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Tropical Ballroom going 'mobile'

Tropical Ballroom owners James and Tricia Wood perform at last year's Woodbury Community Expo. Staff photo by Riham Feshir

A popular dance studio in Woodbury is closing up shop to become completely "mobile."

Tropical Ballroom owners Tricia and James Wood announced last week they will no longer hold classes and events at their Valley Creek Mall location.

"We spent the holidays looking at our calendar and we are booked solid offsite," Tricia Wood said. "Business has shifted."

The dance instructors and performers will continue to have private lessons at clients' homes, public places like Central Park, community centers and other local businesses.

The Woods said they could no longer accommodate larger events and parties at their ballroom after they moved last year to a smaller studio within the mall.

They still continued to perform at various other locations around the Twin Cities from country clubs and galas, to corporate functions and fundraisers.

"After we made the move a year ago from the bigger space, the demand for us is still huge, I mean bigger than ever, but not in our studio," Tricia Wood said, adding, "We can potentially be six days a week offsite ... if we're booked so much offsite, why have the studio?"

Tropical Ballroom will soon change names as well, since it will no longer be a "ballroom studio," she added.

They're thinking of naming the new "mobile" studio "Dance and Entertainment," she said.

With their portable equipment always ready for set up, Wood said the couple can easily have music anywhere they go if the venue doesn't already have a sound system.

"Everything we do we can do anywhere," she said. "Load up music on an iPod and here we go."

Tropical Ballroom opened in Woodbury's Valley Creek Mall about four years ago.

The business used to occupy a large space before it moved to allow for Ace Hardware's expansion in late 2011.

Tricia and James Wood still credit that original spot for giving them their start and contributing to their success.

"The first space, it was our dream, it was our baby," she said.

When they moved they figured they'd downsize smarter. They planned to be in there for years to come.

It just wasn't big enough for the demand out there.

"We can't host those events, but people still want us," she said. "So they hire us to come to them."

James and Tricia Wood will soon begin teaching private and group classes at Central Park, Maplewood Community Center and Primrose School of Woodbury.

The couple will also begin teaching a community education course in New Richmond, Wis., starting this spring, in addition to various other events they already have on their calendar for every Friday and Saturday night this year.

The Woods also have more places and contracts with local businesses lined up so they can use those spaces for classes.

"They've got space and we've got people," Tricia Wood said. "People can still come to our classes without having to have a facility of their own."

Riham Feshir
Riham Feshir is a reporter and photographer for the Woodbury Bulletin. Her coverage includes Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news.  Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.