Have a yen to dance? Want to try Bellyfit, Hip Hop Yoga, or Let’s Dance Bollywood? Then get in touch with Alice Bracegirdle at Base Lounge on Broad Street. But be prepared: this is not your normal dance studio. If your mental pictures are mirrored walls and dainty dancers, think again.
“We want to change people’s perception of dance and exercise, so along with our various dance programs, we have in-house live DJ music which really changes the mood of a traditional dance studio,” says Bracegirdle.
As a former Lululemon ambassador, traveller, professional belly dancer, and fitness instructor, Bracegirdle brings drive and passion to the Base Lounge. “We don’t want to be part of the status quo but rather bring excitement and difference to the exercise and dance environment, so we offer all different sorts of experiences from yoga to bellyfit for our clients.”
Bracegirdle says she also wants to make a difference in the community. In conjunction with Lululemon, when you buy passes for the Base Lounge “wandering yogi” program, a joint venture with 10 dance and yoga studios in Victoria, part of the proceeds go to Kids Sports, a community-based youth athletics charity organization.
“We are starting to get really busy and that’s great,” she says. “We have tried to put together a space that is warm and inviting but at the same time exciting.”
It all seems to be working, despite Bracegirdle’s admitted lack of business experience. “Most of what we have done is by trial and error, but thankfully we haven’t had too many errors.”
Even her marketing is a little different. Bracegirdle tried traditional newspaper ads when she started but found venues like Facebook much more responsive and says Base Lounge now has about 1,000 people on their mailing list.
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