Doe has made a brilliant success of turning her passion of dance into a job. She has transformed here life from a struggling public sector worker to living her dream of running a dance studio, which is called Sky Tribe. Have a read of her journey and be inspired by her tale.
Hello I hope all is well. Do you want to let us know a bit more about what you’re currently doing and what made you want to do this?
I opened Skytribe Dance Studio in Leicester, September 2015. The studio specialises in burlesque, hula hoop, and Tribal fusion belly dance and offers a range of hen party options. I also perform at events around the UK under my stage name ‘Doe Demure’ and produce burlesque shows for a variety of venues.
I love to perform and wanted to share the experience with my students so I created a number of performance groups, Chicas Locas Burlesque, Skytribe hula hoopers & Skytribe Tribal Fusion belly dance, who often travel around performing with me.
Dancing is my passion, and each of the forms of dance I teach have their own merits but the main theme is that they are to be enjoyed by women of all backgrounds, shapes and ages. My students range from 16 to 55+ years old. All of the ladies dance together in a nurturing and fun environment. Most people come to classes to get fit, have fun or to feel more glamourous. But, dance, and the community aspect that come with it, can heal many emotional wounds; and once you step through the door at Skytribe Studio and you’re a part of our world, it’s very hard to give it up!
What were you doing before you got involved with somewhereto_?
I trained to be a Mental Health Nurse, but sadly qualified during the NHS job crisis and struggled to find work close to home. I moved to Oxford for a job as a staff nurse in a child & adolescent unit for a while but when I returned to Leicester the situation wasn’t any better.
I ended up working in a pharmacy dispensing prescriptions. I started taking all sorts of dance classes in my spare time. It was like waking up, I realised I’d been pushing my passions aside for a ‘safe’ career (which had turned out to be not so safe after all…) and knew I had to try and get myself on the right track; dancing!
How did you come across somewhereto_ and how did they help you find space?
I started teaching classes at a local nightclub when it was empty, but although the room hire was cheap, it wasn’t really the ideal venue for my dance classes.
I mentioned to a friend that I was looking for an affordable space to run my dance classes locally and she suggested I contact somewhereto_
Somewhereto_ linked me up with Attenborough Arts Centre in Leicester (then called Embrace Arts) where they offered me a studio to run my classes. It was clean, light and had mirrors and a stereo- all I could want for my classes.
I’m so glad somewhereto_ introduced me to Attenborough Arts Centre, I’m not sure where I would be today if they hadn’t- it would have been a lot harder that’s for sure!
How did your local somewhereto_ team help you in starting your business and what skills have they helped you gain?
Attenborough Arts Centre ended up taking me on as a freelance tutor for their arts programme and I began teaching at the centre every week.
Teaching at Attenbrough Arts Centre allowed me to build up a student base and I now also produce shows for them even though I no longer teach there since opening Skytribe. I’m now full-time self-employed.
I think confidence is the main thing, which I’ve taken from the experience. Starting out in self-employment can be lonely and it was good to have someone believe in what I was trying to achieve.
What advice would you give someone looking to do something similar?
I’d say believe in yourself, if you do, other people will do too. It’s amazing what a little self-belief can do. Having said that though, don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s easy to be proud and want to do everything yourself, I should know! But there are so many people out there willing to help; you just need to ask…
Check out Doe’s website via this link www.skytribe.org