Metropolitan Dance Alliance opened more than 50 years ago in Shakopee. The dance studio is owned by Jennifer Carlson, who took over in 2016 and who grew up dancing at the studio.

Carlson said the studio is committed to building well-rounded children and young adults in dancing and in life.

“Our dedication and long-standing commitment to every dancer inspires students to be the best they can be,” Carlson said.

The dance studio offers a wide array of classes to meet students with varying skill levels.

The studio has also raised tens of thousands of dollars for various nonprofits.

The other finalists were Bauer Fine Arts Academy in Jordan, Center Stage Dance Studio in Prior Lake, Chaska School of Dance in Chaska, Dance Arts Centre in Chanhassen, Prairie School of Dance in Eden Prairie, Premiere Dance Academy in Prior Lake, River Valley Dance Academy in Chaska, Shana’s Dance Studio in Savage, The Dance Warehouse in Chanhassen and Waconia Dance Company in Waconia.

Maggie Stanwood was born and raised in small-town Iowa before moving to Wyoming in middle school. After her brief stint in the Wild West, she attended the University of Missouri - Columbia, where she graduated in May 2017 with a Bachelors in Journalism.

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