Call it a building block that helps Lynn rest on a solid foundation. Call it an enduring presence binding generations of Lynn residents together. Donna’s Dance Studio fits all of these descriptions and more with its 45-year history and the dedication to Lynn shown by dance teacher Donna Estes.
Estes teaches ballet, tap, Irish step and a dozen dances designed to instill coordination into young feet and teach discipline and perseverance. Her love for dance is intertwined with her love of Lynn. An English High School graduate, she opened her business at the age of 18.
Her mother was a dancer who performed in the long-gone Capitol Theatre and her father was a musician.
Estes takes prides in her creative heritage but her source of pride in her studio is not founded in launching would-be stars or trying to get a young dancer positioned to be discovered. She loves the fact that her kids cement friendships in dance class and grow up together through the teenage years and into adulthood.
Her success in staying in business and her familiarity with so many Lynn families makes Estes a strong community contributor. The great news for Lynn is that the city has dozens of people like Donna Estes who run businesses for decades and, in the process, build a network of friends and loyal customers who, in turn, contribute to the community.
The city is that much stronger because of the family connection to these businesses and because local establishments like Donna’s Dance Studio represent part of the fun of growing up in a city like Lynn.
Estes is a role model not only to young dancers but to all young entrepreneurs who are wondering if they can take that big step into starting and running a business. She opened her studio armed with her mother’s dance experience and her degree from English.
Commitment, optimism and support from a caring community helped her build her studio and make it an important part of family life in Lynn. Estes stayed loyal to her city because she believed in Lynn and the promise it has to offer people who work hard and treat other people right.
She stayed in the city and kept her business small even as she attracted hundreds of kids to dance classes and provided laughs for plenty of parents. Estes might send a future Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers onto the big stage someday but those success stories will pale in comparison to the hundreds of children who took her classes and say today, “I had a lot of fun growing up in Lynn.”