[caption id="attachment_363908" align="alignright" width="350"]
Amber teaches bachata to a student at Daync Studio MKE.[/caption]
Daync Studio MKE
Leadership: Amber Rivard and Josh Burgos
Address: 910 E. Hamilton St., Milwaukee
What it does: Salsa, bachata and hip hop dance lessons
The owners of Daync Studio MKE didn’t just walk on set in an episode of WISN-TV Channel 12’s entrepreneurship show “Project Pitch It.” They danced a salsa.
Amber Rivard and Joshua Burgos co-founded Daync on Milwaukee’s East Side in 2016. They met five years ago at a salsa lesson.
“Little did we know that we had more in common than just passion for salsa dance,” Rivard said. “We were looking to add positivity to our lives, to be a part of a bigger community and to do something that would help boost our self-esteem.”
They never planned to open a studio, Rivard said, but were planning to buy a rehearsal space for their dance company. Now, Daync offers seven classes to about 100 students weekly.
“It’s molded into what it is now just because of what the lower East Side has been looking for,” she said.
Daync works with everyone from those with two left feet to more experienced dancers via a variety of course levels.
On “Project Pitch It,” Daync’s founders, who are now a couple, won the $10,000 cash prize, which they have put toward selling dance apparel and shoes at their studio. They also upgraded their sound system and repaired their studio floors.
Rivard told the business mogul judges on PPI that Daync customers have consistently asked about where they can get shoes like the ones she wears, but they’re not easily able to determine their size.
“I’m not against you bringing in shoes. You’ve got to watch the inventory,” said Jim Lindenberg, one of the business moguls.
“You have an audience that’s asking you about it, so why not sell it?”
The pair has taken Lindenberg’s advice, ordering a limited inventory of shoes to give people an idea for their sizing, and putting in orders to a San Diego warehouse as they are received.
“The shoes that we sell are very lightweight so your body doesn’t hurt after wearing them,” Rivard said. “They’re … easier to move in and they help everybody with their weight transfers better. Some are a little bit more urban, some are more traditional heels.”
The owners hope people leave their studio feeling uplifted.
“It’s about that specific positive vibe that really sets us apart from other studios that exist because we focus on not only beginners, but people just feeling good and knowing that it’s judgment-free,” she said.