Coming Home to Ourselves: A Morning Retreat for Women with Qoya and Community

Saturday, October 26 from 9-noon.

What is Qoya

Qoya is a movement practice that knows: through movement, we remember.

We remember our essence as women is Wise, Wild and Free.

We remember the body’s wisdom and we move in response, trusting that if it feels right, it is right.

We remember the body’s truth, that we contain our own answers and our own potential.

Through movement, we remember ourselves more fully.  Through Qoya, we come home to ourselves.


Qoya is coming to Mount Vernon on October 26, from 9-noon.

Hosted by Dance Arts Iowa and in collaboration with KAE Apothecary, this Qoya experience is for women age 18+.

Scheduled in alignment with Homecoming weekend and the darkening moon, this mini-retreat will include a full Qoya class (no prior knowledge or expertise necessary), meditation, reflection and time to share, and an optional “field trip” after class to the Apothecary, one block away, to participate in the Open House event.

Led by Mount Vernon native Sarah Sadie (formerly Martin), this Qoya “mini-retreat” will offer women of all backgrounds and abilities an opportunity to nurture and nourish themselves through movement, story, sharing and reflection. Sarah is bringing the offering of Qoya to Iowa with a sense of gratitude and yes, Homecoming.


Upstairs in the First Street Community Center



Registration is limited.  Cost is $15 and payable at the door.

Dance Arts Iowa Registration is Open

Dance Arts Iowa Logo

Dance Arts Iowa Registration for 2019-20 is now open!

There is also a “Open House / Registration Day” where you can to meet the teaching staff and tour the studio on Sunday, August 25, 2019 1:00-3:00 pm, initially meeting in the library of the First Street Community Center.

Find more information about all of the classes offered in Ballet, Contemporary Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Irish Step, Musical Theater, Poms, Creative Movement and Tumbling in our website’s Calendar and more detailed descriptions of the dance disciplines offered in the drop-down menu entitled: “Class Info” on our website.

Registration Information:

Class Schedule 2019-2020

Dance Arts Iowa Registration Form 2019-20

Debit Form

Fee Schedule 2019-20

2 Ukulele Workshops and a Live Concert

poster for ten thumbs ukelele workshop

Leah Woosley Music has arranged for YouTube sensation and online instructor Tyler Austenfeld to stop in Mount Vernon, Iowa on August 4th, 2019 and teach 2 ukulele workshops.  You can learn more about Tyler at his website: TenThumbsPro.

  1. The first workshop, @ 2pm is Beginner- Past the Strum Pattern, is geared towards beginners, so if you have a uke and just started playing or have been wanting to learn, this will be great for you!
  2. The second workshop, @ 3pm is Intermediate Rhythm, this will be perfect for more advanced beginners/ intermediate players.
  3. The FREE concert will follow starting @ 5pm and is open to the public.

Cost:  Tickets are $20 when paid in advance or $25 at the door.  The ticket price includes both workshops.
*  For tickets before the event – email leahwoosleymusic@gmail.com

Showtime:  Be sure to come to the live performance at 5:00 pm – Leah will be the opening act, and then Tyler will take over. This performance event is open and free to the public (however a suggested $5 donation would be greatly appreciated).

More information can found about the workshops here.

This event will be held in the First Street Community Theater, Mount Vernon, Iowa

More info about each workshop session (written by Tyler)

Photo of Tyler Austenfeld
Tyler Austenfeld

Beginner Level Work Shop – Past the Strum Pattern

This beginner level lesson is designed to help beginners learn how to count music and how it relates to the strum pattern. It starts with half notes, than quarter notes, eight notes, and lastly 16th notes. Each is provided with strum patterns of the down up equivalency. This is dedicated to beginners looking to level up to the pre-intermediate and/or intermediate level.

Will improve your

  • Ability to count music
  • Ability to strum a ukulele
  • Ability to create your own strum pattern
  • Ability to analyze a songs strum pattern

​Intermediate Rhythm Past the Strum

In this lesson we attempt to explore some of the Ukulele’s more interesting rhythmic aspects. It explores different rhythmic concepts that I have gathered over the years.

Will improve your

  • Jimi Hendrix Style A Shape Fills
  • General Fingerpicking Ideas
  • The 6th interval as a rhythm tool
  • Double stop rhythm
  • Chord Fragment Rhythm – Riffs for rhythm

This event is brought you you by Leah Woosley Music and the Mount Vernon Area Arts Council

photo of Leah Woosley
Leah Woosley

Mount Vernon Area Arts Council Logo

Free Class – Music Together – Agape Studios


toddlers laughing followed by logo for Music Together & Agape Studios

Discover the power of family music-making.

You’ll have so much fun singing, dancing, playing, and laughing that you may not realize how much learning is taking place!

Kiddos age 0-5. Space is limited. Please register for this event on our website, or give us a call.


Class Dates:  6/15, 7/20, 8/10 @10:30 am

Registration is required.

Your Art Project Paradise – MY Studio – Made by You

My Studio art sign

MY Studio (Made by You Studio) opened for fun creative projects in June 2018.  It is a cozy little space stocked with an extensive variety of art supplies and materials just for you!

MY Studio has already hosted several birthday parties, ladies nights, creative friend gatherings, couple’s art dates, as well as partnered with Cornell College as part of their new student orientation activities. MY Studio has walk in open studio hours on Tuesdays Wednesdays and Saturdays, and can be reserved any other time for private events.

MY Studio started as a dream of Andi Spencer’s.  She wanted to have an intentional creative space to make art that could be shared with others.  But a seed of an idea/dream is just a seed until it’s planted.  Enter Andi’s friend Braden. When asked by Joe Jennison about what her ideal business would be, she said “Andi’s Art Studio idea!”

