Floor4orce Dance Studio is very popular in Sir James Clark Building with kids, teens and adults. The proprietor Lee-anne Gilmour is very passionate about Dance and was delighted when we asked to speak with her about the history of Floor4orce and what she offers students.
Tell us about your journey as a dance teacher
My teaching journey started at the ripe old age of 15. I was an assistant helping out in younger classes. At this point in life I wanted to be a pilot! I hadn’t ever thought of taking dance to a professional level. When I was 17 one of the dance schools I attended was sold on and bought by a new teacher. A fantastic lady, who I still deeply admire and who has been a real source of inspiration at various points in my life. I will never forget the day she saw something in me I never even knew was there. She walked right up to me and asked “so when you going to London? ” Completely taken a back I don’t even think I answered. She told me I was really good and had the potential to audition for and attend dance colleges in London.
Wow, so I wasn’t a very confident teen, no-one (the dance world can be harsh) had ever said that I showed potential, let alone that I was good! Not to detract from any of my other teachers, I owe my ability, passion and knowledge of dance to them all. But, someone who I admired and highly respected in their field actually verbalised that they believed in me. And that was it, that was all I needed to push me the in the direction I went in. I started by studying dance at Anniesland college in Glasgow, then progressed to study Dance and Musical Theatre Performance at Birds in London.
I returned to Scotland knowing that I wanted to teach, I hoped to one day be the inspiration that my dance teacher was to me. I started teaching free lance for other schools, I opened my own dance academy and I started working in schools with Active Schools. I had an amazing relationship with my bosses at Active Schools, I was given as much work as I wanted, had my details passed onto to other coordinators who then brought me into their schools. The dance programme that was on offer during that time by Active schools was booming. So successful in fact that we ran an annual dance display for several years in Paisley’s Town Hall, for all the schools/dance classes involved in the programme. It was a huge success. However all good things must come to an end , subsequently my bosses moved on and Active schools went down a different route that I didn’t feel comfortable with, so I also moved on. This however gave me time to focus on my business. We started to compete and taking part in a lot more community based events. I started doing my teachers training and I’m still progressing through the levels now.
My ultimate goal is to become a qualified examiner, and I am getting there. I have loved every part of my journey so far and I’m really looking forward to living the next phase in my career and I have a feeling something new and exciting is on its way.
What inspired you to set up your own business?
I have been lucky enough to have had two very inspirational women in life. The afore mentioned dance teacher who was a huge inspiration and my mum. It was these two women who inspired me to do what I do. My mum was a fantastic woman, she had so much belief in me and had so much drive she loved to launch many small entrepreneur projects herself. She actually drove me, literally in the car, to go register my business and was at classes every weekend, behind the scenes at all my shows , taught me how to sew and make many of our costumes and so on… Unfortunately at the time I was young, lacking in life experience and didn’t fully appreciate everything that she did for me. She gave me a solid base and a zest for life and people.
Through the many twists and turns that life throws at us I subsequently lost my mum aged 58 at the time to cancer when I was 25yrs old. As you can imagine this had a massive affect on my outlook on life and ultimately my approach to teaching and running my business.
What is your favourite type of dance?
Ballet, ballet, ballet! Hands down my favourite. I love to watch ballet, teach ballet and train in ballet. When performed correctly it is so mesmerising, self indulgent and simply beautiful . It requires the highest degree of strength and control yet must be executed with an unworldly sense of grace and elegance. The whole syllabus, no matter which style of ballet you train in, is a well thought out series of building blocks that when laid correctly creates the most captivating of dancers. Its structure and history is immense and no matter your ability, age or experience in this style of dance there is always room to grow, learn and improve every day.
Can people come in ad – hoc or do they need to sign up for a block of classes?
Our preferred and most popular payment is a monthly one. When students make a monthly payment we are able to offer additional discounts in recognition of their commitment. We offer 50% sibling discounts and a range of multiple class discounts making our prices very competitive.
