melanie pearl dance

Interview with Melanie Hamilton-Gilder – Dance Teacher

I’m a firm believer that there’s no better feeling than running a business that does something you love. And rarely have I ever spoken to someone who has achieved that with quite the success of Melanie Hamilton-Gilder who teaches dance classes to young children in Oldham at Melanie Pearl Dance. Here’s what she told us about running her dance classes. Over to Melanie.

Tell us a bit about what you do?

So, I run a small dance and fitness school with classes for both adults and children. I’m a dancer and a personal trainer and love to help people get active.

How long have you been doing it?

I’ve been dancing most of my life, over 25 years now. And it was about 7 years ago when I decided I wanted to teach. I’ve taught adults and children over the years. More recently, I qualified as a personal trainer helping women to get fit, active and achieve their personal goals.

What’s your favourite thing about being self employed?

I absolutely love the the fact I can work my classes around being a Mum. I’ve got three children and our youngest is only 7 months old. So I’ve got a really busy life and my husband is also running a personal training studio. So being able to build my work around my family is very important.

But another huge thing is the fact I get to do something I love. I absolutely love dancing and I love fitness and I get to do both every single day. I meet some amazing women through my work as well and I’ve made friends for life doing it.

And what’s the hardest thing?

Whenever you’re responsible for your own income, it’s always high pressure. We’ve had such an uncertain 2020 and my classes couldn’t run at all for a time.

I’m a dancer first and foremost. I’m not a marketer or a sales person. But when you run your own thing, you have to be all those things. So the thing I find most challenging is the marketing and selling side.

What’s your long term ambition?

If I think ahead 5 years from now I would love to have trebled or quadrupled the size of my classes. I’d like to be at a point where I take on another dance teacher to give it some scale.

What’s the one bit of advice you’d give something thinking of taking the leap and going self employed.

Just do it. There’s never a perfect time. Pick something you’re really passionate about just do it.

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