This month, we celebrate our 10th anniversary!
When I bought this franchise and opened Fred Astaire’s first dance studio in Michigan in 2005, I saw this as a good growth opportunity. Dancing with the Stars had just started, and it was just after Richard Gere strutted his stuff in Shall We Dance.
Little did I know that so many dance-focused TV shows and movies would entice Americans and ignite an even more robust ballroom dance craze than we could have imagined!
I have always loved dancing. As a food entrepreneur, I figured this endeavor would diversify my business experience. Besides, I figured it would be fun.
Boy, was I right!
I’ve loved the support system of this franchise and the camaraderie of other studios across the country.
As with any business, we have happy times and hard times, and we’ve learned a lot. This business has grown further than I ever expected. Now, we average about 150 private lessons every week, plus eight group lessons.
Only one of the past 10 years did we see a drop in business. I credit our success to the training of our staff, the processes and protocols we have in place. Lada and I have learned to become better managers, and we’ve found wonderful staff who delight our students.
This is a happy place to work. We hire staff for personality – we want to see happy people, with optimistic outlooks, who love to teach dance. We work on team-building constantly, so everyone feels a part of something fabulous.
I didn’t expect to work with so many great charities, but I’m sure glad we do! The Detroit Historical Society, The Pink Fund, Jack’s Place for Autism, the Detroit Tigers’ Dancing with the All Stars, and now Dance Mobility.
Perhaps the greatest lesson we’ve learned in 10 years of owning this studio is that you never know where the path will lead you. As long as you stay positive and open, there are opportunities everywhere.
I don’t know if we’ve formalized it, but I would say that the way we answer the phone, How can we make you smile?, has become our mission. To make you smile.
Dancing brings joy to people. People come here, make friends, learn to dance, feel a part of something.
Here, I feel I am more in control of our destiny, and I am able to truly help people. I can’t think of a better reason to go to work every day.
Thanks for helping us build a great 10 years! Here’s to 10 more … and beyond.