On the up Hunter Ruthven · 23 December 2015
Step It Up Dance: Urban dance gets children active
Edinburgh-based Step It Up Dance has taken an innovative approach to sport and exercise for kids, with its offering now available across many parts of Scotland. The business, which has been through the Entrepreneurial Spark accelerator programme to help it tackle the early issues that come with growth, is resonating well with both nursery clients and organised classes and parties. We found out more by speaking with the founder. (1) Who are you and what’s your business? I’m NikI Hutchison and I created Step It Up Dance, an award-winning urban dance company teaching tots to teens. I have a professionalbackground in social research and marketing and previously worked on a Scottish government project investigating how to reduce anti-social behaviour amongst children. This inspired me to start the business and get kids active. (2) How long have you been around for? Step It Up Dance launched in Edinburgh in January 2012 and we now also operate in Glasgow, East Lothian and Fife, with Stirling and Dundee first on the list for 2016. (3) How do you make money? We run classes and parties for kids in the areas mentioned above. We also work with Active Schools, delivering classes in schools. Werun Curriculum Dance workshops bringing to life classroom topics and a very important part of our business is delivering our under 5’s hip-hopcurricula within nurseries. (4) What makes you different and why should people take notice? We have turned the traditional dance school model on its’ head, making dance cool and accessible to bothboys andgirls. In fact 70 per cent of our customers are boys which is something that we’re really proud of. Our unique under 5’s hip-hopcurricula also sets us apart. We worked hard, foralmost a year, to create these structuredclasses which are completely aligned tothe pre-birth to three foundation stage and curriculum for excellencefor children aged 18 months to three years and three to five years-old. (5) What was key in terms of getting started? Drive, determination and the financial support and encouragement of my husband and close family. (6) What’s your biggest achievement to date? Definitely creating our under 5’s hip-hopcurricula. This was a very collaborative process involving three key members of the team. We kept focusedand adoptedan “anything goes” attitude, which has resulted in some really valuable learning tools for children and some key business growth for us. The fantastic feedback from nursery managers and our very important audience, the children themselves, means that the whole process has been enjoyable and very worthwhile. (7) What setbacks have you had along the way?
ABOUT THE EXPERTHunter Ruthven
Hunter Ruthven was previously editor of Business Advice. He was also the editor of Real Business, the UK's most-read website for entrepreneurs and business leaders at the helm of growing SMEs.