The Mexico Area Chamber of Commerce recognizes a local business each quarter with an Excellence in Business award. From those, one is selected to receive the E. Warner Williams Business Service Award. This year's recipient is Janet's Dance Studio.
"It was just an honor to get something like that," owner Janet Graham said. "I love this town and I love to do as much as I can to support the businesses and the people in this community."
Other quarterly excellence award winners were Pratt's on Monroe, First State Community Bank and Callaway Fields.
Janet's Dance Studio was established during 1980 in Mexico by Janet Graham. Students range in age from 3 to 18, with many of Graham's students going on to be class instructors. Classes include introduction to dance, ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop and some tumbling.
"I don't feel like I'm old enough to have been teaching for 40 years, much less being the age that I am. But I love what I do and it's a great job," Graham said.
One dance instructor Graham highlighted is Tori Kleinsorge, who has been with the studio for 26 years, with nine of those as a teacher. Another instructor, Mackenzie Stumpe, has been with the studio for 20 years, and teaching for five.
"I call them homegrown teachers and I love them because they understand the process, they understand the mentality of small-town studios," Graham said.
Janet's Dance Studio, unlike other dance studios one may see on TV, are not about competition between dancers, but family relationships between teammates, she said.
The service award recognizes a local business or industry for dedicated community service and contributions to the economic growth of Mexico. The dance studio has nine part-time employees and they all live, work or attend school in Audrain County.
"We do a lot of local [performances], like football half-time shows, we go to area nursing homes, we did the Santa train last year. We try to be involved with as many things as possible," Graham said.
Graham is proud to have been born and raised in Mexico and living in a community that is so supportive of her business, she said.