Len & Debbie met and were married in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada on April 17, 1993. Len was a Youth Pastor in a Church and Debbie was on staff in an “Academy of Performing Arts” Training Base with Youth With A Mission (YWAM). Debbie had lots of training, teaching and performing there, being on staff for almost 10 years. Debbie grew up in her small hometown of Plymouth, IN where her family still resides. She went to Ball State University in Indiana and then moved to Cambridge. Len is actually a Canadian and his hometown where his family resides is Abbotsford, BC which is 2 hours north of us.
(photo above taken in Victoria, BC Sept. 2016, with son Madison & daughter Zoe)
Len went to YWAM and Columbia Bible College for training in church / mission work. Len was involved in several missions, churches and as a Youth Pastor. From 1997 to 2005 Len was a Juvenile Corrections Officer at Denney Youth Center in North Everett with Snohomish County. Len also has served since 1996 on the Board of Directors of “Youth Unlimited”. Len and Debbie have volunteered and served in the Pastoral Leadership team at their church.
After they were married they moved to Ohio where Len was involved in Church work and Residential Children’s care. Len suggested to his young bride, “Why don’t you do what you love to do (teach Dance) and actually get paid for it (after teaching on Volunteer non-paid Staff for so many years)?” Debbie taught and had some great experiences in a couple Studios as well as at a Community College.
In 1995 Len & Debbie had a “Dream” to move out to the West Coast and start their own Dance Studio Business. In July1996 they packed up the U-Haul and moved across the Country with their 1 month old son, Madison David, to no place and no job. Things soon worked out-- they got a place, Len got a job and Debbie quickly began teaching Dance again.
In late August 1997 they bought their 1st house on 54th Ave SE Everett (1 mile away from where they are now) and immediately remodeled the two-car garage to be a Dance Studio. One month later they started with 30 students and Reflections School of Dance was born. Since then they’ve had the tremendous privilege of meeting and training over 1500 students and families over the last 12 years.
In September 2001 their daughter, Zoe was born they went to Hawaii for a getaway.
Len proposed a question to Debbie there: “If you are doing your favorite thing in the world (teaching Dance) and you’re completely fulfilled doing what you’re supposed to, can you see yourself doing that for at least the next 10-15 years?” Debbie said, “Yes,” and Len responded by saying, “Then it’s a no-brainer, we’ve got to expand and get you a bigger place.”
To make a long story short, Len & Debbie then went looking around all over the area, but couldn’t find anything that met their criteria until they heard about the place they have now. It was in the perfect spot and even right across the driveway from their only relatives in the state (white house). They wondered why any man would have painted the huge three-car shop pink, unless it was “meant for them.” It even matched a pink model Dance Studio Len’s mother had given to Debbie years before. In July 2002 they bought the older existing house and property that was going to be developed for the neighbor houses and they also did their own remodel to the house and studio while the development land was being worked on. Of course this all took longer than expected and they were forced to start Dance Classes in the middle of construction. Those that were with them remember walking through the drywall work, construction, dug up road, dusty, muddy driveway, etc.
They were literally brought to tears when one of their faithful mothers fell in l foot of mud. She actually laughed, saying, “We like you guys so much we’d travel in a mile of this to get to you.” After they got her dry cleaning bill, Len & Debbie were prompted to try in other small ways to compensate loyalty by giving certificates for free carwashes, espressos, Recital tickets, and a Christmas voluntary tuition charity month.
Someone once told the Wiens family that if they paid a price (more than literal) to get what they wanted, they’d appreciate it a lot more. That year was the most stressful and busiest of their lives, but it also really was a work of establishment. It really was worth seeing the “Dream Come True” right before their eyes.
The other big change for the business came in June 2005 when Len resigned from his job with the County in order to partner up with Debbie and help administrate the business. They make a great Team.
Len and Debbie often tell people, “We absolutely love our family, our home, the studio, and the many students and families we’re blessed to have come here. Thank you everyone for your support in our Dream.”
A Dream Come True Part Two! Click here for the full story.
It is with great joy that we this formal announcement. We just signed a lease yesterday May 12, 2014.
Owning and running our business on our property has had great advantages great disadvantages. At times we love the busyness and excitement of wonderful girls with smiley faces coming to and going from their dance classes all over our driveway. Who can forget Mr. Len standing by the door all these years greeting parents and students? For those of you who have read Miss Debbie’s book you will know that there have been numerous, heartwarming memories created in this place. (Feel free to comment some of your own memories.)
...But after 17 years, we found ourselves saying, “Ring, ring ring…… Hello?...... Your family called & they want their house / life back.”
We recognize how successful our dance programs have been and yet we have felt limited. We feel it is important to increase the potential more students the great training and experience we’ve come to enjoy and appreciate here. With some classes remaining full and closed, we have had to turn many dancers away as of late. It is time for us to expand in order to provide the best possible service to our existing clients and the community families who desire to join us.
Over the years we have really appreciated the understanding, graciousness and patience of our clients as well as our neighbors regarding parking. At times it has been a challenge especially during the transition or large classes. This is another one of the main reasons for us to relocate and provide easy accessible parking for everyone at our new location.
This is a big step of faith for us.
We look forward to the new custom made studios for the veteran and new dancers to enjoy. It is a very friendly and visible new location with a great neighborhood feel. We couldn't have moved any closer. So close and so convenient.
We are absolutely in love with the large windows on the second floor which will allow us to watch beautiful sunsets over the landscape while we dance. Some businesses might not appreciate the 2nd floor, but for us it’s extremely attractive because it gives us a sense of privacy and continued safety that you have grown accustomed to at Reflections.
What about Bob?! :)
For dancers who have been around for a while, you would know that stuck in the middle of Studio A, we have a large pole that we have affectionately named “Bob”. We are sorry to say, that although many of you will miss Bob, but there will be NO posts in our 2 new studios.
It has been fun to watch the changes from our first small studio on 54th avenue, to our location on Seattle Hill Road and the eventual addition of Studio B to our present full capacity.
See a local paper who published an article about us & Our Business 20th Anniversay here!
Please feel free to comment or share your favorite memories with us as we move forward.