We had the good fortune of connecting with Marcella Palazzo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marcella, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Since I was little I was sure of two things: I wanted to be a dancer, and I wanted to own my own business. When I got the opportunity to open my own dance studio, there was no question about it. My favorite genres of dance are Jazz, Burlesque, and Musical Theatre. I always loved how glamorous and sassy those styles are. During my dance training I also trained in Ballet, Modern, Hip Hop, and Heels. I quickly realized how having training is all styles helps you so much to become a better dancer. When opening my own studio, I had to think about the way I wanted it to be. I wanted it to be well rounded and offer classes in all genres, and I also wanted it to stylish and glamorous. I designed the interior design to look like a modern Burlesque lounge with a hint of New York aesthetics. We have marquee letters, city windows, vanity mirrors, and spotlights. In terms of the technical side of business, I compiled a list of all the things I liked and disliked about studios I’ve went to as a customer. I incorporated all of the aspects I enjoyed at those places into my studio, and made sure to leave out the aspects I did not. Things that were important to me were that it would be easy to sign up, it would be stylish, the website would be clean/clear, our instructors would be friendly, and our classes would be high quality. I always ensure my studio is a place where people can feel comfortable rather than intimidated
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I like to think that my choreography and my studio would be described as expressive and glamorous. I’m all about the performance factor. I love to make choreography that gives people goosebumps as they’re watching, and make them feel something. I believe that what makes art powerful is that it makes us feel something, not just that its pretty to look at. In my choreography theres always a hook in the beginning, a climax, and a finale. Incorporating these aspects into my studio and classes is a challenge. People tend to stick with whats popular or trendy, and it can be tricky to get them to try new styles. We have always gotten the most sign ups in our classes with more “mainstream” styles. Mood Studio as a whole is different from other studios in our area, and we see the same pattern here. However, we keep in mind that all icons started somewhere, and they were able to invent a new trend people eventually caught onto.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
When it comes to San Francisco, food is a must. We have some of the most authentic Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish, and French restaurants. I would definitely take them to main spots in the city like the shops in Union Square, Pier 39, and the Golden Gate Bridge. In my opinion these are the most lively spots in San Francisco. In these areas there are always street performers, artists, and unique shops
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to give recognition my father. He owns the building that my dance studio is in, and he let me use the space to open my business. He easily could have rented it to a bigger company that would have made him bigger rent, but he believed in me. As a business man himself, he was able to help me learn the legal and technical side of business along with dealing with employees/customers in an effective way. While offering his help, he still always gave me the space to make my own decisions and do what I thought was best. Without his help, I wouldn’t be where I am today.