OOAL puts on shows with auditions open to the public. That means anyone, regardless of experience, is welcome.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has been a student at OOAL for a number of years now, and may very well be on to a career in dance. Limb is her 2nd home. The environment there is incredibly positive and student-focused. They put the students' personal growth first, pure and simple. No politics (that I see or hear), no drama, just a group of people that really care about the kids. Along with their classes, they offer great performance opportunities throughout the year. OOAL is not just a business or studio, its a "cause" that everyone enjoys being part of!

Marcey M.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Out on a Limb Dance Company and School is an organization that serves the community on many different levels. One of the most amazing experiences as one of the founders and Board vice president of Out on a Limb, is raising the money to bring in thousands of school children to come and see our shows for free. It is an experience that drops me to my knees year after year. Seeing a full auditorium of children so delighted to see a show that is put on for them is life-changing. In my heart I also know that it is life-changing for them as well. I also feel it is a life-changing experience for those that come dance with us. We are inclusive. There are so many great things that Out on a Limb Dance Company and School offers its dancers, teachers and audiences. It is all done out of the love in our hearts by wanting to bring a positive, fun, artistic outlet to those involved in the company and school, and to those that come see our shows. If you want to dance, come dance with us.

Maja F.

Client Served

Rating: 5

OOAL truly lives up to its mission of ensuring that dance is within everyone's reach. From its scholarships to public student performances to accepting students of all abilities, OOAL inspires everyone to open themselves up to the beauty of dance. OOAL is so much more than a dance studio; it is a creative, inspirational community of staff and students who support each other's growth as dancers and people. My daughter has been dancing there for four years and it has honestly changed her life; she now attends a high school for performing artists. We are SO lucky to have found OOAL!

Denise17

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughters have taken dance and karate at OOAL for over 3 years. We came on the recommendation of an old friend and we are not only thrilled with the quality of the program, we are PROUD to have the privilege of working with Kim, Amber, Sarah, Allie and all of the others great people at OOAL. The high quality, low pressure, anti-hootchie-mama environment was just what we were looking for--and that was just the beginning.

Mickey H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My son has been dancing at OoaL Dance Studios for going on 10 years. Their mission and, more importantly, their execution to bring dance to everyone regardless of age, ability or social status is very impressive. The love and support they offer their students would best be described as a family type atmosphere. Everyone, student and faculty alike, encourages creativity, acceptance, and cooperation. I appreciate everything they have done for my son and believe OoaL has been a major influence in him becoming the thoughtful man he is today.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been teaching at OOAL for several years now and I absolutely 100% love it here. I think the dancers here are encouraged to grow with alot of love and support. The creativity here is brilliant. I adore the kids and staff and feel like it is one big family.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love this place and am so committed to it's process. This is a place where children should be.

Kim_14

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 7 year old has been dancing at Out on a Limb for going on 3 years, starting as a preschooler. We fell into this studio because of it's location initially. But knowing what I know now about other dance studios, I feel like we won the dance studio lottery! This is such a nurturing environment bringing joy to movement for any and all. I cannot say enough about the staff and their approach. I love how the kids encourage each other and it's non-competitive. I've never seen an age inappropriate costume on a child there.

Margo L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Where do I begin? After 3 different dance studios, I didn't even know what I was looking for, until Out On A Limb fell in our lap. The healthy environment is created from the top down. Our family values mesh beautifully with this entire studio. I have a 7th grade daughter and for 5 years she has always come home happy from dance. As a result, their shows beam with pride and a love for dance. Outstanding life lessons are being taught and I'm incredibly grateful that she is so appreciated by her instructors and fellow dancers. What a blessing.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was a student of Amber Keeley's at another dance studio when I was very young, and when she left with a group of dancers and teachers to begin Out on a Limb, I was heartbroken. I followed them to a little studio on Como Avenue and found myself in a beautiful, loving, supportive environment where dance is not a competition, but an art, and an individual process. Since then, they have moved into a beautiful space on Larpenteur, and every year they perform for thousands of schoolchildren, exposing the world to dance in ways that I have always admired. Out on a Limb, if I could describe it in one word-- the experience, the company, the growth that I have received as a person and a dancer-- is family. They are a lovely group of people and I am blessed to have known them.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter wanted to dance. We were at a school auction and saw 6 weeks of dance lessons. So I bid. That was 6 years ago. My daughter always wants to do her best and succeed. At Out on a Limb she can do that without the pressure of competition. The students are like a family. They work together to assist each other to be their best. They encourage each other. She has learned so much. She has poise, confidence and grace that goes into her daily life.

1 Gretchen G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found out about Out on a Limb Dance Company from a former student of mine at the U of M. She had mentioned that she was a dancer, and I bemoaned the fact that I could not find a dance school that didn't overemphasize competition and/or the more egregious beauty pageant aspects of dance. My older daughter had been at two studios already and really just wanted to learn to dance, not simply learn ONE specific dance for a specific show and then spend hundreds of dollars on costumes and shoes for the occasion. Out on a Limb focuses on dance skills and dance performance as cooperation, not as competition. The instructors offer instruction to all the students wherever they are in their dance process, with whatever bodies they have for dancing (and stage acrobatics!) It is a healthy and nurturing environment for dancers. Both of my daughters dance there, both in weekly classes, as well as the more public ballet the school mounts every spring (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, March 1,2,3, 2012. Don't miss it!) I have been privileged enough to be able to offer my skills in costume design and production for a few shows, and it has been very rewarding for me as well as my children. This dance school is such an asset to our community!