How a Passion For Dance helps to Set Up a Dance Academy - X-Forces
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How a Passion For Dance helps to Set Up a Dance Academy

With a family history of two generations of relatives both serving in the military, Sophie Byrnes from Guisborough knew she wanted a career where she could also excel and follow her passion.

From the word go, she knew what she wanted. She chose dance as that is where her passion lay. With the support of X-Forces Enterprise to help her with a start-up loan, she set up Strictly Dance Academy.

“X-Forces Enterprise supported me from the get go! Without my start-up loan, I would not have been able to buy essentials such as speakers, dance merchandise and advertisements.”

Setting up the dance school was not without its challenges. Talking to us about them, she included retaining clients, since some customers want to come for a one-off dance lesson and don’t see it as a full-time hobby, tax and the fact that there are already a lot of dance school that have been running for years and which offer other competing dance styles. And yet, even at the young age of 24, she has achieved a lot. Sophie is a talented go-getter and has the following advice to anyone interested in setting up on their own,

“Go for it and don’t give up! Don’t doubt your business adventure – you need to believe that your business will succeed. I used to go to bed at night and dread getting up for work – now I can’t wait to get out of bed and get paid to do something that I am passionate about.”

Strictly Dance Academy

She credits her success with the fact that she is so passionate about dance.

“Choose something you love doing, make sure you have or get the qualifications and skills needed to support it and do a lot of research as to whether your town or city already has similar businesses. Make sure you check out the competition first!”

She continued,

“Advertise your business and see how what sort of interest you generate! Get the word around town about your new upcoming business via social media and create a website! And finally, be prepared – things will go wrong – you’ll have a terrible month, then it will pick back up and you’ll have the best month. Stay positive, persistent and DO NOT give up.”

If you wish to find out more information about Strictly Dance Academy, visit via the links below:

Facebook: @StrictlydanceacademyNuneaton
Instagram: @strictlydanceacademysda

If you are considering self-employment like Sophie, we run a series of free Self-Employment Discovery Workshops! Find out more via


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