Suzy Goodin is responsible for a lot of shooting stars in Carlton County. Not so much for the astrological ones, but for those found dancing around the area and competitively on stages around the region.
Teaching dance since 1999 through Becky’s Dance Studio in Cloquet, Goodin started the Shooting Stars Dance program in 2002 to bring dance to people in more rural parts of the county through community education.
“When you’re born and raised in Wright, you’re used to driving,” Goodin said with a smile. “I wanted to make it easier for people to try dancing closer to home.”
While she still offers community education courses and camps, in 2004 Goodin started another branch of dance – Becky’s Dance Competition Team – and the dancers involved are starting to shine pretty bright in competitive dance circles.
“It evolved out of two classes I was teaching,” she explained. “I just put some of the more skilled dancers together in a group, started working with them and thought it would be great if they could get out and perform.”
So Goodin did some research and found dance competitions in Superior and in Bloomington, Minn, for the team, which then consisted of 10 girls.
It took a lot of work and help from her husband, Lucas Goodin, to take kids K-12, complete with costumes, music and makeup, overnight to Bloomington, but when she saw them perform, it was worth it.
“It always amazes me when I see [our dancers] on stage and they take my breath away with how spectacular they perform - I can never believe that I taught them how to do that!” Goodin said.
For the first time last year, several of the teams qualified at the Bloomington Spotlight competition event for nationals in Branson, Mo., and Goodin gladly made arrangements and helped raise funds for the dancers to attend.
This year, with 35 dancers, her teams in jazz, tap and modern dance have qualified again.
“The competition team is very much my passion,” Goodin said. “I love to give the girls the opportunities that they wouldn’t have otherwise.”
Goodin herself never really danced competitively, although she began dancing at Becky’s Dance Studio while in elementary school. Her older sisters, Rosalyn and Angela, danced as well.
Although they all loved it, Goodin said her parents, Mark and Linda Dahlman, don’t claim their talent came from them.
“My mom actually took some community education dance classes but she’s the first to claim our skills don’t come from her,” Goodin said with a laugh.
Goodin’s sister Angela teaches community education dance classes in Cromwell.
Goodin learned tap, jazz and ballet dance and remembers dancing through the hallways of Cromwell-Wright school as a youngster.
“Me and my friends – one was also in dance – would practice in school,” she said. “Once we got yelled at for tapping in the [class] line. Once you learn how, you can’t really stand still. It’s addicting.”
After Goodin graduated from high school in 2001, she had already spent her senior year attending Lake Superior College and living in Duluth.
“I kind of had the college experience while I was still technically a senior in high school,” she said. “I had a job a UPS, too, all while still taking dance classes.”
She then attended University of Minnesota Crookston, thinking she would be an equine major.
“It was way the heck out in the middle of nowhere,” she said, “where the snow flies sideways because it’s always windy.”
Suffice it to say it wasn’t for her. Goodin came back to Wright after a semester, attended University of Minnesota Duluth next but could not get into the graphic design program there.
Finally, she found an online school – Westwood College – based in Colorado and it was a perfect fit.
“I just lived at home and did that and I loved it,” she said.
Goodin graduated with a degree in graphic design and multimedia in 2004 and traveled to Colorado for the ceremony.
During those years, she was able to teach at Becky’s Dance Studio as well.
She now has her own business, Goodin Graphic Design, and works at Cromwell-Wright School as the library media assistant. She also worked in the graphic design department at the Pine Journal from 2006-2007.
Dance is never too far from her mind, however, as she drives to Cloquet several times a week to teach.
It’s easy to say Goodin’s husband, Lucas, who is a paramedic, should have known what he was getting into marrying Suzy. The two met when he moved to Cromwell-Wright school during junior high. When he proposed in 2003, it was onstage after one of Goodin’s solo dance performances at Cloquet High School.
“He’s been dragged to dance recitals ever since,” she said. “Now he does all the music for them.”
Lucas also helps keep track of their 17-month-old daughter, Kieriahna while mom is busy with her dancers. He is even taking Kieriahna to her first dance class and she loves it, according to Goodin.
“If we put her in her dance outfit, she points to the radio,” she said.