New life for the Lyndwood

Building to house SW School of Dance, Prestige Gymnastics and a restaurant

LYND – The Lyndwood is back in business. The business of health and hard work that is. The Lyndwood Center in Lynd is comprised of the Southwest School of Dance, Prestige Gymnastics, and a yet-to-be-named restaurant.

Larvita McFarquhar bought the SWSD from Charlotte Wendel, who will stay on as artistic director. McFarquhar was a student of Wendel’s from the age of 6 to 17. After high school, she moved from Marshall to Virginia for 15 years and “out of the blue” called Wendel and learned she was selling SWSD.

“I thought it was a great opportunity,” said McFarquhar. “I’m really excited.”

McFarquhar and her husband, Wayne, have four daughters, ages 17, 15, 12, and 10, and live in Marshall. She has extended family in Pipestone, Edgerton and Sioux Falls, S.D.

In addition to homeschooling her daughters, she has been busy renovating the former Lyndwood Bar. The former ballroom is now a gym with a dance floor and another room houses a larger dance studio. McFarquhar will make use of the kitchen in the bar area and have a restaurant for the dancers and community.

The food will be “delicious and nutritious,” she said. “It will be healthy, but people won’t realize it.”

McFarquhar plans to open the restaurant in December. The Lyndwood Center will have a grand opening in January.

Arlene Marthaler is the general manager, overseeing all the departments at the facility. McFarquhar will be in charge of Prestige Gymnastics. She is a professional coach, USA Gymnastics certified. She was trained by USA National Olympic coaches in Texas as part of the Talent Opportunity Program, a talent search and educational program for female gymnasts ages 7-10.

The gymnastics area includes tumbling mats, a trampoline, balance beam, vault and uneven parallel bars.

McFarquhar said the dance program will be for individuals 18 months to adult. The babies will be part of a “parents and me” class. The dance program welcomes boys or girls who want to get in good condition for other sports.

“Dance is good for strength, flexibility and conditioning,” she said.

“People should sign up now for the competitive dance season,” she said. “We will have guest artists coming throughout the season.”

“Dani Gies is the first guest artist,” said Wendel. “She was with SWSD for 14 years, went to Oklahoma City University, appeared in music videos and now teaches dance to children with special needs as occupational therapy.”

Wendel will offer ballet, tap, and as student enrollment increases, pointe and technique.

“We strive for excellence,” she said. “We don’t want to be a mediocre gym and dance studio.”

Wendel added that “dance gives you an outlet that I don’t think anything else does. It adds beauty to the world.”

McFarquhar will also have an after-school program until 6 p.m.

The gym can also be used for birthday parties, she said, and the larger dance studio can be rented out for quinceaneras and receptions. She also will conduct ballroom dancing classes for singles or couples. She recently had a guest teacher who taught Argentine tango.

The former bar area has a raised stage with a piano nearby and McFarquhar would like to use that for an open mic night in a family atmosphere.

“It will be for people to express themselves and relax,” she said. “People can sing, do poetry and rap. I want this to be a place for the community.”

McFarquhar is grateful for the help she has received from Lynd residents and has used local businesses in the renovation such as Dawn Zerr of Studio Z Interiors, she said.

“Everyone has been so welcoming,” she said.

For more information, visit southwestschoolofdancemn.com.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

Today's breaking news and more in your inbox
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.38/week.

Subscribe Today