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Psychology of the dance business
Student entrepreneur combines love of dance with degrees
Start with a salsa and throw in a merengue. Now mix in a psychology class, a few accounting and marketing courses, and what have you got? A day in the busy life of Cara Moeller. Currently a full-time student working on double commerce and psychology degrees at the University of Calgary, Moeller is also the founder and owner of Beat It Dance.
Moeller began dancing as a young child and continues to train in several genres.
She recently spent a year in Mexico and the Dominican Republic specializing in Latin dance.
“I’m known for hip hop and salsa. I’m the white girl that can teach the salsa,” quips Moeller.
Her enthusiasm and skill for dance made it a natural career path. “I’ve always had a passion for dance. I wanted to teach dance and work with people. I think it’s very natural to dance, and it’s nice to see people get past their inhibitions and just enjoy themselves ... Psychology and dance go well together because I can understand the people who come to my classes.”
Moeller created Beat It Dance (www.beatitdance.com) nearly two years ago. The company offers dance programs for all levels through World Health Club locations and unlike a typical dance studio, Beat It Dance is aimed at people aged 13 or older. “It’s a totally different market (than dance studios),” says Moeller.
We’re more relaxed, and it can be totally for fun or to progress if [clients] wish. There is no testing, and it’s about convenience. You can take a dance class while your partner works out. It’s welcoming to everyone whether you are just learning or into performing.”
While Moeller didn’t plan to start a business while she was a student, the result is a thriving company, which she plans to expand after she graduates. For her work, Moeller was named the Western Student Entrepreneur of the Year, and competed as one of three national finalists. She now defines herself as a dancer, and an experienced entrepreneur.
“The key thing is to find something that you are passionate about, and have a plan to enter the market. Have a purpose, position yourself competitively and invest in quality people. Being an entrepreneur, you have to take a risk. Be confident that you can achieve what you want.”