We had the good fortune of connecting with Ahjalia Hall and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Thrive Dance Center Co-Owners Ahjalia Hall & Jennifer Maples pictured left to right

Hi Ahjalia, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Our mission is to not only provide the best in dance and performing arts education to our students, but to also guide them towards realizing their full potential and help them to become amazing, creative, and generous human beings. We didn’t want to just create a dance studio but rather a place where kids can come to have a place to learn to be confident and disciplined through dance. We also wanted a place where dancers could be influenced to give back to the community around them and live from a place of gratitude. 

What should our readers know about your business?
We are most proud that our business has a focus on giving back to our surrounding community. Each year on a monthly basis our students participate in an activity focused on our community. We have an annual Beach Bonanza where we clean our local beach, our 100 member Jolly Squad visits several of our local Assisted Living Facilities during the holidays, we have an incredible annual food drive for our local Manna Food Bank, we do a blanket donation for our local Animal Shelter and we perform for several of our local community events in efforts to fundraise for Broadway Cares, Dancers Against Cancer, The American Heart Association and our local Foster Families. Many of our students love performing in a competitive environment but we often hear them with pride say that their favorite moments of the year take place during the events listed above. We feel that what sets us apart from other dance studios is that we focus on being a well rounded dancer and well rounded person. We don’t want our dancers to focus on any specific dance style but rather encourage them to take all disciplines. We also have a separate Theater Program (The Triple Threat Theater Program) that teachers Acting, Voice and Musical Theater Dance. We feel that if our students are well rounded and training throughout the different disciplines they are more likely to be able to keep dance in their life either as a career if they choose or in other ways beyond their childhood. We have learned along the way that our influence on our students and their influence on us is truly remarkable. Unlike school teachers we watch our dancers grow from 3 years old to 18 years old so we truly get to watch them grow up right before our eyes. Our teachers leave lasting imprints on our students and our students leave lasting imprints on us all. It’s a truly incredible dynamic that proves that we aren’t just teaching dance but more so life lessons through dance. We want the world to know that we love what we do. We have a true passion for dance and we believe that everyone, EVERYONE who takes a moment to dance can become a changed person for the better. Whether someone takes one class, or many classes over many years, dance can build confidence, physical fitness, a connection with your emotions and others emotions and truly allows you to be free and lost in movement and music. We want the world to know that they should take the time to put on music and dance!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Ride bikes from Venice to Santa Monica (stay active and enjoy the coastline) Take a short tour around the SM pier (rides are fun) Lunch at Titos Tacos (LA staple!) Take a Drive to Malibu (Beautiful Views) Hang at Paradise Cove (lay on the beds in the sunshine) Night out at the Rainbow Room on Sunset. (always cool people to see)

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My business partner, Jennifer Maples and I were both highly influenced by our dance teachers growing up. Jennifer’s teacher Ms. Sharon Cook taught Jennifer dance technique and performance in Bradenton Florida. In addition to dance, she also instilled the idea of giving back to the community around her. My dance teacher growing up was my mother Maureen Haley. She owned a dance studio in San Jose, CA and I grew up inspired by her professional dance career, her love for dance, performance and the way she invested in her students. Seeing that someone could make a career out of a passion was extremely inspiring.

Website: www.thrivedancecenter.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thrivedancecenter/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thrivedancecenter/

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