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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Twyla Tharpe, Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey...is Gessell Frisbee next?

  • Love of dance, arts leads entrepreneur down path to opening her own studio
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  • When something has evolved out of a simple yet encompassing love it does so quietly and steadily, right before your eyes.
    Our paths often seem mapped out for us as we take our inevitable strides and those sweet, enduring dreams we clothe ourselves in as children may even come to pass.
    For Gessell Frisbee, 33, the path is unrelenting, never ephemeral in its unfolding. This coupled with an innate and absolute love not only of dance but of the arts is the vehicle that propels Gessell down her path and has brought her to her current place.
    A successful young woman, wife, mother, dancer, instructor and musician, inspiration came to her from pioneers such as the Emmy and Tony award winning Twyla Tharpe, the legacy of Martha Graham and work of activist and leader of modern dance Alvin Ailey.
    Frisbee has her own legacy to lovingly fulfill and she is doing so with an unadorned grace that is not only refreshing but admirable.
    When asked what her most personal form of dance is, she replies quickly “modern dance” which is also her favorite style of dance to teach to her highly revered students.
    Originally from Muncie, Ind., Frisbee’s passion for dance begins at the impressionable and determined age of 5. Also having resided in Massachusetts, California, Seattle, Wash., and Rolla, Frisbee immerses herself in the culture of dance, music and art that these locations so graciously offer.
    A dance performance major at Missouri State University, Frisbee utilizes her intense ambition, adoration of dance and her specialized education and joins the dance company oaklanDrive in Seattle. During this time Frisbee is forced to choose between her tenacious pursuit of dance and urgent family obligations at her one-time home of Rolla.
    During the fall of 2007 at the age of 27, Frisbee makes the immense decision to move back to Rolla. However her passion for dance and the arts does not suffer and it does not waiver.
    Settled in at home, Frisbee advances further on her destined path by renovating her home’s garage into a dance studio complete with a  dance floor. She begins teaching dance to equally passionate students and then branches out with the help of supportive, dedicated friends and family.
    What drives this seemingly meager beginning is the brainchild born from pure inspiration and talent known today as andFLEW! Studios, School for the Arts.
    This growth and development of a small seed of an idea is nothing short of exceptional. What Frisbee has cultivated is an inspiring, individualistic, unconstrained environment in which people can explore themselves and their unique interests in the arts.
    With the help of her husband Paul Frisbee, sister Grace Caudill and several other impassioned artists, andFLEW! Studios has expanded into a diversely rich and creative sanctuary for those who walk through its doors with a love of the arts.
    Page 2 of 2 - What is offered upon entering this studio is sure to satisfy the needs of each individual student in a warm and supportive way. Frisbee’s vision is to develop and encourage students to own the ability to tap in to their own unique power and creativity.
    This vision is alive deep in the spirit of students ranging from toddlers to those young at heart. Every skill level is welcome and a scholarship program is in place for dedicated students who are unable to commit financially.
    A free class week is offered at the first of each year with more than 35 classes to choose from. Donation classes are also held each week and all proceeds are contributed to the scholarship program.
    Community classes are also given and are the studio’s way of thanking participants for their support with free classes and workshops for all. This information can be found in the announcements section on the website, www.andflew.com. Visitors are also welcome to sign up for a free newsletter.
    The studio boasts a highly skilled and specifically educated faculty of 15 instructors that are not only experienced but supportive to each individual’s development and skill level.
    Specializing in classes ranging from ballroom dance taught by Frisbee’s husband Paul and fiddle instructed by her sister Grace, you can count on an inviting, family atmosphere at andFLEW! Studios.
    Upon my departure from this amazing and awe-inspiring person I feel a modest sense of accomplishment and courage emitting from Frisbee.
    She stands with a humble smile adorning her face and her thriving son Tanner in her arms. She has determination in her eyes and she is resolved in the satisfaction of the place that she has arrived at on her path.
    Classes are currently being offered in the areas of dance, art, music, martial arts, yoga and fitness. andFLEW! Studios, School for the Arts, is located at 717 N. Pine St. in Rolla and can be contacted by phone at 573-426-3656, by email at andflew@andflew.com, or at the website www.andflew.com.
    “You are unique, and if that is not fulfilled, then something has been lost.” — Martha Graham.

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