She could be called the Dancing Queen of BP
Who is that middle-aged woman dancing on a public stage in Blooming Prairie?
Many people, residents and non-residents alike, may have wondered who that woman is, the woman who finds her stage to be the parking lot between Casey's and the Goette food stand.
This woman, identified as Sonya Kirkman, may also be seen dancing near the BP Post Office and even in a corn field west of town. "I left my foot prints in the field," she laughs.
Sonya, a mother of three children, loves to dance and says all music has its own heart beat.
Many people have wondered why this woman has chosen to make dancing a public spectacle. "She's doing nothing wrong," says Police Chief Greg Skillestad in remarking about Sonya's traveling dancing show. "We've told her to stay away from dancing on streets," Skillestad said.
Sonya, a native American Indian of the Ojibwe tribe, says she likes to listen to all music. "I have mental health issues and dancing makes me feel better," remarked Sonya.
She says she loves all music including rock 'n roll but says heavy metal and heavy rap music makes her uncomfortable.
"I learned how to do the Charleston in three days," Sonja related. "You might see me in a jingle dress and fancy shawl or in a grass skirt," she jokes.
She said the response to her dancing has sometimes been good "and some look at me like I am out of my mind." She declares, "I am not out of my mind; I am very sane."
Sonya says she enjoys dancing near Cenex and Casey's. She also will choose other sites in town to show off her love for dancing.
A resident of Villa 2 near Casey's, Sonya says her family is from the Grand Portage Reservation near Grand Marais. She says she was born in Moose Lake.
Sonya's great, great grandfather is the legendary John Beargrease. Established in 1980, the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is the longest sled dog race in the lower 48 states.
John Beargrease is best remembered as the winter mail carrier between Two Harbors and Grand Marais during the last two decades of the nineteenth century.
Sonya has three children who she seldom sees. "I got into the drug scene," she admits.
"I am not very good at picking men because I think I can fix them," Sonya says.
Sonya's love of music helps her accent the positives. "There are two positives to every negative," she believes.
She has a son Garrett, 18 in Dassel-Cokato; a daughter Lilli, 13 of Blaine and a son Ethan, 9 of Waterloo, Iowa.
Sonya says her love for dancing is paralleled to fitness. "I received the President's National Fitness award when I was younger," she proudly says.
Sonya is not working at the present time, still recovering from a severe car crash in 2016. She suffered brain damage. She says her long-term memory is good but she at times has a problem with short-term memory.
As a kid, Sonya said she watched lots of Public Television. Her mother worked at a Dairy Queen and also worked in home health care in New Brighton.
Sonya also thought of going into nursing "I'm a natural care giver," she says.
Announcing that she just registered to vote, Sonya says she is proud of being able to go to the polls in November.
Look for Sonya on any Blooming Prairie boulevard close to Villa 2 apartments. She likely will be wired to music and will be singing and dancing to her favorite tunes.
That's who that Dancing Queen is.