College News

Barton Community College dance program alum strives in hometown

woman standing in front of her dance studio
Maddy Hayden-Rideaux stands outside of her Great Bend business Be Dance Studios located at 1403 Main St. early in the fall semester.

October 3, 2023
Story and photo by Joe Vinduska

Maddy Hayden-Rideaux is the head coach of the Great Bend High School Dance Team, and she owns Be Dance Studios in downtown Great Bend. She’s truly living her dreams and built a large part of her dancing foundation right in her hometown at Barton Community College.

“I am so grateful for my time at Barton,” she said. “My coach taught and challenged me in ways I hadn't been before. Attending the National Dance Alliance college nationals in Daytona, Fla., really opened my eyes to a whole new perspective on making dance a career. My second semester, I also joined the Barton Dance Theatre Program under Danika Bielek.”

Hayden-Rideaux said the Dance Theatre Program exposed her to a completely different side of dance that focuses more on artistic expression than competition.

“I was exposed to a side of dance and connectivity that I had never experienced before,” she said. “The instructor, Danika, does a wonderful job at making dancers of all capabilities feel embraced and seen. I was given opportunities to perform in many different venues, teach new dance styles to members of Great Bend's community, and take classes at places that I otherwise wouldn't have been able to in larger metro areas.”

Being a studio owner and a coach, Hayden-Rideaux said she learned so much during her time at Barton that helped prepare her for her professional endeavors in the world of dance.

“Barton’s Dance Program provided me with the knowledge and confidence to put myself in rooms I didn't feel capable of before,” she said. “Danika has continued to be a wonderful friend and mentor for me even to this day. Her compassionate spirit and eagerness to learn have made a permanent impact on my life, and I work to instill those same qualities in my current career. I am forever grateful for the friendships and connections that my time at Barton has left me with. I highly recommend starting at a community college to all that are considering it.”

Barton recently added its Dance Instruction and Management Program to provide even more direct focus on the business aspect of those wanting to make dance a career. Barton Dance Instructor and Fine and Performing Arts Coordinator Danika Bielek said she always wanted to offer this program as a way to bring the performance and business sides of dance together for students.

“Learning dance techniques and how to perform well is one aspect of dance, and I think it’s the one that most people are familiar with,” she said. “However, there is a whole other side to running a studio, educating, or coaching at a high level, and I wanted to give dancers interested in these career paths the full set of tools they need to succeed in any dance-related career.”

Hayden-Rideaux said she looks forward to teaching and coaching new generations of dancers for many years to come.

“I’m just so passionate about helping dancers of all ages feel comfortable in their own skin and confident in their ability as dancers and as leaders,” she said. “I hope to expand my current studio and work with others in the area to make Barton County an all-inclusive community to all that want the opportunity to express themselves through movement. I am so excited for the opportunities that have presented themselves in the last year to give me this space to work with students in our community.”

For more information on Barton’s Dance Instruction and Management Program, contact Bielek at or visit For more information on Be Dance Studios, visit