Lincoln DanceCentre offers dance classes for students ages 3 through adult who are looking for recreational or pre-professional dance education. Monya DeBoer is a dance instructor and co-owner of Lincoln DanceCentre (www.lincolndancecentre.com).
Tell us a little about your business. – Co-founded with Sarah Brown, Lincoln DanceCentre initially began as Conservatory of Contemporary Dance in 2005. We believe every student, no matter what their goals are in dance, should have access to high quality instruction. The foundation of our program is Classical Ballet and Modern and is supplemented with classes in Contemporary, Tap, and Jazz. This year we also started a program in Hickman.
How did you get started in the business? – My initial career path was pursuing a professional performance career. I had already begun accepting contracts and performing when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. A 3-year battle followed with surgeries and treatments. The diagnosis significantly changed what my long term career goals were as health insurance is not offered for most performance contracts, so I started my career path in the corporate world. As I was finishing treatments and returning to dance classes, I met my business partner Sarah Brown. She was also transitioning from a professional performance career. An opportunity presented itself to start a studio and it was the perfect way to continue in the field of dance.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? – Finally leaving the corporate environment a year and a half ago and making my entire focus the dance studio. I had worked in HR for a significant portion of the time I have owned the studio. Balancing a full-time position, family, and being a business owner meant I had limited extra time to devote to business development. The transition has allowed for us to begin a new location in Hickman and I am able to surround myself with my biggest passion, dance and arts education.
What has been your most important achievement professionally? – Being a positive part of so many students’ lives as a mentor and coach.
Tell us a little about your family. – My husband Jason is a Senior Software Developer at TEAM Software in Omaha and is an avid soccer fan. My two step children, Emma (16) and Nick (14) attend East High School and both play soccer. My daughter Julianna (5) loves dance, soccer, and Crossfit Kids. We are a very active family and can usually be found at one of the kids’ sporting events. Our newest addition is a sheepadoodle Koda who has lots of energy!
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? – My cancer diagnosis. I was young and in my early 20’s. When other people my age were focusing on starting their careers and relationships, I was making decisions about treatment plans, surgeries, and cancer centers. It was a very serious time, but it did put in perspective the value of friends, family, and what is truly important in life.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? – In my free time, I coach and participate in Crossfit. I love the element of competing and the challenge of engaging in a sport that is so different from my dance training.
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? – I grew up in San Diego and love ocean kayaking, snorkeling, and sand volleyball.
What is your favorite local restaurant? – Sebastian’s Table and Goldenrod Pastries.