As of today, we have been in business for three years! It’s been a whirlwind (and we’re not expecting things to get any less crazy anytime soon). Before Satori Violet happened, I’d been belly dancing for about six years at the time and taught a couple of casual classes at a high school in town, but I had a lot of ideas… and nowhere to put them.
The story began when I (subconsciously asked the universe to give me an opportunity to start up my own dance thing and) was asked by a wellness center to teach regularly in their space. Without a blink, I said ‘yes’. I was given the option of being hired or renting the space. Luckily for me, I grew up in a family full of entrepreneurs (my dad, his dad, and my mom’s dad, too), so I turned my ideas into an LLC and decided to rent. I designed a crappy website, made some free business cards, and tried to charm everyone into signing up for classes. We had two six-week classes on our schedule: one for beginner technique, one for beginner choreography.
Neither class ended up with more than six registrants (including my mom and sister), and thank goodness for that. Construction on the studio I was to rent was taking longer than they anticipated, so our first class was held in a real estate office building in a tiny, carpeted room with small mirrors and enough room for about eight people. I was so nervous on the night of our first class, I was pretty sure I was going to hurl (thankfully, I didn’t). I must have hid that okay, because everyone continued to show up (or they just felt bad for me… either way, bless their hearts).
The next session came around and our students multiplied… and we were still dancing on carpet in the middle of a real estate building. Apparently the classes went alright, because students, again, continued to show up to each class. That felt pretty good.
Fast forward five months and you’d find us in a REAL studio, finally. Thinking “wow, we have SO MUCH SPACE now”, we allowed 27 people to register for our first beginner class there, and again, I thought I was going to puke. It was a few more students than we could really, comfortably fit in one space- but we managed, and most of them continued to take another session or two (and some of them still dance with us today).
Since then, we’ve: moved spaces a couple times, joined forces with Fine Arts School of Ballet to create a dance co-op called Dance Mankato Studios, choreographed some fun dances, added awesome new instructors, performed in some cool places, hosted some crazy events, made lots of new friends, and learned a lot about ourselves. The whole journey has been one big experiment followed by another. Sometimes things work, sometimes I look like an idiot, but most times, we just drink wine and laugh about everything. What really matters is that Satori Violet became something much bigger than myself. It became a community full of positive people and creative spirits.