Craig Rivere & Chantal Riviere de Klerk – Principals at Dance Illusions – sit down to discuss how the business came about and what makes Dance Illusions such a special offering in the market.
When did you both realise you had a passion for teaching dancing?
From a very early age, we were both young adults. Chantal has been dancing since age 4 and Craig since age 11.
Why and when did you decide to go into business together?
We had worked alongside each other in my (Craig's) previous studio, which ran for over 25 years in Glenvista, Johannesburg and decided at the end of 2016 to form a new partnership in the form of Dance Illusions. Chantal had in fact worked in the music industry for 20 years prior to this and decided it was time to pursue her passion.
What has been the biggest challenge for you both so far?
To establish ourselves in a new community. We always had a long standing relationship in our previous area and relied mainly on referrals as we were very well established and a landmark in the area. We strive to achieve the same in Bedfordview in good time and we're realistic that it isn't an overnight process.
What has been the most rewarding part of the experience for you both so far?
Working with new talent and dancers who show lots of potential for future development. That's what gets us going!
What sets Dance Illusions apart from any other dance studio’s in Johannesburg?
There are many things that set us apart. Firstly, our trainers are highly qualified and experienced. We hold local and International experience and qualifications in multiple styles. We offer full SADTA and IDTA (UK) syllabus, as well as exam and competition training. We offer a fully functional facility in a very safe and secure environment in an up-market centre with 24 hour guarded security. Parking is underground and a drop-and-go is possible as we have a full-time receptionist on duty. Most classes have 2 teachers per class, so students get their fair share of attention. Our facility has proper flooring, gym training mats, mirrors and ballet barres, which ensure safe training of the body.
Do you cater for a specific age group or are all ages welcome?
We pride ourselves in the fact that we train all ages, always ensuring that students attend an age appropriate class. Our youngest are around 3 years old, and we have no upper age limit. Our oldest competitor was in fact 82 years of age, dancing in a Championship section, so it's safe to say that we definitely don't see age as any kind of limitation!
What are the most popular dance styles at the studio?
Our most popular styles are our Specialised Tots Freestyle Training, Freestyle (includes Slowdance), Latin-American and Hip Hop. We do offer a lot more than this though and we'd be happy to talk you through all the styles if you give us a call.
Are there any big events coming up you guys will be attending as we head deeper into 2018?
We have (on average) 3 events per month, across the various genres that we offer, and our season runs from February to the end of November. The calendar is full of Local Gauteng, National and International events. We also host our own all styles event “Dance Spectrum” which is held in October each year.
How different is life for you both now compared to a year ago?
We spend our days working on progression towards our goals (both in a personal and in a business capacity). We are blessed to do what we love every day and encourage others to do the same. We are all very active within the industry and Craig sits on the local Gauteng branch as Vice Chairman and a delegate to the SADTA National Dance Council.
Where do you hope to see the studio in five years?
We hope to see classes with lots of well nurtured talent and people with a real love for dance. Our passion is to work with people that inspire us; from taking their first steps in dance all the way through to seeing their growth and development. All this whilst turning them into confident well-rounded students!
To learn more about the studio, please don't hesitate to contact us over here.