Locally owned small business dance studio shows a lot of potential
In a small strip center near Saratoga Boulevard, practically camouflaged by being tucked between an apartment complex and a Walmart Supercenter, is a small independently owned dance studio.
Just inside the door visitors can hear upbeat music playing and the sounds of many associated feet trying to keep count of 5, 6, 7 and 8 being called out by studio owner and dance instructor Angela Murray.
Murray stands out, clearly the dance authority in a room filled with couples dressed in mostly jeans, boots and other attire you might see in an off-work setting.
Murray is moving through the couples dressed in dark clothing. She sways through the room like someone who has studied movement through most of her 23 years.
“A few of us just find our purpose in life early on and this is something I am very passionate about,” Murray said. “I love that I can make a living out of doing what I love every day.”
With Murray’s passionate voice toward dance, she shows her students attentiveness and is always patient when having to repeat steps over as a professional.
Murray’s love for dance started when she was just 3 years old.
“My mom took me to see ‘The Nutcracker’ and I told my mom I wanted to be Clara, so she put me in ballet lessons,” said Murray, who eventually ended up scoring the role.
Murray had one main purpose when it came to dance.
“Starting my career my goal was to always be a champion, I wanted to win as many competitions as possible,” Murray said.
Although her career went in a different path she has competed in many competitions with her highest ranking being a “vice champion at open rhythm at Texas Challenge in 2017.” As a fierce competitive dancer, Murray continues to compete in ballroom and country.
Murray opened CC Ballroom by the Bay in October 2019. Unfortunately, that was just before the pandemic.
“We were only open for five months and then we had to shut down for 3, and reopened in the summer,” Murray said.
So far it has been a roller coaster for this small business, but they have continued to grow and have increased their numbers since reopening.
This small business dance company offers over 10 styles of dance ranging from “ballroom waltz’s, tango, salsa, country waltz, two-step, swing and any type of dance where they are partnered; we also offer ballet, jazz, hip-hop and even a heels class,” Murray said.
According to Murray there are many different classes for the kids and adults to join including private sessions and group classes ranging from all ages including beginners, intermediate and expert classes.
“When the pandemic started it made it really hard for me and other dancers to continue dancing,” 18-year-old dance student Layla Flonseca said. “But Angela has always found a way to offer classes during the pandemic and because of her passion for dancing it has given us an opportunity to come back and do what we love to do during this time.”
Although the pandemic came with challenges, the students still found a way to make it back to CC Ballroom by the Bay.
Meredith Owens, a graduate student at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, does ballet, which is one of the hardest types of dances to learn.
“Ballet has been around for hundreds of years, so it’s been artfully crafted over the decades and has become a really intense discipline,” Owens said. “So, there is a level of intensity it holds by foot placement and leg placements.”
Murray is optimistic with the future and CC Ballroom by the Bay. She said she looks forward to what is to come for her and the studio.
“I couldn’t be more happy to be growing as a teacher and a competitive dancer,” Murray said. “Teaching my students and doing what I love is a dream.”