DanceBody has survived almost a decade as a business. Reflecting on our journey going into 2022, I feel proud, I feel restless, I feel inspired. We survived these last few trying years, as we have the years before, with all of our heart and soul. I often wonder if we made it look too easy.
We just Keep Moving.
I moved to NYC on my own in 2008 with a Midwest girl’s dream of a Broadway career, a performer's life, and a new sense of home. While in search of landing that role, I fell into the burgeoning boutique fitness scene, as a way to pay the bills. I immediately knew I found my place. I could challenge myself physically, experience the much needed rush of endorphins, and settle into a performing gig that never wrapped. But that wasn’t all. I found my purpose. I loved what I did, loved my peers, loved my clients, and loved the grind. Truth be told, I probably would have still been there today… had I not been fired.
Being let go from a job and losing my place in a community I adored was brutal. But, as you often read about, it was also a blessing in disguise. I was forced to figure out how I would make my own way in the big, bad city. I knew I was good and that I had something to offer - five years of client feedback told me so. I knew I wanted to take my brand of movement to market. But I also knew I had no desire to be a “celebrity trainer” or “influencer”. I wanted to build a literal movement with a strong team by my side.
I wanted to build a business.
I started DanceBody in 2013, with my own take on what dance fitness felt like to me. I just jumped in. I had no idea what a business plan was or what it meant to be an entrepreneur. All I knew was the undeniable sensation of dancing as a group. And when you chase after that feeling, it quickly becomes an addiction. My heart for this was strong, my entire soul was in. There was no stopping what I felt built to do.
Through it all—the evolving fashions of fitness trends, the “help” of advisors, predatory landlords and lawyers, devastating theft, a global pandemic, city leaders and city shutdowns— we survived. Few of our contemporaries have, but we’re still here dancing. To survive is an amazing feat. But it is not an aspiration.
It’s time to move from “survive” to thrive…