Our 14 Year Journey Came To An End
The studio closed at the end of December 2022
A Letter From Maren
Hi, I’m Maren Oslac, owner of Heart & Sole Dance and I’m here to let you know that our amazing 14 year journey is coming to a close. We are closing at the end of December 2022.
I’d love to share a story with you. In 2008, three of us, Laura, Riley and myself, opened a small Ballroom Dance Studio into a recession. So it was a bit of a challenge. We took the adult ballroom that we had planned on doing and the wedding dance that Laura was very passionate about, and we added dance fitness. Thank you, Riley, you’re amazing. We also added youth ballroom and the Illinois Ballroom Teachers College. I’m so grateful for both of those programs, because they they both changed my life.
I learned about education and teaching from the ballroom teacher college, teaching other teachers. I dove pretty deeply into how to teach, which is something we don’t think of very often. Dance can be one of the things that as you learn to do yourself, you can become very proficient at it, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a good teacher of that thing. And we tend to, as consumers, look for who’s good at what they’re doing, the ‘best dancer on the floor’, and we want to take lessons with them. They’re not always necessarily the best teachers. So I decided that I was going to not only be the best dancer, but also the best teacher.
For the youth program. Oh my God, those kids touched my heart. I mean, many of you know that Harrison, one of our youth, started with me when he was five and now was teaching for me when he was 18. Watching Eileen and Nora grow up, and Bella and all of the kids that came through makes me so grateful.
The thing for me about dance is that it’s never been about, ‘put your foot here’, or ‘learn this pattern’. It’s always been about larger life skills. I was so blessed to be able to work with these kids. Then I realized that I was teaching the same thing to the adults. The people that were attracted to our studio, because we did things a little bit differently, they were all people that wanted something more, like the larger life lessons: connection, self discovery, deeper life skills, partnership. How do you communicate to a partner? And guess what? That translates into life, it’s not just on the dance floor. Dance and passing that on has always been a part of my spiritual practice. Our intention with opening the studio in 2008 was to build a community. And to build a community based on more than dance steps, it became this very rich, engaging, beautiful space with phenomenal people.
That for me is the thing that is the most essential and the thing that I want to thank you for is the people that showed up. Whether you were a client, a partner, a distant supporter, or one of our amazing, dedicated team. You guys are the ones that made us successful and the memories that I will take forward. Each of you will always be a part of my heart and that brings me so much joy.
Oftentimes when we are winding something down it can be easy to get into a poor me or a ‘poor sad tomato’ story. What I want for myself and for every single one of you is to connect to the joy because the last 14 years has been a journey. Many of you have been on it with me, whether it was for a moment or for the entire time, and that means that there was a takeaway, there was a joy, there was something that touched your heart. Here’s my ask: we’re going to set up our Facebook page, to accept everybody’s input, I want to hear from you. You’re hearing a little bit from me about how Heart and Sole Dance impacted me and what I’m taking forward from it. I want to hear from you, please, it will mean the world to me and to a lot of other people out there. What’s something that you learned? What’s something that you’re going to take forward with you? What’s something that changed your life? Please share it with us either here in one of our “Sharing Forms” or on Facebook.
So back to our story about the studio, it grew, and we expanded and in 2019, we moved to a much larger space: almost three times the size. And in 2020, we got hit by the pandemic. So as with a lot of places, it had a huge impact on us. The pandemic is probably the main reason that we’re closing our studio this month. So again, not to spiral downward, let’s look at the upward.
One of the things that I also learned in running a studio is how to be a leader and empower my team. I feel really excited because as I look at what’s next for everybody, I realized that they are all stepping into, or have stepped into, an absolutely beautiful and perfect future for them. Monica, is thriving in a full time CRM Operations position. Daisy, is now the Events Manager for the Sheraton Grand Chicago. Harrison is working at Strut Dance Studio part time and is doing West Coast Wednesdays you can find him there. Kat and Eli have been working with Luca Baricchi, and have studied his method have gotten certified to the Second Level. They’re doing Standard as well as Country and Swing. One of the things you may not realize about Kat and Eli is that they both have full time jobs, and show up at the studio after a full day of work. This is a labor of love, a work of passion for them. They will be continuing to teach. As of right now they’re going to be taking a little bit of a break, and you’ll still be able to reach them. You can find more information below or on our “Meet the Team” page.
As for me, I am taking dance out of the ballroom and into life and business. I’ve had a side project for the last few years of combining my years of leadership, education, and dance with my spiritual practices and my entrepreneurial adventures and it’s called Dance with Life. If you’re interested, you can check out our podcast, The Soulful Leader Podcast or visit my website www.MarenDance.com. Appropriate name, don’t think?
So as we wrap up this chapter in the history of Heart & Sole Dance, please share how we impacted you. I really want to know. I want to hear from you. I think I’m just gonna keep rambling because I don’t want to say goodbye to everybody. Ahhh. Know that you’ve touched my heart, and I’m taking you forward with me, and you have all my gratitude, thank you. Thank you for the past 14 years that made me into the person I am today and has provided me with the growth and the strength to move into what’s next. I hope that we had that same impact on you. Blessings.
Our Extraordinary Team
Where to find our team in their future endeavors
Monica is thriving in a full time CRM Operations position. Daisy is now the Events Manager for the Sheraton Grand Chicago. Harrison is working at Strut Dance Studio part time and is doing West Coast Wednesdays; you can find him there.
Maren is taking dance out of the ballroom and into life and business. She has had a side project for the last few years of combining her years of leadership, education, and dance with her spiritual practices and entrepreneurial adventures. Step into more and let life work for you in her latest program called Dance with Life. If you’re interested, you can check out the podcast she co-hosts, The Soulful Leader Podcast or visit her website www.MarenDance.com. Maren is always within easy reach via social media, email, phone, or her extremely handy Contact Form on her website.
Eli & Kat will continue to dance, learn, and teach. They are hard at work putting together a website and will share that when it is ready. In the mean time, you can find them dancing throughout the community and at competitions. They are excited to continue their journey with each other and dance. For now, they will be limiting their teaching schedules to the weekends as they could use a much needed break. You can contact Kat via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (630) 450-5964. Similarly, you can contact Eli via email at email@example.com or by phone at (219) 629-3602.