Smith is set to open her dance school at the beginning of May. Photo: Alycia Smith

KU student uses savings to open community dance school

A third-year dance student has spent her thousands trying to open her own dance school after she finishes her degree. 

Alycia Smith, 20, hopes to become a successful businesswoman once she graduates this year and pursue her dream of becoming a dance instructor.

“I’ve had to put some of my savings into it and whenever I have a break from doing any university work I spend the rest of my timing planning for the dance school. Imagine all the stress of final year, writing a dissertation and getting a degree and then planning a business at the same time.

“I’ve always wanted to be a dance teacher and have my own school so I want to take the opportunity and fully dive into it before I get too deep into anything else.”

Smith has been a dancer her whole life and studied at Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA) when she was younger before going on to study dance at Kingston. 

She has spent her life savings on renting a space to hold her dance classes and understands the challenges she could potentially face because of this. 

“I am so scared that the dance school won’t be successful. I have put everything I have into it but I hope it will slowly build as I already have a couple of students signed up. I’m excited to see where it goes but I guess I’m just scared of failing.

 “I think the biggest challenge will be trying to figure out what’s best for the school and me. For instance, finding the best way to teach all the different students. All I can do now is see how it’s goes and only time will tell,” she said. 

Smith’s new dance school is set to be called Studio 14 and will offer a range of tap, ballet, modern, and technique lessons, as well as, competition classes and private lessons in her hometown of Tamworth near Birmingham. 

“I don’t want it to be just another dance school and in the future, I want to expand my business and offer acting and singing lessons as well. So, I think Studio 14 is a nice and simple name.

“Kingston made me realise that I don’t want to teach in a school or education setting. I don’t want students to fall out of love with dance because they have to follow a syllabus. 

“I think dance is for people to express themselves and a syllabus doesn’t allow them to do that. I think a community dance school is the best place to dance, whether it be to learn technique to go into the industry or just to go for fun,” she said.

Classes are to start in May once Smith has handed in all her university assignments. 

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