BY MELANIE WADE –
The newest addition to Mena’s blossoming downtown arts district, Reflections Creative Arts Studio, will open their doors to offer a full array of artistic expression studios in a completely remodeled historic building on the corner of Maple and Mena Streets. The Studio is the brainchild of Emmye Rowell, owner of Beautiful Soles Christian Dance Company, and her dad, Victor Rowell. Together they purchased the building in 2016 and have transformed the property inside and out.
She originally had discussions with the building owner about the possibility of leasing the building but explained that after she looked at the building, she saw endless possibilities for her dance studio dream growing into a full scale Creative Arts Studio and decided to make both the commitment and investment to be a permanent fixture in Mena. Rowell commented, “I could not have done this without my daddy. I thank God for him all the time! He has worked himself to death and I can’t imagine doing this without him!”
Rowell opened up the downstairs in the fall of 2016 to teach dance with the vision of moving it upstairs. Over this past summer, she did just that, and has a studio that overlooks her beloved hometown Main Street. “I always wanted to be downtown and it being in the Arts District was just a bonus! It just all went so much faster than I expected it to… but it’s great… and everything has come together so well,” said Rowell.
Moving the studio upstairs allows the large downstairs area for other creative, expressionistic arts to be taught as well. Becky Hooper, owner of B. Marie Music, will teach music lessons. She offers primarily voice, piano, and flute, along with beginning strings, woodwinds and brass. “I’m so excited about beginning my 27th year of teaching at this new location. Main Street is great! I am proud to be a part of the arts in Mena.”
Tasha Kimp will teach Gracious Yoga and have classes several times a week. Andy Threlkeld, owner of OMMA – Ouachita Mountain Martial Arts, will move his martial arts studio in as well.
Rowell’s mother, Susan, is also opening up a business of her own, Suzy Q’s Sweet Creams and Coffee. She plans to offer coffee and ice cream. Suzy Q’s hopes to be open in the early spring of 2018.
Rowell is currently registering students for her dance classes. Beautiful Soles has nine classes for students age 3 to 18. For ages 3 to 10, they offer ballet, jazz, lyrical, baton and ribbon. For ages 10 and up, contemporary, lyrical and ribbon is offered. Rowell explained that she and her student teacher, Zoe McPherson, teach more than dance, hoping to help mentor the young ladies to develop strong character and discipline. “We have a memory verse each week, too. We want to help grow them into the people God created them to be.” Emmye currently has other student teachers in training as well to assist with her growing dance company.
Registration will be held on Thursday, September 28, from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm, at the Reflections Studio, 601 Mena Street.
Rowell said to see her vision come to fruition is… “absolutely amazing and a total God thing! This would not be happening if it wasn’t God’s plan for me and this community. He is doing something big here, and I’m honored to be just a little part of His huge plan!”