We had the good fortune of connecting with Emma Cantrell and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Emma, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I, historically, tend to not take risks. I’m generally pretty Type A which makes me a bit of a control freak. However, over the years I have learned how to delegate and let go a little. So when the opportunity to open my nonprofit dance studio during a pandemic and economic crisis came up, the first thing I thought was that it was too risky. But the right doors kept opening all while the past ones were closing behind me. The risk didn’t seem to scary at that point so I took it and have been running with it ever since then.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I knew that I wanted to open my own dance studio the moment I got into the professional dance world over 10 years ago. I wasn’t sure how or when that would even happen. It wasn’t until COVID happened and really hit my former studio hard that it became more of a reality to me. After working there for 10 years and running the program for 4, I knew that I didn’t want to work for anyone else and was ready to do it on my own. My former studio closed rather abruptly leaving me scrambling in my 9th month of pregnancy to get things going. We then hit some health risks in the pregnancy that lead to an emergency induction and put things at a halt with the studio. After everything turned out okay, I was back at it two days after coming home with our baby boy. I decided to go the nonprofit route because I feel it is important to give back to the community. I want my studio to feel like a second home to families of all races, religions, and those in the LGBTQ+ community. I also want to make sure families from any economic background have a place to go by offering scholarship opportunities. Nonprofits are the best way to provide those things to the community and give that kind of safe and fun environment for them to thrive in. No one should be devoid the opportunity to learn the art of dance because of who they are or where they come from.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My partner works for a brewery in EaDo called True Anomaly. That’s always my first place to take people. We are very passionate about the craft brew scene. I know that our time would be mostly consumed with taking them around to different breweries. I also have a 3 year old and a newborn. So, we like to do family type activities with them. So, I know I’d take friends and family to places like the Houston Zoo and the Houston museum district. Depending on the time of year, I would look to see what type of events are happening in our area. Whether it be a festival, concert, Ren Fest, or anything that helps Houston to stand out. Houston has just so many different places and things to see all over. There’s never a shortage of things to do!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have so many people to thank for where I am in life. To just thank one wouldn’t be fair. I have my parents, mother-in-law, siblings, Jessica, and very importantly my dance families with all their support. But if I had to pick just one I would have to thank my partner, Spencer. Without his encouragement and push to take this path in life, I would have never felt ready to do it. He was the biggest factor in my confidence. When he believes in me I truly feel I’m unstoppable.

Website: thedancespacehouston.com
Instagram: @thedancespacehou
Facebook: @thedancespacehou

Image Credits
Phlox Photography

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