Dance studio

Marquette dance studio owner retires after 41 years

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) — The owner of a Marquette dance studio is retiring, leaving behind a lasting legacy.

The students of the Marquette Center for Dance are taking some time after preparing for their final ballet recital on Friday to say a final thank you to owner Lynn Bolitho, or as the kids call her, Miss Lynn.

Bolitho has owned the studio for over 40 years, leaving a lasting impression on young dancers like Amelia Bishop.

“I think Miss Lynn’s legacy is one of years of hard work, years of dedication to her students,” Bishop said. “She’s invested so much in teaching us everything she knows about ballet, everything she knows about life and gave me some really meaningful time in her studio.”

Bishop says a memory comes back to her from her time with Marquette Center for Dance.

“We would have these summer intensives, spending all this time in the studio with Miss Lynn working so hard. She pushed us to do our best and that really exemplifies the time I spent with her,” Bishop said.

Bolitho received extensive dance training as a child. When she was 13, she auditioned to join the Royal Ballet and was accepted but was unable to attend.

She opened her studio in Marquette in 1981. Bolitho says the dance studio has been her home and she hopes it has inspired her students.

“I hope I have conveyed my passion for ballet and the desire that they always do their best,” said Bolitho.

One of the studio’s assistants, Jeremiah Ogawa, explains that Bolitho’s lessons go far beyond ballet.

“I quit dancing in 2019, but I helped with the classes. I feel like she picked me up and really supported me and gave me a place to go,” said said Ogawa.

Bolitho says the show will continue even after his stint at the Marquette Center for Dance is over.

“Everyone has to retire someday and as my mum always told my dad that the air force will exist after you retire, ballet will exist after I retire,” Bolitho said.

Bolitho leaves behind big shoes to fill but hopes to sell Marquette Center for Dance to someone who shares his passion for ballet.

The the last recital is at 7 p.m. at Kaufman Auditorium and tickets are available before the show at the Marquette Masonic Center’s Second Skin Shop or onsite the night of the show.

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