Aerial dance studio Lofty Life will likely soon have a new home in a converted barn in the town of Walworth.
The city and county have given their blessing for the aerial dance studio to move into the barn at N2450 County Road O which once housed Everything Homespun.
There are only a few more steps in the buying process before Williams Bay middle school teacher Kelsey Hartland has a new Lofty Life aerial dance studio to teach aerial acrobatics. The sale is expected to close on March 11, which will be followed by some renovations to keep the studio running.
That new studio will be in Walworth, just outside of Delavan, a location she calls perfect because it’s a circus town.
“It will provide more space and after our construction, better height,” Hartland said. “Currently we are in a 700 square foot space with 14 foot ceilings. We are looking to be in 1,500 square feet with 20-25 foot ceilings.
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Instructor Kelsey Hartland demonstrates a move in the ring at Lofty Life Studio. After a long search, Hartland found a new, bigger studio…
She is grateful for the studio she has in Lake Geneva, but she is eager to move because it has been a long process.
“I’m so excited I can’t even describe it,” Hartland said. “It will be so awesome how many programs we can offer in a bigger space and have more students than we can reach.”
Hartland said she consistently had about 60 people walking through the studio each week to sign up with an additional waitlist. Katie Campbell and Lauren Hudson, who are also teachers at Williams Bay, now also teach at his studio.
“In the fall of 2020 I started looking for space and nothing was available with the ceilings and space I was looking for and the price range I was looking for,” she said. “We’ve walked all the failed paths in the last year, so it’s so good to have walked that path through this project.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly caused people a lot of stress over the past few years and it’s no different for teachers. Having the opportunity to teach aerobatics has been an escape for her and her students.
“I feel that myself, and I hear that from my child and adult students all the time,” Hartland said. “For some reason, as soon as you turn around, all your stress disappears and all the crazy stuff in the outside world just isn’t a problem anymore.”
That goes especially for Hartland who has been hanging upside down in aerobatics for years. She started as a dance education major at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois, and changed majors during her time there to math education. But she maintained her endorsement in teaching dance to get involved in a circus the school provided.
“It evolved a lot from there. After school, I went through several pre-professional training programs, virtually and in person for my teacher training,” she said. “I coached a circus camp in Skokie, Illinois, which I was the director of, and then started a program through the Williams Bay Recreation Department at Williams Bay Elementary School.”
Once the pandemic hit, she said she needed to find her own space and learned how to be a business owner. Now, in 2022, with her day-to-day duties of teaching college, renting and moving house to house, running a business and preparing to teach aerobatics in a much larger studio, she calls this a dream come true.
“That’s pretty much what we were looking to do so I could run my studio and we would also have a little house on the property,” Hartland said. “It’s exactly what my husband and I dreamed of. It’s different than we might have originally imagined, but it will work amazingly for what me and my husband wanted. We are very excited for what is to come.
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