Former HR professional launches Wallsend dance studio
A competitive freestyle disco dancer from the North East has ditched a high pressured career in HR to set up a dance studio in Wallsend.
32 year-old Helen Telford has opened Move It Studios in the town centre following help from North Tyneside Council’s The Business Factory.
Using a redundancy package from her previous job to set up the studio and fund three specialist dance instructors.
As a qualified dance teacher Helen used to teach a dance class at Hebburn Community Centre in her spare time, but decided to make it a full time job.
Helen contacted The Business Factory for help and support in setting up her venture.
She said: “I’d always worked in highly pressurised environments but after the birth of my daughter I knew it was time to make a change.
“I wanted to do something that I loved and make a difference at the same time. I had a light bulb moment when I saw an old gym was on the market – I knew then and there that I wanted to turn that building into my own dance studio.”
“I had so many ideas for the business but didn’t really know where to start. I met with a business advisor who helped me to organise my thoughts and advise me on what steps needed to be taken in order to get my venture off the ground.”
Since opening the doors to Move It Studios at the beginning of April, demand has been unprecedented and Helen is now in the process of converting the first floor into an additional dance studio and with specialist support available through The Business Factory is now turning her business into a social enterprise to ensure more people can benefit from her services.
Helen added: “Far from creating a traditional exclusive dance studio, I wanted to make the studio a real community resource that people can access regardless of circumstance or ability so I have been working with Toni Clark at The Business Factory to set up as a social enterprise.
“This way the business can encourage people in the local area to participant in more exercise and support those who otherwise couldn’t or wouldn’t participate in such activities to give it a go.”
In the past two years, The Business Factory has helped to establish ten new social enterprises - businesses focussed on giving back to the community rather than maximising profits- through its specialist Social Enterprise division.
Cllr Frank Lott, North Tyneside Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for Business Support added: “We are seeing an increasing number of enquiries from individuals wanting to set up their own business and give back to a cause at the same time.
“The Business Factory plays a vital role in helping entrepreneurs with a social purpose ensure their businesses are both profitable and sustainable. In doing so, this will contribute positively to the borough’s economy as well as ensuring our communities remain strong.”
The first floor of Move It Sudios is due to be completed before the summer holidays when Helen plans to run daily drama, craft and dance workshops in addition to regular classes such as Disco Dots, Acro and Diva classes which cater for all levels and abilities.
Helen has also secured street act Twist & Pulse of Britain’s Got Talent fame to run a workshop for children - a huge coup for Move It Studios.
The Business Factory, funded by North Tyneside Council offers free advice and professional support to anyone planning to start a business in North Tyneside. Since it was launched in 2010, its team of business advisors have helped more than 3000 people to consider starting their own business, resulting in over 850 new businesses, by giving practical support on the real issues facing start-ups such as marketing, sales techniques and ideas development.
For more information on how to start your own business, contact The Business Factory on (0191) 605 3110, text START to 81400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can join us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheBusinessFactory and follow us on Twitter @BizFactoryNT. Alternatively drop in to the North Tyneside Business Centre on Howard Street North Shields.
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