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Batavia dance instructor leaps into business
Published: Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT
By JONATHAN BILYK - firstname.lastname@example.org
Anne Gugliuzza loves to dance.
But Gugliuzza, owner of the Batavia Academy of Dance, will tell you the only thing she loves more than dancing is inspiring others to dance.
“Dance is beautiful and majestic, and it just makes life so much more beautiful,” she said. “The world would be a better place if everyone danced.”
Combining those passions, Gugliuzza opened her dance school in 2009.
The business was the result of years of patience and planning. Gugliuzza said she started crafting a plan in 2000, when the thought of opening a dance school began to move from idle fascination to distinct possibility.
“This has been my dream since I was born, I think,” she said.
Going against the advice of others, Gugliuzza renovated a second-floor dance studio on East Wilson Street in downtown Batavia, registered her first four students and raised the curtain on the Batavia Academy of Dance.
Since opening the dance school, business has boomed – far better and faster than Gugliuzza could have imagined. Three years later, she and her fellow dance instructors teach 110 students and have a waiting list.
The demand has prompted her to expand the business. This year, she considered offering classes in a satellite location, but instead jumped at the opportunity to lease and renovate the ground floor storefront directly beneath her studio.
Gugliuzza expects to open the space, which will include a second studio and a boutique selling dance clothing and equipment, in early September.
Gugliuzza said the success of her business has amazed her and taught her important lessons along the way. She said finding balance in her family life has been key.
“Building a business can be chaos,” Gugliuzza said. “It can consume you if you’re not careful.”
She also noted running a business specializing in what she loves has challenged her to think like a businesswoman specializing in dance.
“I love dance so much, and I want everyone else to love it, too,” she said. “But sometimes I have to remind myself that I’m a business owner, too, and that I can’t just give this away.
“I love having a business, but to me, dance is even more amazing and wonderful, that it’s a real challenge.”