Community Fundraiser for Area Dance Teacher Kennet Oberly - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Community Fundraiser for Area Dance Teacher Kennet Oberly

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Onalaska, WI (WXOW) - The La Crosse community is coming together to support a dance instructor diagnosed with a deadly disease.

Kennet Oberly teachers a pre-professional ballet training program at Misty's Dance Unlimited despite his diagnosis with ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease last year.

Oberly said his greatest passion is teaching students from the ground up and seeing them through every step of their training.

Misty Lown wanted to take her dancers to the next level and she knew Oberly was the one to do it.

Kennet Oberly says he knew he wanted to dance at a very young age and tells his students that good dancer need more than talent.

It takes heart, said Oberly. Kennet's students adore him because his teaching technique is to awaken the passion inside.

I grew up at a time when I had these what we called monsters now but back then it's just the way they were. They made us scared and frightened. They screamed it out of us," said Oberly.

Oberly encourages the girls from a chair in the corner of the room because of his diagnosis.

His wife Larissa is a former ballerina who does the demonstrations.

"He transmitted this information through his voice. He wasn't able to demonstrate any of the moves and I think that is a tremendous testament to his ability as an artist," said Misty Lown.

"He actually got me my first interest in dancing. He was the one who made me really like it," said Isabella Lown.

"He's been a part of my life for I think about 4 years now and he is an amazing person and teacher inside and out," said student Abby Inglett.

"He's so kind and he's so funny. Everything about him just makes me so happy," said dancer Kate Cobbs. A feeling that seems to be mutual between a teacher and his students.

"Every time they improve year to year is the biggest thrill for me," said Oberly.

To help the Oberly family cover medical expenses attend a benefit Saturday, April 25th from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. at the Pearl Street Ballroom.

A website has also been established to help the couple prepare for future medical expenses of home care and equipment. It's called www.friendsofkennet.com

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