NFIB/Insearch Charitable Foundation Young Entrepreneur Award: Arizona Teen Honored for Her Dance Studio

Date: June 16, 2015

Hannah Meyer aims to bring her love of dance to a new generation—on the cheap.

Like many girls, Hannah Meyer took dance classes as a child. But she quickly realized it was more than just her hobby—it was a passion.

Meyer also understood that dance is an expensive lifestyle, and when you factor in the price of classes, dance clothes, costumes and traveling for performances, many people simply can’t afford it. So she sought to create a place where young girls could learn the art form without that financial stress.

“I have learned so many essential life skills from dance,” says Meyer, of Laveen, Arizona. “I wanted to give that opportunity to all the little girls who also dream of becoming ballerinas one day.”

So two years ago, Meyer launched Dancin’ Spirit out of her home. The studio offers youth classes in ballet, jazz and West Coast swing, and the students have performed at venues including the Arizona State Fair and the Laveen Community Parade.

“To see these girls get up on a stage, or even just dance around in class—the smile they have is unforgettable,” Meyer says. “They are doing something they love and are learning great life skills from it. It’s so amazing to see how much they have grown and progressed.”

In April, her business earned her a college scholarship, the NFIB/Insearch Charitable Foundation Young Entrepreneur Award. Meyer graduated from Arizona Lutheran Academy earlier this month, and in the fall she’ll begin college at Arizona Christian University in Phoenix, where she plans to study business with an emphasis in marketing.

Since school is only about a half hour from home, Meyer will be able to continue Dancin’ Spirit. She’d also like to recruit more teachers, and one day, she hopes to have her own building out of which to run classes.

“I’d love to be able to have more space and more class times, and reach more people,” Meyer says. “And with a college education, I will be able to make the business even better.”

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