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Exploring Life & Business with Kristin Weissman of Studio K

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristin Weissman.

Hi Kristin, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can walk us through how you got to where you are today?
Thank you so much for the opportunity to tell the story of my small business, Studio K! Studio K is a first-of-its-kind studio in the nation, offering the largest variety of dance and fitness classes for adults of all levels of ability. Our tagline is, “The Floor is Yours™,” meaning no matter your age, size, level of ability, or even if you have a disability, the floor is yours to achieve any goal you wish to achieve, and our Team is here to help you every step of the way in a safe, completely judgement-free, positive environment. 

Studio K has been called in the media, “the studio where pop culture meets dance and fitness,” and we take an innovative approach to all classes and create many custom classes in-house. We offer our members and guests a fun, non-intimidating option to fall in love with the arts (again or for the very first time!), focus on their dance talent, or to find a healthy option to work on their health and wellness. Most importantly, our members find a community for adults to connect and to get away from all of the stress while finding a place where they are instantly welcomed and immediately at home.

The studio is by far, my greatest personal accomplishment and my heart and soul. I reached a point professionally in 2009 where I was working for many years, putting in 100-hour work weeks and traveling non-stop. I became very sick, having a doctor intervene and tell me if I didn’t find a way to change my life, I would soon be losing my life. He asked what I loved to do as an outlet and as a way to place a focus on my health, and I said I loved to dance, so he challenged me to find an adult class by that weekend. At the time, there was only one children’s studio in all of Orlando that offered only one adult dance class. I gathered all of my courage and went that week to give it a shot. I had taken dance my entire life until college, and once my professional career took over my life, I never had the time. I also could never get myself to go to the gym – I felt so uncomfortable and unsure of the equipment and I was always embarrassed to join the group classes. 

So I pushed myself to attend that one Orlando class, and sadly had one of the most awful experiences of my life. I left that class knowing there had to be more people out there like me who loved to dance, danced as a child, or who just wanted a safe place to work out and to have a blast without ever feeling judged, belittled, or humiliated – exactly how I was made to feel by the owner and the other dancers in that class. I was on a mission, and in 2010, Studio K was born. 

After more than a year of work and research, I decided to risk it all, leave my full-time PR position and build a first-of-its-kind studio and facility for adults than anywhere else in the country. The first two years were amazing. We received national media attention, celebrity guests, major partnerships and built a thriving business that welcomed adults of all shapes and sizes, professional dancers to brand new beginners, members with disabilities, and a host of people battling everything from depression to diabetes to everything in between. 

We were truly changing lives, proved the need was strong, and it was everything I dreamed it to be and so much more. Then something I never imagined took place. A retail chain bought our land for expansion, and after two amazing years, we were forced to leave, and I lost everything personally and professionally. Very long story short, I then worked three jobs for three years to recoup the money lost and to rebuild again. I never gave up, and in 2015, I reopened Studio K, and we have been going strong ever since. 

In mid-2019, I knew we had done it again, and I resigned from my full-time role for the second time to go full-time with Studio K. After one year focused on the studio 100%, we reached our highest level of success in early 2020. I was ready to finally open our second location – my forever goal, and then in March, COVID-19 took over our world. It has been a very challenging time, but I am deeply committed to remaining a strong outlet for health and wellness, as well as for the Central Florida arts community. This studio made a powerful comeback once before, so I know and believe that absolutely anything is possible and we are on track to do it all again!

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a little more about your business?
I am most proud to say that even without a home for those few years in between, Studio K kept going, diversifying and dancing, and even began the concept of “pop up dance” holding classes throughout the state of Florida. In 2020, Studio K reached its 10-year anniversary and we are still truly one-of-a-kind. When we began, there was absolutely nothing else like us in the country, and now we are copied often, but I don’t think anyone can ever duplicate our special magic. This business is filled with kind, amazing instructors, members, and adults of all levels of ability who share a love of dance and for each other. Also, Studio K has become such a supportive community for adults to connect, to network, to find friends, sometimes to find love, but most of all, to find themselves on that dance floor happier, healthier and more self-confident than when they first arrived. It is such an honor to be a tiny part of their journey!

Before we go, is there anything else you can share with us?
In addition to owning Studio K in Orlando, I have served as an executive in Public Relations for the last 20 years of my career and have proudly served in leadership roles in Orlando since 2002. I have also had the honor to serve as Ms. Orlando International to represent the city in 2019 to bring more attention to health and wellness in our community and was named among Orlando’s Women of the Year in 2019 as well. I have been a member of Leadership Orlando and was named one of the Orlando Business Journal’s 40 under 40. Lastly, I am most proud that Studio K has been named the #1 “Best Studio Body & Soul” by the readers of Orlando Magazine for the last five consecutive years, and in 2020, was also named among the “Best Workout Facility/Gym” between fitness greats the YMCA and the RDV Sportsplex.

Pricing:

  • Studio K classes are $10 to drop in, and both a discounted 10-pack class option and an Annual Unlimited Membership are also available. 

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Professional images of me by myself in black – Rasheda Isaac
Studio Photos with watermark – Jessica Friend
Ms. Orlando International professional – Shana Mitchell
Candid photos taken by friends.

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