Stairway Logo

Melissa Westphal

I started taking dance when I was 7 years old and have loved it since Day 1. This is not to say that there weren’t times I wanted to quit…everyone feels that way sometimes! I competed with my studio and also participated in the University of Iowa’s Talented and Gifted Young Dancers Program.

I began teaching ballet classes for a local studio when I was 15 years old. I met some amazing families during those first few years of teaching and they were the inspiration for starting Stairway to the Stars.

Stairway to the Stars began on May 17, 1993. I had just finished my freshman year at the University of Iowa. Looking back, I’m not sure how I did it! I was a full-time student, in a sorority and other activities and I had a dance studio. I actually began in the location that I am still in today! Although it has grown and changed a lot. And so has my life!

Over the years we remolded the first floor, finished and began using the second floor and basement and purchased the building next door. All while I was getting married, buying a home and having 5 children.

I am married to Jason and we have 4 sons and 1 daughter. Our life is crazy busy but I wouldn’t change a thing.

I love everything about owning a dance studio - the kids, parents, costumes, recitals, competitions, all of it! I can’t wait to see what the future brings!