A Coon Rapids dance studio had an unexpected and unwelcome visitor the early hours of Monday morning – a deer.
Shortly after 5 a.m. June 17, a deer shattered two large windows on the exterior of Northdale Shopping Center where Fancy Dancin’ Dance Studio is located.
Then trapped in the vestibule that separates the outside of the shopping center from the dance studio, the deer jumped through another large window into the dance studio, shattering that, too.
According to Chelsee Murrill, who teaches at and runs the dance studio with her mother, Bobbi Disrud, the deer left a trail of blood on the main dance floor.
Then it crashed into a table, which was set up in front of a large mirror at the rear of the studio. On the table were dozens of trophies accumulated over the 24-year history of the dance studio, which was started by Disrud.
Most of them ended up on the floor broken and some had blood on them.
According to the Coon Rapids Police report, officers responded to a report of a deer inside Northdale Shopping Center at 5:16 a.m. where they noticed the broken windows and spotted a deer inside dance studio.
Officers entered the shopping center and dance studio through the broken windows and found the deer in a back studio, severely injured and bleeding profusely.
They were able to chase the deer out of a rear door where an officer shot it dead, the police report states.
One of the officers needed stitches for a cut on his finger caused by trying to remove broken glass from the windows.
“It was unbelievable,” Murrill said.
Police told Murrill that the deer was a button buck, she said.
The owners of the shopping center will replace the broken windows and a “dance dad” who knows what to do will clean up the blood from the floors and walls, according to Murrill.
“We will be back open for summer dance classes which start next week,” Murrill said.
But what can’t be replaced are the trophies.
“That’s devastating,” she said. “They are irreplaceable.”
They included some trophies that she had won when she was a student at her mother’s dance studio, Murrill said.
Murrill and Disrud were in Wisconsin Dells with some 90 students, ages four to 17, to compete in the Midwest Starz national dance competition last week.
“We won the overall first-place trophy and our dancers earned a lot of individual awards,” Murrill said.
Murrill and Disrud got a call about 5:30 a.m. Monday morning from Lori Dewanz, a mother of one of the dance students, who works at Jensen’s Foods, which is two doors down from Fancy Dancin’ in the shopping center, informing them of what had happened.
In fact, as Dewanz was going to work at Jensen’s about 3 a.m. that morning she saw two deer on Tower Place, a street that runs behind the shopping center from McDonald’s, she said.
But she was unaware of what had happened at Fancy Dancin’ until she was told that police squad cars were in the shopping center parking lot outside the studio, Dewanz said.
Murrill drove back to Coon Rapids immediately, while Disrud returned later in the day with the dance students.
According to Leslie McInenly, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources big game program leader, deer jumping through windows in urban areas does happen.
Seeing its reflection in the windows and mirror likely startled and confused the deer, McInenly said.
Peter Bodley is at firstname.lastname@example.org