Hi everyone, my name is Julie and I am the owner of Julie’s Dance Studio. I’d like to share with you all a bit about me and my life running the studio. So, something everyone should know about me (which I think everyone probably does know) is that I love to teach! You may not know however that I hate clowns and dolls! Scary! My dance background began when I was 10 at a youth club, breakdancing with my friends. From there my passion for dance continued to grow.
I never actually decided to open a studio! I originally rented one in Millbrook and when the landlady gave notice to leave I took the studio over. Travelling was always a bit of a drag and after losing my husband in 2012 I didn’t like being on my own in the car, so when I saw a “To Let” sign on a dance studio five minutes from my home I jumped in with both feet and went from one room in an industrial unit to a massive dance studio with 3 big mirrored studios, a kitchen and 4 office rooms! I can now walk to the studio, saving myself two hours of travelling! “Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters”
I originally set out to achieve a community based studio that would offer something for everyone. Currently the studio has over 30 children’s classes and over 25 adult classes! I am known for my visions, most of which work out, but if they don’t I am already busy with the next one…. My next plan is to grow the daytime classes so that we have more opportunities for mum and baby classes. We currently offer Maracajacks (more from them in a blog post to come!) and a couple of fitness classes but I would love to see the studio offer pre and post natal classes such as baby yoga. Watch this space!
I love all the positive reviews that I’ve received, like when a parent tells me that their child’s confidence has grown since coming to the studio and that they have made some amazing friends or when an adult attends a class after a bad week and tells me that they leave feeling so much better. This is the most satisfying thing about running the studio, I love the feeling that I get when I inspire someone to keep going.
The most difficult thing about owning a studio is keeping everyone happy and thinking of everything… Children, parents, hirers, legal requirements, policies, procedures, keeping on top of health and safety and making sure all of the relevant paperwork is completed and easily accessible. This all takes up a lot of time. When I opened the studio I was a bit naive, I thought that I would have this big room to teach everyone dancing and fitness, then I will just go home! Oh dear, I was very wrong… How silly was I? There have been a few times that I have wanted to quit, but I hope my perseverance will pay off. “I have never failed, I have just found 1000 ways that don’t work”
I was asked recently to describe my proudest moment. What an impossible question! I have a proudest moment every day as a studio owner (like having the money in the bank ready for January, meaning I could actually sleep during the Christmas break this year!) or as a dance teacher, watching the kids grow, improve, compete and get more and more confident… I have proudest moments as a parent and proudest moments as a friend!
I could not have achieved what I have done here without a strong and loving support system around me. My mum Carol, My children - Jordan, Jenna and Georgia, my partner Darren, my friends and colleagues - Zorena, Amy and Belinda and of course everyone who continues to support me by attending classes and functions. The studio is the dream that I never realised I wanted until I had it. Thank you all so much xxx
Staff and students of Julie's Dance Studio, based in Sholing, Southampton.