We were lucky to catch up with Miranda Manley recently and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Miranda, thanks for joining us today. Let’s start with the story of your mission. What should we know?
My mission is to create a safe space that encourages teens and adults to walk out of my dance classes feelings stronger, happier, and more proud than when they arrived. I teach my classes through repetition, creative imagery, counts, and feedback from my students. My goal is to build their confidence so when they look at themselves in the mirror, they are proud of who is looking back.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
I was 10 years old when my mom enrolled me in dance classes. At the time, I wasn’t so sure about it and was completely unaware that it would become my passion and the path I would follow up until today, almost 20 years later. I trained at the studio in many styles of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip-hop, and contemporary. After graduating, I danced with Radio Disney and Scottsdale community college. I continued my training by taking heels classes, but I wanted the opportunity to dance cute rather than sexy. Then I realized I can create this option with K-pop! I had discovered K-pop as a senior in high school and was mesmerized by the catchy music and captivating dances. Watching K-pop music videos was something I enjoyed in my free time but now I saw the opportunity to use my dance experience to help others who may be feeling the same way. Surely I wasn’t the only one who wanted to dance K-pop in Arizona right?
My K-pop classes started in 2018 with a couple of dancers once a month and slowly continued to gain momentum to where I am teaching K-pop classes every weekend. I made my classes open level in order to allow beginners and trained dancers to come together and dance to all the K-pop songs they love. I continue to strive for my classes to be a safe environment for dancers and K-pop fans who are teens and adults to have fun. I teach the official choreography so that my students can feel like stars and have the confidence to go to random K-pop dance plays and other K-pop meetups. I have greatly enjoyed watching my students fall more in love with K-pop and dance.
We’d love to hear the story of how you turned a side-hustle into a something much bigger.
When I’m not teaching my open level classes I am directing ERA K-pop Dancers. ERA is a K-pop performance group made up of 12 dancers some of which are students who started taking my classes in 2019 and have been members of ERA ever since. ERA is an ERA-zona-based group that strives to inspire other K-pop fans and dancers. We perform at cultural events, local businesses, and schools, and have even performed for a marriage proposal. This high-energy performance group trains hard to light up the stage and relate to K-pop fans in the audience as well as introduce K-pop to those who haven’t seen it yet. You can find these talented dancers on Instagram @era_kpop_dancers.
Can you tell us about what’s worked well for you in terms of growing your clientele?
Word of mouth and Instagram have been the most effective ways to bring people to my classes. My students may bring in their family or friends after coming to classes for a few weeks and want them to join them in on the fun! Instagram is great too because I encourage my students to record themselves and share their moves! Their followers see them and want to know where these classes are so they can come too!
- Instagram: @mirandancer
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mirandancer/
- Youtube: https://youtube.com/channel/UCW3DYUZPeJ487d7CQW3WUBQ
- Other: https://linktr.ee/ERAKpopDancers?utm_source=linktree_profile_share<sid=a65a80aa-db12-4c22-9241-edbb0c72ea7a
First image by @capturedbyvince