This past couple of months have been difficult and challenging in many ways but, ultimately, not in a bad way. Instead in an exciting and kind of terrifying way, a sometimes inconvenient way. I know this period will soon come to an end and that helps, especially when I get my bookings mixed up, or when customers end up at the wrong space, or when I'm lugging 15 yoga mats and an oversized speaker across a carpark in the rain and wind.
The closest experience I have of this weird limbo time is actually being pregnant. All those aches and pains and sleepless nights … it's do-able because you know it will come to an end and that it will all be worth while - more than worthwhile (not that I'm comparing my darling children to a giant shed!). But it's that feeling of impatience and wishing it was here already, but at the same time sheer terror and thinking you're not ready, that you'll never be ready. And doubt - was this all a huge mistake? And, what on earth was I thinking?
This period has been an important reminder as to why I'm doing this. Basically because my business had outgrown our space. Literally our dancers were kicking the walls. It was safe, and small and easy … but it wasn't fulfilling our needs. Searching for places to hold classes on a temporary basis has shown me that there is a genuine wider need for such a space.
This period of using different venues has reminded me what's important to the customer, and what's important to me. None of this has been new information and it's informed our decision making all along but it's almost that feeling of affirmation that yes, it was right to spend so much time making that decision (or so much money choosing that floor).
So since I last wrote, here is a quick run down of the big things that have happened and wee bit background to some of our decisions.
Anyone who has been at a yoga or Pilates class with me recently will have seen me spending the first 5 minutes of class crazily switching on and off various lights whilst shouting from a cupboard / behind a bar "is that too bright? Has that one gone off now? Is it still in your eyes?" .
We have really invested in lighting the place up, and it's fab to be able to switch all the lights on and off now (simple pleasures!). We have dimmers that will make a lovely cosy space for relaxation / yoga / mindfulness / sound healing / Pilates, lots of wall lights so they're not glaring in your eyes, bright spot lights and pendants for dance and fitness classes, disco lights for events and general fun, and we have a disco ball… just because (read previous blog post for more on that!).
I'll probably add some fairy lights too, and I'm in love with neon signs (that are out of my price range). I've been warned (by Cheggs) that no candles whatsoever are allowed in our brand new wood frame, wood clad build.
The heating is now on too. After all the indecisiveness it's now all in place, switched on and even in this cold spell, the building is is lovely and cosy. The hot yoga heaters are all plugged in, and on a very very cold day last week we were all pleasantly surprised by how hot they made the room (they got up to 40 degrees!)! I can't wait to do some hot and warm yoga classes with you! Especially after some of the very cold yoga classes we've experienced this January.
Overly hot Zumba and fitness classes will also be a thing of the past with our fancy new air conditioning units which will be keeping us cool all summer long!
The flooring was one of the biggest decisions we had to make, and probably caused the longest delays because it affected everything else. Nothing could be done until we had decided on flooring, which was very much tied in with heating choices.
Here are a few technical details about sprung floors (different from spring floors as used for cheerleading) - look away if you're easily bored!
There are cheaper and simpler sprung floors available as often used in sports halls - these are designed for sports where people are normally wearing cushioned footwear, a luxury that most dancers (ballet, jazz, highland, contemporary), don't' have. For dancers, who are often in barefeet or dance pumps that offer little support or cushioning, the result of dancing on hard floors or unevenly sprung floors could be anything from knee and ankle pain / problems, shin splints or tendinitis. The floor covering is also key as it provides the right amount of traction, meaning dancers are less prone to slip and cause injury that way.
I've noticed a huge difference in the floors we've been dancing on since leaving the golf club studio, from dead floors that hurt to land on and are impossible to leap off of to slippy floors that have them sliding all over the place when leaping and kicking, and sticky floors that make turns impossible.
The floor took precedence over pretty much everything else, and we even changed our heating system to work more effectively with the sprung Harlequin floor (Harlequin supply dance floors from everyone from Riverdance to the Royal Ballet).
The floor is now here and it's currently enjoying a 2 week acclimatisation period before we can lay it!
What else is new… of course, the carpark. So this is more Cheggs' domain. It's not that I'm not interested in carparks and carpark surfaces and, of course, I see the benefit of having a carpark, but it's not exactly exciting, is it? Regardless, the carpark is looking pretty good, even by my standards. There are plenty spaces, and it's even got a cool pattern. I don't have anything else to say about carparks, apart from that Cheggs seemed to enjoy driving the roller around making it all flat.
In between times I'm still teaching classes (here, there and everywhere- we have spaces on most classes and lots of drop in / one off options - look us up!). I'm starting to plan the new timetable, and talking to people who hope to use the studio, doing websites and booking systems and all that jazz. I'm also buying (and making!!!!) accessories and decor… expect to see LOT'S of homemade macrame plant hangers throughout the building.
My next post is sure to be about launch parties, and decorating, and putting pretty things on my new shelves (!!!!) so be sure to look out for that! It's getting to the fun stage