Our History

Marilyn Wood founded Marilyn School of Dance in 1950. During her teaching career, she not only trained thousands of young people in the art of dance, but also had been involved in all of the arts in the area of La Crosse, Wisconsin.


Marilyn choreographed the First Community Theatre Musical, Bells are Ringing, and continued to choreograph all the Community Theatre musicals for many years.  She helped found The Great River Festival Arts, along with Frank and Lenore Italiano.  Marilyn choreographed dances that her students have performed with the GRFA Symphony Orchestra in La Crosse at Myrick Park and Dodgeville, Wisconsin.


The dance school was operated under the co-directorship of Marilyn, her daughter, Julie Olson, and Suzanne Swanson Wagner. Julie and Suzanne both start dance lessons with Marilyn at the age of five.  Suzanne became the owner and Artistic Director in 1996 when Marilyn retired after 50 years of teaching.