Owning a dance studio may be a lot of work, but it also gives Matt Blevins the opportunity to be a big kid and enjoy himself.
“Who doesn’t like to dance?” Blevins said. “When these kids walk in the door, they have fun. You can see it. “
Matt Blevins Dance opened at the intersection of County Line and Bluff Road in Greenwood in June. It offers lessons in hip hop, breakdancing, jazz, kickboxing and more. Blevins plans to add ballroom in November.
Blevins was 16 when he discovered his love for dancing. While walking around downtown Indianapolis, he came across some dancers “sliding across the floor.”
“They took the time to teach me,” Blevins said. “From there, I went home and kept practicing and practicing. I was doing the arm waves, trying to look like a rubber band, basically.”
Blevins grew up in Indianapolis, switchings schools from Southport to Perry Meridian and finally Indian Creek where he played football.
In 2007, he traveled to Chicago to audition for the television show, So You Think You Can Dance.
“I had to dance in front of my favorite choreographer ever, Shane Sparks,” Blevins said. “I messed up because I was so nervous. The producer of the show comes up to me and says you need to ask if you can do it again. So I went back up there. They let me do it again. It turned out well, but I didn’t make it far… That was my first opportunity to get into the dance world. I actually got quite a few jobs from it.”
Blevins moved to Los Angeles, Calif., in 2011. There, he spent all of his time outside of his full-time job learning as many dance styles as possible. He trained with Millennium Dance Complex, IDA Hollywood and Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio. He moved back to the Southside of Indianapolis in 2016 and began to teach.
“My family told me it doesn’t matter how much money you have if you’re not happy,” Blevins said. “For the longest time, I thought dancing would make me happy. But the opportunity to change lives and make these kids feel awesome, that is my purpose.”
His studio currently has two classrooms, one competition-sized and one a little smaller. Recreational and company (competition) classes are available from four year olds up to adults.
Why did you open this business?
I can’t imagine doing anything else. This gave me a chance to change kid’s lives. I can help kids, point them in the right direction as they become young adults.
What did you do to prepare for opening your business?
A lot of 12-hour days. I moved back from Los Angeles and started teaching private lessons. The lessons happened to grow through word of mouth. I was at 26 private lessons per week and was able to save up enough to make this transition. As far as prepping, for my studio manager and I, it was constant work .My goal is to make it fun. We’re trying to make this place like a second home. Our preparation was to make this place be like that second home.
Who is your ideal customer/client?
Everybody. When people walk in this door, whether it’s a kid or an adult, it’s for a reason.
How do you plan to be successful?
By putting the customers first. That is the number one thing. These people pay my bills. They should have a say in what happens here. I wouldn’t be able to do this without my studio manager, Tracy Cooper, and the parents. That, and with a fun environment. I know every one of my kids’ names. I take the time to get to know them. By doing that, they feel comfortable here.
What would we be surprised to learn about you or your company?
I didn’t start dancing until I was 16 years old. I never took a class. I played sports. I was your typical basketball, football, baseball person. As I grew older, I came to see what I wanted to do. I gave up a football scholarship so I could dance. I was self taught until I moved to Los Angeles, where I got all of my training.
Matt Blevins Dance
1265 N. Bluff Rd.