We had the good fortune of connecting with Tami Stevens and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tami, what is the most important factor behind your success?
We’ve always tried to live by the motto: Be Kind, and in our business that translated into treating each of our dance students with kindness and respect, and instilling in them the same love for social dance that we have. After 38 years with my successful dance school, I’m always inspired when a beginning student “gets” a move. Seeing the joy a class gets in learning new dances, patterns, and variations truly gives me joy and that joy has kept students coming, I believe, throughout the years. We’ve seen many dance schools come and go over the years, but we’re in in for the right reasons. We’ve always provided a non-threatening happy environment for our customers, and our kindness towards them has been an important key to our success. I would say the most important factor.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Owning a successful school of Ballroom and Swing Dancing for 38 years has definitely been a challenge, but it’s been wonderful to do something for so long that I truly love doing. One of the hardest things has been how social dancing has changed and evolved over the years, and we’ve had to be flexible & stay current to remain successful. For instance, for years Ballroom Dancing was our mainstay. We had huge group classes interested in Foxtrot, Waltz, Cha-Cha etc…but in the 1990’s, when Swing Dancing became all the rage, we had to back off on the Ballroom and add many more Swing Classes, (much to the chagrin of some of our “strictly Ballroom” students. Country Western was huge for a time, Salsa was huge for a time–and we’ve been able to tailor our classes to match the trends. Also, finding buildings and locations to meet our dance class needs has been a challenge. But we managed to settle into a few great ones, and there have also been some that we saw the potential in and made great! One lesson we’ve learned is to stay flexible, never go stale. Another is that competition is generally a positive thing. It gives your customers something to compare you to, and makes you work harder to insure you are the best! We want the world to appreciate that we honestly love what we do, Social Dancing, and we want our students to love it to.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My friends are all dancers. So, any of my best friends would want to check out the best Social Dance venues in the area. Disneyland has always had areas in the park to dance (pre-covid), so I’d suggest going there. An overnight stay in Santa Barbara would also be a great idea, as there are fun places to dance there. My business (pre-covid) offers Swing Dances with some of L.A.’s top Swing bands playing for dancing EVERY Saturday night, and my best friends always look forward to visiting those dances when they come.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My sister, Erin, co-owns the business with me, and it’s always been her positive attitudes and great ideas regarding all aspects of our company that have inspired me to continue over the years.
Facebook: Pasadena Ballroom Dance Association