Florin Vlad: Dance Fire Studio & Fitness
Small Business Spotlight
As we move forward in the building of our community, we are excited to continue to uplift the small businesses in our network.
Join us as we continue to celebrate these small business owners in our communities.
Today we are celebrating Florin Vlad, Studio Manager & Co-Owner at Dance Fire Studio & Fitness
Can you tell us a bit more about your company?
Dance Fire Studio & Fitness was founded in 2017. Our mission is to continuously pursue giving people a positive outlook on their lives through dance and helping the community flourish. We teach over 25 different dance styles in both Group Class and Private lessons settings. Additionally, we offer wedding dance packages and space rentals as well as a very successful kids dance program. Our core values have been our guiding star ever since our inception and they continue to steer us towards new heights. They are: World Class Instruction; Unmatched Customer Experience; Enriching Lives
What’s something your company has worked on that you’re most proud of? Why does this part of the work resonate with you the most?
We are most proud of our Kids Ballroom Dance Program. Started in 2018 it is one of only two programs in the Capital Region and the only program offering kids the opportunity to compete in National Ballroom Dance competitions. Dozens of kids have been through our beginner and intermediate program and many continued on to the competitive team proudly and successfully representing our studio and our Capital Region in National Ballroom Dance Competitions. They have even been awarded multiple scholarships of excellence from the local chapter of USA Dance, Inc., a national organization governing Ballroom dance (DanceSport) in the United States. The work we put into our Kids Ballroom program certainly resonates with our mission of helping the community flourish.
The young dancers in our program not only learn the different dances and techniques, but also develop and master important skills and life lessons that they will use all of their lives. We are also proud to teach kids and adults with different forms of physical and mental disabilities and seeing them open up and change their lives one dance step at a time is extremely satisfying.
What was your first job? What did you love most about it?
I have been a professional dancer and teacher my whole life. Ever since I started dancing and teaching I loved helping people reach their goals- whether that goal is to have fun, meet new people through dance or be the best dancers they can be and win national and international dance competitions at the highest level possible- I am enjoying being part of their journey.
What is the most important piece of advice you have been given about money and/or owning a business? Who gave it to you?
The most important piece of advice with regards to money and owning my own business was given to me by my father. He is the one that thought me to always put aside as much money as possible for rainy days. I did that as an individual as well as with our business. It is also because of his advice that our studio has been able to survive the global health crisis and continue to provide this necessary recreation activity to our community even as many other businesses like ours have been forced to permanently close all across the country.
How would you say your company/organization positively impacts the community?
Dance Fire Studio has always stridden to be involved in our community. From donating countless gift certificates for various fundraisers, to performing at different galas around our area, to performing and teaching dance at local senior living facilities. We have also donated our 5100sqft facility and organized fundraisers for various local not-for-profit organizations at our studio. On an individual note, we believe our dance studio is helping each person that we teach to be more confident and coordinated one step at a time and have a more positive outlook on life which is especially important during these trying times.
How has the funding that you received through the Berkshire Bank Foundation helped you and your company during these times?
The funding received from the Berkshire Bank Foundation through the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region has helped us tremendously by allowing us to develop new online classes and services, to procure the much needed PPE and cleaning products in order to comply with federal and state guidelines and helped us with day to day expenses like being able to continue to make the payments to our landlord in order to keep our studio alive. I can’t express our gratitude enough to the Berkshire Bank Foundation and Community Loan Fund. It is because of you that our business and many others will be able to come on the other side of this and continue to help our community.
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