Community Spotlight

Provider Spotlight: HYPE Dance Community

Sawyer partners with hundreds of educators who are stars in their communities. From inspiring class content to engaging teaching style, these educators are known for their enriching activities that empower both children and parents alike.

We got the opportunity to chat with Liza Brody, the founder of HYPE Dance Community, which offers high energy dance lessons in NYC & Brooklyn, to learn more about how she started her business and how Sawyer helps her business grow.

Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! I’d love to hear a bit more about you and why you started your business.

It was March of 2020 and I had recently left my corporate job at Verizon. I was just getting back into dancing, something that has always brought me a lot of joy. So when the pandemic hit, I was determined to spread the magic of dance to kids of all levels and abilities. In a matter of weeks, I started a virtual dance company and HYPE Dance Community was born! We offered private and small group dance lessons over Zoom for kids (and adults!) as well as birthday parties, bachelorette parties, and corporate events. Since 2020 we have been able to offer hundreds of dance classes, parties, and events throughout NY, NJ, and PA!

Can you describe an inspiring moment you’ve had as an educator? 

HYPE Dance teaches an after school program at PS8 and we provide each dancer with a notebook. The entries of first-third graders have been heartwarming. One student wrote “The teachers are so uplifting and fun and they let us dance how we feel without any judgment. I love my teachers and dance club so much!” These journal entries have inspired me every day since!

What’s the most rewarding thing about teaching children?

Seeing the confidence that dance instills into children and the smiles on their faces. That is what it is all about!

What’s one time a child surprised you and made your day?

One of our first grade dancers said she was nervous and uncomfortable going in the middle of our “HYPE freestyle circle,” but after a few classes she volunteered to be first and broke out into the most amazing moves I had ever seen!

On a similar note, what’s the funniest thing a child has done in your class? 

We gave out headbands that said “HYPE” on them to wear at our week long dance camp in Margate and at the end of the week, one of the dancers asked why we had all been wearing headbands that said “Happy Birthday”

Why is after school/extracurricular enrichment and camp so important for children?  

These programs allow children to explore a new hobby, learn the importance of teamwork, foster new relationships, instill confidence, and most importantly have fun!

How do you think children can discover their passions when they’re not in school or your programs?

Having a playdate, taking a walk through the park, doing a DIY arts & crafts project, reading in the library, or just putting on some music and having an at-home dance party!

What is your favorite Sawyer feature? 

I love how Sawyer offers webinars throughout the year to its small business owners, from finance tips to marketing tools, they truly want each business to thrive.

What's one trick you learned from another educator that you still practice? 

Never leave the house without a business card (one time Alec Baldwin’s kids took one of my dance classes and although that business card most likely ended up in the washing machine I will still be forever grateful I had one to give him!!)

Have you discovered new customers on the Sawyer Marketplace?

Yes – every single day!

How do you balance your time between running your business (from an operational perspective) and teaching/connecting with parents and students? 

I am currently present at the majority of our classes to not only support our instructors but also make sure I am spending time with the parents and students to understand their needs and get to know them on a personal level. It is definitely a balancing act, as I am always working on how to juggle parenting, business, and connecting with current and future parents/students!

How has Sawyer helped your business? 

When I moved my business from Philly to NY, I did not know the Brooklyn community at all. Sawyer was 80% of the reason I got sign ups and the number one way families found out about HYPE Dance Community and kept coming back!

Another amazing benefit about Sawyer is that the team goes out of its way to schedule 1:1 time with all of the small business owners who are part of the platform, and they have given me so much incredible advice along the way.

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