You could say that dancing is Anita Converse's life, but over time, it's also become her livelihood.
Nestled in a small plaza behind Rockne's on West Market Street, and , both owned by Converse, have seen dancers come and go. So many, in fact, that both spaces are busting at the seems.
A couple months ago, Converse's dance studio moved out of the cozy studio space that was next door to the boutique and into the building at the front of the plaza overlooking West Market.
"It's up higher and there's more natural light for the dancers," Converse said. "It's right on the street and people can see us dancing up here."
The new studio is still a work in progress and requires a little TLC before Converse can call it complete. But dancers are already hustling the nights away in the space.
Converse has roughly 200 dancers go in and out of the studio weekly and she's always looking for more. She offers classes ballroom, Latin and Argentine Tango. Each class is taught by Converse.
"Dancing has so many benefits to do with health," Converse said. "It's physical, emotional and spiritual. It's a form of self expression and everyone needs expression and human connection and there's not enough of that today."
She added, "Dancing should be treated as a necessity, not a luxury."
Converse is still working on a plan for the boutique, whether it be to move into the new space, or expand where it is now. She offers a wide variety of shoes, and has a smaller selection of accessories and clothing.
On March 24, Converse will host a free ballroom dancing class for students in ninth through 12th grade. The class will start at 1 p.m. Boys and girls are encouraged to attend, and Converse asks that they call 330-867-4444 to RSVP.