I’ve had my love for Kaylee since she first asked me to photograph her gorgeous winter wedding. I was first really inspired by The Force Dance Academy when I heard her sister and Dad give speeches at her wedding about how devoted and passionate Kaylee was for dance and working with the girls. They talked about how proud they were of her to be a young business owner and giving it her all. Well, you know, Sami Jo and I are also young girl bosses so that really stood out to me. I then started following Kaylee’s coaching journey over social media and was continuously impressed with her talent and professionalism. We had vibed so well during her wedding planning process, so it was a no-brainer for me to try dance headshots when she asked. I’m so happy she asked because I love doing it so much! It’s so fun to take what usually is those typical “say cheese” photos and turn them into a snapshot of the dancers personality. I see it as a challenge to turn what could be boring into real and authentic and dance headshots allow me to do just that.
The Force dancers are all so sweet and just genuinely great girls. I know there is a stigma sometimes around “Dance Mom’s” but honestly, that just isn’t the case. The Force Dance Moms are the sweetest ladies ever! Even watching from the outside, they really are all just a big huge family who offer support and help with anything ANYONE needs. Whatever you need, they’ve got your back! I think Kaylee did an amazing job putting together this program. It’s a community, it’s a skill, it’s a memory, it’s an experience, it’s a legacy.
1. What year did your business open? What inspired you to create The Force Dance Academy?
Our First location in Richmond opened in 2013 then our Lake Cumberland Location followed in 2017! The inspiration behind the Force has always been and truly is the dancers. I had 4 students come to me asking for an Elite team where they could explore new dance styles and compete. We started out with just 4 high school students and this ended up blooming into The Force Dance Academy teaching athletes across KY!
2. What is your favorite thing about The Force Dance Academy and working in this program?
COACHING THE DANCERS. This is the only reason I continue to do what I do. I love choreography, I love dance itself but I believe I can speak for all of my staff when I say there is nothing like coaching our students. Watching them learn new things , try & try again, pushing themselves to new limits, overcoming fears, team building, seeing them shine on stage and create a lifetime of memories. In the end you hope they have learned all the core values they need to succeed but not just in dance in life! My coaches were huge impacts on who I am today and I only hope I have that same impact on my athletes! The Force is truly a family and there is nothing like the support our staff has for our students!
3. Who does your business serve? (Women, Teens, Men who like building things...etc.)
The Youth of KY! We start at age 2 and go to age 18! Teaching all dance and acrobatic tumbling styles at a Recreational and Competitive Level!
4. What are three words you would use to describe your business/brand?
Be The Legacy
5. How do you differ from businesses similar to yours in Somerset?
We are used to having other businesses in the same field as us since this isn’t our first location. And we think that’s great! Everyone is looking for something different and we are okay with that. We just focus on what FA is here to do teach proper technique & training, introduce the lake Cumberland area to all styles of Dance and tumbling , provide a supportive & fun environment while instilling core life lessons for athletes. We are fortunate to have an accomplished staff from our Richmond location that are from numerous dance and training backgrounds all across KY & OH. We are constantly collaborating and bringing The best to our athletes here. Small town doesn’t have to mean small time. The Force is BIG time & our dancers are going places. It’s so great to see a program that we have created in a larger community come to this area and offer these dancers beginner - elite the best training & opportunities!
6. What’s your favorite thing about Somerset and the 606 area? Do you have any favorite small businesses?
The small town and “ home” feel! We absolutely love it! It’s a breath of fresh air! I LOVE the little clothing shops... specifically persnickety Jane So many talented athletes in the area that we are excited to bring knowledge of Dance & Tumble from a larger town and training experiences to! It truly is a blessing to watch our dancers grow week to week!
7. Do you have any exciting plans or changes for your business in 2019?
YES! New Competitive Teams are coming your way this summer! New training programs & MULTIPLE Intensives and Camps! More Recreational Classes opening up to accommodate our fast growing classes! And our Annual Recital to Showcase our Recreational & Competitive dancers accomplishments in June at the Center for Rural Development!
8.Do you have any tips for other girl bosses trying follow their dreams and start their own business?
GO FOR IT & DONT STOP! It’s hard being a female in the business world & there will always be people doubting you and trying to bring you down. I think comparison is the biggest enemy. Remember your WHY for starting your business venture and remember that being different is a GOOD THING. Shine your light bright & don’t let people bring you down. You’ll get knocked down , your learn from your mistakes just like everyone does but how you recover and what your next step is to always improve is what really matters. Focus on your impact your making in your community & Support one another!