By: Brenna Wermers, Saint Mary’s University of MN Journalism Student

A love for the arts is what drew Tammy Schmidt to Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts. Schmidt has been at MCA since 1999 and has worn many different hats throughout the years. As the Artistic Director for MCA’s Dance Repertory and choreographer, Schmidt has been a key player in the Deeply Rooted production. The first half of the concert is a contemporary ballet piece titled The Southern Ties that Bind which Schmidt choreographed. The dance follows the life of a large Southern family who relies on their tight-knit community to get through tough times. “The piece explores the unique relationships between family members and community members – sustaining each other through the hardships and celebrations that each experience. We are all in this together” Schmidt said.

Schmidt is the Director of Dance at MCA as well as Dance Faculty at Saint Mary’s University. A few of the dancers in the production were recruited by Schmidt from Saint Mary’s. Karly Lunda, a sophomore, met Schmidt at freshman orientation at Saint Mary’s and discussed the dance potential which is how she discovered MCA. Lunda made her own major, performance studies, and dance, with the help of Schmidt. Lunda is in the Southern Ties dance and believes strongly in the message that it sends to the community about unity and the importance of togetherness.

Come and see the Dance Repertory Company in Deeply Rooted Dance: Celebrating our Connections on April 21 at 7:30 and April 22 at 3:00 at the Saint Mary’s University Page Theater. This is a family-friendly event that you don’t want to miss. To purchase tickets visit: or call 507-457-1715