Born to Boogie’s founder Tennille Chambers had a dream, but there was one thing stopping her.
Together, herself and Kindred Studios’ owner Simon Hodgson made it happen – here’s how:
How did Born to Boogie Started?
I am a local from Yarraville and was looking for a venue with large enough space for a large dance class. After finding Kindred on Google I did a site visit. To my disappointment although Kindred had a perfect sized room, it didn’t have any mirrors (which was one of my requirements). So, I summoned up the courage to request Simon put mirrors in the room if I paid for 12 weeks of venue hire and found some good priced mirrors. Fortunately he agreed, and the best priced wall mirrors in Melbourne happened to be from a local supplier! We then installed the mirrors to create the dance studio that is now at Kindred and used by many.
What is Born to Boogie and what can people expect?
So many things! Firstly lots of laughs (at ourselves). Our classes are aimed at the beginner to intermediate level dancer, so they are a good challenge for a beginner, and a fun class for an intermediate dancer. Participants learn dance routines they will perform in a show, and the styles are inspired by the song. It might be jazz, disco, burlesque or hip-hop. Although everyone who joins us knows they are learning dances to perform in a show, it can still be confronting at times, especially as it comes closer to show time! Our community is so wonderfully supportive of each other with everyone helping one another so that everyone is as confident as they can be come show time. The feedback from our students after their show is full of gratitude, pride in themselves and one of the biggest high’s of their life!
Why did you start Born to Boogie?
I’ve always loved to dance and studied dance on and off over the years, however I never became a professional stage dancer (which would’ve been a dream come true). I’ve always had a desire to be an entrepreneur as well, so one day I was sitting on my bed and thought to myself “What if there are people out there in my local area who loved to dance, yet who missed out on performing on stage. What if I could create something where the every day person gets to dance and perform for the fun of it?”
So I came up with a name, got a logo made, created a Facebook page, had some flyers designed (yes I even did letter box drops back then), and hired the perfect teacher to teach the classes.
We started with just two classes over 12 weeks and we learnt two routines to perform at an end of semester show. That was almost 4 years ago. We now run in 4 locations in Melbourne, have a passionate team of three teachers, have had over 150 students participate in our classes, have put on seven phenomenal shows and have had over 1000 guests watch us show off on stage!
What’s your fondest memory of teaching?
It’s hard to pick one. Apart from spending 12 weeks at a time teaching amazing, brave people, it would also have to be when I was leading a dance warm-up in the bar at Kindred for the West Projections Festival. I was looking out to the crowd of over 200 children and parents all dancing together and enjoying the dance bubble we had created. My heart burst with joy as I just love seeing the connection between children and their parents when they dance together.
What is 2018 looking like for Born to Boogie?
More classes, more students, bigger shows! As a team, we are ever so aware of how much of a difference our programs make to our participants. They’re more than just dance classes. Our students report the friendships they have made, the self confidence they have gained, the thrill of performing they have experienced – it makes us more determined to keep growing and expanding so we can offer this to as many people as possible! We’ll also be running smaller courses with no performance required.
In addition, we are launching a very special program and releasing in primary schools and festivals this year. We will be running family disco events through a new chapter of our business – Dance Out Loud. We can’t wait!
How does dancing make you feel? What about your students?
Dancing makes me feel alive, joyful and free. I love the feeling of my body being led by the music when i’m dancing, and I love the feeling of nailing a choreographed dance move when I am learning a routine. Our students report all similar feelings!
If you totally missed your calling as a back-up dancer, would love to unleash your inner-show off, or would even like to stretch your comfort zone more, then Born to Boogie Dance Connection is perfect for you!
There’s two classes running at Kindred Studios and our next 13 week semester starts on Tues 13th Feb or Thursday 15th Feb.
The program costs $290 (new students) or you can save $30 each when you join with friends.
To learn more and get started click here
Image: Born to Boogie end of year showcase.