Our enrolment process is free and we also offer a free trial class to all new students. Our free trial must be booked in advance. This helps us stay on top of class ratio’s as well as giving us the opportunity to introduce ourselves, find out which classes you are interested in and tell you a little bit about what we do, where we are located etc.
What days and times are your classes
Our timetable runs on a Monday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoon into evening and a Saturday morning into Saturday afternoon. We offer classes from 2.5yr+ in Ballet, Tap, Lyrical, Modern, Dance Trix, Street Dance and Pom Dance.
We have several annual events on top of this weekly timetable which include a Halloween party, photo shoot, Dance showcase and Dance exams as well as competitions and community performances throughout the year. We also offer private tuition upon request.
What support can each pupil expect from Floor4orce Dance Academy?
Life is a very unique journey, no two people share the exact same path and we love this about the world! Here at Floor4orce, pupils can expect to be supported in whichever unique way they need at any given stage in life. We’re not a machine, we do not mass produce students to fit moulds that lead to life as a professional dancer only.
We are a family, we love to support each other and encourage the individuality of all our students. Sometimes the best teachers are the students. No matter your situation we’re confident you’ll find a release through dance and your ‘happy place’ in our fit, fun & friendly Dance Academy.
Which dancer motivates you?
Motivation and inspiration comes to me not from one singular dancer but from an array of performers. In fact, if I break it down I get inspiration from every performer I’ve ever seen including my own students. I have a great passion and appreciation for all dance styles, not just those that I have trained in or that I teach. My training was very diverse as a child and student and I suppose this has remained with me. Motivation comes to me from live performances in theatres in any style of dance and musical theatre in the same way it does from watching a street performance, or watching someone let loose on the dance floor.
Anyone that performs and displays a level of commitment and dedication to their chosen style of dance is inspirational. We are all unique, our thoughts, our bodies, our movements and therefore we all have something to offer and gain from each other if we’re open to it. Performers offer a slice of their unique selves to the world and I guess I’m appreciative of this and eager to learn and grow from what they have to offer.
What can we expect from Floor4orce Dance Academy in the next 12-24 months?
As much as life is a journey, running a business, a dance academy is too. We are a family, a loving one at that and we are always looking for ways to grow as a unit . Each year we are learning, growing and adapting to the ever changing needs of society. Progress in students abilities and confidence is currently sky rocketing and we’re very excited to see where this will take us.
We take part in a lot of community events and are looking to build on this too. By 2022 we will have been in our bespoke dance studio for 10 years! This is also very exciting and we’re already making plans for some special celebratory events.
Why should you choose Floor4orce Dance Academy?
We are fully qualified, our classes are fun and welcoming, our prices are fantastic and we offer a wide range of classes accommodating beginner to advanced . But that is not all we are and not all that we offer…keep reading and decide for yourself if we are the Dance Academy for you.
Here at Floor4orce we encourage and promote the importance of well being, we understand the vital role it plays in life and in learning. We view dance as a way of life, the passion that emits from our teachers is something we strive to pass onto our students. For us, teaching dance provides the opportunity to build confidence not only in students individuality and ability but instil a confidence that will help them through life.
Dance is a fantastic way to build on the many skills required for life, if and when you find the right teacher for you. Correct technique is paramount and can best be found in schools with fully qualified teachers. Like all qualified professions, Dance teacher training goes way beyond what you see as an end result. Dance is highly repetitive and requires the ability to analyse and break down movements regularly. Advising students to not lose patience with themselves is a common topic. Everyone is in such a hurry these days, it’s easy to forget that we all grow, develop and learn at different rates. Stop! Slow down and start to acknowledge the improvements you have made. Whether they are big or small, they far outweigh your ability to execute a movement with perfection. Its always about the journey , the end result will come eventually. Through regular practice and correct teaching our students do always reach their desired goal and when they do, confidence soars. It is this journey in dance that teaches a greater level of patience, discipline and a deeper understanding of your body and self. These skills can and will help you in life.
And that is what we do here…We help you to reach your full potential and teach you how to dance through life!
Studio 12, Sir James Clark Building, Paisley PA1 1TJ
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