This year is the 10th Anniversary of The Right Step. I’m so excited to celebrate this and we have lots of things planned, everyone in the office has a different focus! Georgie is in charge of the blog and social media elements and she’s asked me to write something about why and how I started The Right Step.

The answer is… By accident!

I moved to Kent from Surrey where I’d experienced a lot of community dance and companies and individuals working together to make dance happen. It was a very inspiring place to be and, working with people such as Rachel Deadman of The Dance Movement and Jo Planinshek on projects such

as Homegrown, a community dance platform, in dance admin and within dance lessons, definitely installed my passion for this type of work.

When I moved to Kent I quickly discovered there was less going on and, if I wanted to keep going in the industry, I needed to create work for myself. I contacted schools and built things up slowly. This is when everything snowballed… there was a lot of interest in the dance lessons and I couldn’t do it myself.

 

I couldn’t do it alone and in 2009/10 I gratefully received a lot of help. The three main sources of support were…

– My now husband thought of the company name and has always been supportive along the way.

– The Prince’s Trust supported me with a loan and a mentor, Ian Goodwin, and I truly believe that without him I wouldn’t have succeeded. He taught me so much and I still use most of the processes he introduced me to now. Ian, I still do my own finance/ cashflow spreadsheets and always will!

– Nina Atkinson of Loop Dance Company was my mentor via the Mentor Bank Programme. She mentored me as an artist and, as many of the people I work with will agree, Nina is an inspiring, kind and passionate person who makes you believe in yourself.

Over the years TRS has developed with the dance teachers at it’s heart and with my mad ideas running along with it. We not only run the dance clubs that started it all, but there’s also Active Armchairs, Educating Dance, TRS Tots, TRS Training and TRS Franchise. Only Active Armchairs is mentioned on the original business plan I wrote for The Prince’s Trust 10 years ago. It just shows how everything has evolved organically.

The original company aims still stand though. I think in ten years I’ve only changed the wording of one or two very slightly!

It’s difficult to say why and how I started The Right Step in a succinct way so thank you for the challenge Georgie! Here is my attempt, but there is a lot more to the story!

Picture: Steve Crispe FM3417204

Why

1. I love sharing dance with other people.
2. There was a gap in the market and it needed to be filled.
3. Someone believed in me and said I could.
4. I believe working together is better than working alone. Together we can do more than any one individual.
5. It turns out that I really enjoy business… filling out forms, making things happen, writing policies etc. Some people think this is strange, I feel like I’m playing office!

How

1. With help and support
2. With determination and stubbornness
3. By undertaking a lot of research
4. With constant development
5. With something else, I’m not sure what. Maybe luck, accidentally doing the right thing, I’m not sure, but definitely something along those lines!

Over all, when I think about The Right Step, it’s a wonderful team spreading out to deliver dance in usual and unexpected places. It’s my passion and I hope we’ll be going strong for another 10 years. 

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