Mission & History

The mission of Dancing for Joy is to provide quality dance instruction for every student while encouraging movements and motivations that glorify our Maker. Our goal is to create a positive learning environment for students of all ages and both genders, to develop a deeper appreciation for the performing arts.

Achieving that Mission

  • We are non-competitive yet professional.
  • We provide a healthy and safe outlet for young dancers to expand strengths, work on weaknesses, and build confidence in a loving and encouraging environment.
  • We maintain a high standard of commitment to technique in our classes.
  • We use choreography, music, and costumes that are appropriate.
  • We place an emphasis on using dance as a way to serve God and others.

With one student, a beautiful three year-old who loved to dance, DFJ began in April of 1998 under the arts program at Hillcrest Chapel in Bellingham.  By the end of the year, DFJ had fifteen students ranging from ages three to thirteen.  From January through May of 1999 DFJ continued to grow.  The spring session ended with 30 students. 

In July of 1999, Kurt and Maluhia were married, and moved to Seattle for a couple of years to finish Kurt’s education at Seattle Pacific University.  Maluhia danced with a company in Seattle, called Fusion Dance Company, and taught dance classes at Fusion Dance Company and at Rainer Dance Studio.  During her time in Seattle, some DFJ students continued to take lessons at Hillcrest and at other dance schools in Bellingham. 

In January of 2002, Kurt and Maluhia moved back up to Bellingham and the DFJ program began again at Hillcrest Chapel.  The winter session started with 90 students registered while the fall session (September-December 2002), had over 150 students.  This would soon prove to be too many students to continue to dance on carpet at hillcrest chapel.  

As DFJ continued to grow, God led Kurt and Maluhia to venture out into the community, to fulfill a need in bellingham, and they opened up their own dance studio.  They became an official business in December of 2002.  In January 2003, DFJ’s first studio opened, located in the Discovery Park Business Square in a space that was 850 square feet.  After six months, DFJ outgrew that space and relocated to our current location in the Hannegan Square where we nearly tripled our space.  In the fall of 2006, we had over 350 students hours!  DFJ expanded next door to create a third studio, a larger waiting room, office, and staff lounge during the summer of 2007.  Dancing For Joy currently has over 700 student hours and over 400 different students. 

Thank you to friends, family and God almighty for leading and guiding this adventure through the ups and downs of business ownership!