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CHS, UMN Crookston grad selected for ‘40 Under 40'

Mike Christopherson
Crookston Times

    Prairie Business has just released its 2020 “40 Under 40” list, and there’s a familiar name on it, Meleah LaPlante, who graduated from Crookston High School in 2000 and the University of Minnesota Crookston in 2003. LaPlante, of Fargo, is in her 19th year of owning the Dance Elite studio in that city.

    “It’s an honor to have been selected in such a strong business community,” she said when reached by the Times.

    LaPlante said she purchased Dance Elite from a woman who needed to move out of state and didn’t want to leave her 40 dancers without an opportunity to continue dancing.

    “It started in a one-room rental and just kept growing to the point that two years ago I bought land and built our new building, which will be our forever home,” she continued. “I began dancing at age 4 and keeping it in my life has been everything. Watching my students grow is the absolute best part.

About the list

    Every year Prairie Business magazine receives nominations of top talent for its annual 40 Under 40 recognition contest. The 40 Under 40 list profiles young professionals in the region, all under the age of 40. “These inspiring and dedicated professionals come from a wide range of industries and have made significant impacts in their chosen professions and communities. They are entrepreneurs, industry experts, executives and nonprofit leaders; they are business owners, patent holders, government officers and community trendsetters,” Prairie Business stated in releasing the 2020 list.

    The magazine received well more than 100 nominations this year.

    “The caliber of this year’s nominations, and the 40 recipients selected from that pool, tell us something about the region’s businesses: They are providing top talent for their industries and communities,” said Andrew Weeks, editor of Prairie Business. “Each of us at Prairie Business was pleased to see so many qualified nominations, and we’re honored to recognize 40 of them here. Each of them has garnered much success in their early careers, and we look forward to what they will accomplish in the future. The region’s businesses are in good hands.”

Meleah LaPlante