Dance like nobody’s watching
Daily dance uplifts the soul to spiritual realms.
Daily dance uplifts the soul to spiritual realms. That's just one of the beautiful proverbs on Deepa Mani’s Instagram page, and it sums up the ethos of this Mum's & Co member’s unique business. Based in Melbourne, Deepa is the founder of Chandralaya, a dance school for Indian classical and contemporary art forms. Deepa joins us in Mumbition today to share the story and journey of her business.
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“I think dance has been an integral part of my life from the very get go. I'm saying this right from when I was five and a half. My story is pretty much like any other person’s, finding the true purpose in life comes in different chapters, but every one of us and dance was always a parallel for me.
During school, college and at work, it was always secondary because I was working in the corporate sector. So dance never left my soul and I had my little one a few years back and I realised the 9 to 5 or the 9 to 9 doesn't really give you some times of true purpose in life. I was trying to understand what else I can do? I realised I have this knowledge that I've gained over 30 years and it's time to start emitting that knowledge out to people and communities so they could get the benefits that I received all the time, and that's when Chandralaya was born.”
What other tools have you added to your belt since becoming a business owner that helps you feel grounded in dance?
“I definitely think dancing in itself has been a great tool for me, both mental, physical and spiritual well-being. The other thing I think that has really expanded my ideas is marketing. I was lucky to have a corporate background, but still marketing is a big ocean of knowledge. I was so fortunate to work with one of the Mums & Co members on the marketing side, who is helping me in developing the strategy. That was a really good relationship we’ve had in building that knowledge. I've learned so much about my marketing, how to really market the business and make people understand the bigger picture of a movement, not just dance, the movement.”
How do you strike a balance between all these different parts of your working day job?
“One of the things I do is if it's marketing, I work that out at the start of the week and that's already taken care of for the business. The curriculum plans, for example, are already set at the start of the term. So it's all done and dusted to flow on to the students. The admin work, I allocate about 3 to 4 hours in the week and I think it's all about organisation and understanding how to work with the families.”
What do you consider to be the biggest risk of running a business like yours? What are some of the processes that you've put in place to mitigate these?
“One of the risks, I think in my kind of service business, particularly running this sort of institution or something like that, this is a sole trader, and the risk for a sole proprietor is a single point of failure, you don’t have a 2IC or something, so that's something I'm currently working on, to make sure that there are a few more trained people to be able to manage the load when things get a little bit harder.”
Want to know more about how Deepa Mani can help you achieve freedom through dance?
Looking for a tangible way to move your body and destress? Need a hobby that will keep you grounded? Searching for fun exercise that is flexible and fits around your schedule?
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