The two friends began having a more serious conversation about the possibilities of bringing this vision to life and in late 2017 the seed was “planted”.  With encouragement from family and friends and a newly available space opening up in the First Street Community Center, MY Studio was born!

MY Studio is a Make it Yourself arts and crafts studio with all the tools and supplies you need to make your creative vision a reality.

MY Studio is the place for you IF:

  • You are feeling inspired and looking for a designated space with a good, creative vibe
  • You’d like to try a new craft, but don’t want to buy all of the equipment you need to get started
  • You need a place to make that Pintrest project that you got all the stuff for and but haven’t gotten around to making yet
  • You’d like to make a personalized gift
  • You’d like to have an art-inspired gathering: birthday parties, team bonding, family projects, time with friends, date night
  • Come with an idea, Andi & Braden are ready to help you make it happen…AND take care of the clean up!

MY Studio is located on the basement level near Yoga Studio C and is easily accessed via the entrance via the North Parking lot.  For more information phone: (319) 331-6205.

Andi Spencer

Andi Spencer and kids working on an art project at MY Studio

Andi Spencer has lived in Mount Vernon with her husband Jaime and their two children, Connor and Fiona, for 11 years.

Her love of art started at a very early age. She grew up in Grinnell where she took as many art classes as she could while in school and then as a student at Grinnell College and the University of Iowa. She loved to draw and paint and make things with her dad’s wood working tools.

She was also fortunate to have access to a variety of art experiences with artists in Grinnell who opened their studios to her and encouraged her and helped to develop her artistic abilities. The idea for MY Studio really stems from that experience. Andi’s desire to have an intentional space to make art as well as a space that could be shared so that others could have that experience as well.

Braden JP Rood

Braden Rood at MY Studio in Mount Vernon Iowa

Braden JP Rood hails from Mount Vernon. After graduating from MVHS she went to University of Northern Iowa and majored in Theatre Performance. She lived in New York for four years to pursue an acting career.  In 2002 she moved back to Iowa and married her husband, Anton and they settled in Mount Vernon with their three boys: Jasper, Atticus & Chester.

Along with MY Studio, Braden also works at the University of Iowa as a teacher and Standardized Patient. She is heavily involved with Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Theatre as well as volunteers for various community groups including: MVL CDG, Mount Vernon Schools, Hallmark and MVAAC. She is proud to call Mount Vernon her home and is thrilled with the prospects of MY Studio.

Elliott’s Fitness – Cardio Kickboxing and Circuit Class

The first 30 minutes of class are Cardio Kick – a full body workout with Karate-type kicks for the lower body coupled with Boxing punches for the upper body.  No boxing/kicking bags are used.

The second 30 minutes are Circuit Training – timed stations for strength and endurance.

We will incorporate equipment which promotes total body resistance exercise including TRX bands, trampoline, hula hoop, boxing bag and jump rope.

Inside the First Street building in Studio C, which is downstairs on our lowest level (under the gymnasium). It is easy to get there via the North parking lot, which is next to the football field and press box.  The Northwest entrance door at that level will be unlocked.

When:  This six week session starts June 4th, classes are on Mondays from 8:30 – 9:30 am, Wednesdays from 5:30 – 6:30 pm, and Fridays from 8:30 – 9:30 am.

Cost:  Classes are held over the course of a six week session.  Attending classes once a week is $60.00; twice a week is just $80.00; and three times a week is only $90.00.   You can also can use a punch card at $100.00 for 10 sessions and come at times that are convenient for you.


  • You can drop in, get a punch card or sign up for a 6 week session.
  • Inquire about possible child care options for Monday and Friday classes

For more information, contact: Devon at devonmcd@hotmail.com or Melissa at makorfist@yahoo.com.

Small Business Spotlight – Elliott’s Uptown Fitness

Photo of a Yoga class
Relieve stress and improve your health

Need Yoga?

Starting January 2018 Elliott’s Uptown Fitness Center is offering six (6) different kinds of Yoga Classes each week.   Pick the one that’s right for you to help you with your New Year’s resolution to get healthy and reduce stress in 2018!

Elliott’s Uptown Fitness Center has been joined by four amazing teachers:

  • Carol Daly
  • Ann Fleckenstein
  • Jen Zimmerman Bronder
  • Devon Olberding

These awesome instructors will encourage you to begin to make a healthier and less stressful lifestyle and introduce the practice of yoga as a part of your life.

Let us help you fulfill your New Year’s Resolution and join us for a mind-body workout.

Check out Elliott’s Uptown Fitness website for specific class information, sign up to check out an “Intro to Yoga” class and learn more about each teacher.

Sign Up for Twig Classes with Ruth Ipsan-Brown

Ruth Ipsan-Brown, the goddess of all things twig, has been inspired by nature since childhood and uses natural materials to create nature art pieces including figures, chairs and altars.

Ruth offers Twig Classes in the air conditioned comfort of the Library of the First Street Community Center on the 2nd Sunday and 4th Sunday each month.

2nd Sundays, are more Introductory classes and Ruth will teach you how to make a chair. The 4th Sundays Ruth will teach more advanced classes such as a Twig Dwelling, a Figure, an Altar, or a Fairy House.  Students are asked to please take the introductory class before taking the advanced class.

Class size: Minimum 3 / maximum of 6.  You must make a reservation for us to know our class size, which is how we determine if we are able to hold a class or not.  Cancellations will be posted on Facebook and by Email.

For more information or to sign up for a class contact Ruth at (319) 360-2090 or TheTwigandFairyRoom@gmail.com.