A few minutes with Georgia Canning of GC Dance we talk about her new dance studio and the journey of small business
Why did you choose to start your own business and when?
Growing up my parents have always had their own business, so I guess I was born with that entrepreneurial instinct. When I graduated from University I wrote down a list of people who I admire and would like to emulate – Mia Freedman (Mamamia), Louise Bell (Table Tonic), Jack Delosa (Young Gun Blog), Lorna Jane (Lorna Jane Activewear) – and quickly realised the one thing they all have in common, they all own their own business. After that it was a matter of pulling together what I’m good at; being creative, choreographing dance, teaching children and developing a brand.
What would you say has led to the momentum you have found in reaching your goals so quickly ..
When I first opened GC Dance I was working another part time job which made putting the time into online and print advertising difficult. I relied heavily on word of mouth and fortunately a lot of people had nice things to say about my attitude, business ethics, teaching ability and style. Word of mouth is underrated and it’s been crucial to the initial stage of my business venture. I’m happy to report, I can keep the doors open! I guess that’s something every small business owner wants to say after the first few months.
How would you describe GCD’s philosophy ..?
GC Dance is all about creating a healthy, nurturing environment for young dancers with quality teachers, facilities and equipment to aid their PERSONAL development in dance. The ‘personal’ part is key. As a young dancer, I always felt forced into a box of what I should be.
It’s one of the many reasons I quit the path to being a professional dancer.The dance industry is getting a lot better at catering and appreciating different styles, personalities, and body types but we still have a long way to go. GC Dance is all about helping each student become the best version of themselves – not someone else.
What would you say is the biggest lesson you have learnt coming on this journey ..?
How much work goes into your own business! In the early stages I envisioned myself dancing around my studio out of office hours, choreographing up a storm of routines and ideas. Turns out all hours are business hours when you own your own business, and I spend more time doing paperwork, answering queries or dealing with contractors, than actually dancing on my beautiful dance floor.
What is Next …?
Being a new studio, I’m very focused on the students that come through my doors and listening to what they need and want. Listening to your target market is crucial to success in any business, but even more so with children who have decided to focus on a specific extracurricular activity.
In the interim my goal is to develop GC Dance as a brand synonymous with quality and this will help set the stage for my future, bigger- picture goals. You’ll have to wait and see, but expansion is the most obvious avenue.
Why Dance ..?
Dance is something I have always been passionate about. When I was younger I was passionate about actually ‘dancing’. Now? I’m passionate about the industry and what I can do to contribute, change and develop dance in Australia for students. It might sound ambitious, but I don’t do things half way.
What has been the most rewarding part of starting GC Dance ….?
That’s easy to answer – the students. I love walking into the studio to see smiling faces and keen eyes staring back at me. When a student does a step or a combination of steps exactly how I taught them and they nail it – it gives me goosebumps. I’m continually chasing that feeling and I think that’s why parents trust my teaching ability, despite my age.
The pitch !
I’m learning so much as a teacher, small business owner and dancer. I couldn’t be happier with how everything is turning out. The students I’ve acquired so far are great kids and the parents are amazing for trusting me with their child’s development. A lot of them even stop to ask me how the business is going, and if they can help with anything.
Were building a great little community.
I want dance students to see GC Dance as a safe place to learn, develop and gain new skills and technique that will serve them throughout their life. Even if you don’t want to be a professional dancer (let’s be honest, the jobs are few and far between, pay terribly and are often short lived…) dancing teaches you tenacity, drive, dedication, and focus. Qualities that are definitely helping me now…
Well thanks for chatting with us today Georgia everyone get over and check out GC Dance at www.gcdance.com.au
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Editor of @GC_MAG Australia, Currently living by the mantra life is too short for bad coffee