The dance instructors of California-based Lovely Leaps standing with a barre.
When Lisa McCabe’s studio was impacted by the pandemic's quarantine measures, she decided to bring her classes to the virtual sphere, making some of them free for her students. — Lovely Leaps

When Lisa McCabe, an engineer turned dance instructor, opened the doors to Lovely Leaps, her goal was to teach children that a love of dance doesn’t come from making the perfect moves; it’s about the movement itself.

Her main goal as a dance instructor has always been to offer a “whole-child approach to help kids blossom” by teaching a variety of dances including ballet, jazz, hip hop and cheer. To this day, McCabe strives to welcome every child who wants to dance to her Southern California studio — even if they have to join virtually.

Leaping toward a new virtual class model

McCabe’s studio was impacted heavily as the pandemic swept the country and quarantine measures caused her to put classes on pause. She came up with the idea to bring her classes to the virtual sphere, making some of them free for her students.

“As everyone was thrown into this sea of confusion, our children took an unseen hit also as parents were trying to navigate this new normal,” McCabe explained. “So I decided to do something for the children and families to take their minds off the stress even if it’s just for 15 to 30 [minutes].”

[Read: New Normal: 9 Lasting Changes Small Businesses Can Expect Post-Pandemic]

Find something you love to do so much that you would do it for free, then create your business around that.

Lisa McCabe, founder, Lovely Leaps

The Lovely Leaps team aspires to make sure each child feels like they’re seen, heard and cared for each time they step into Lovely Leaps classes, whether it’s in person or virtually. McCabe admitted they had some issues initially with keeping children’s attention during virtual sessions.

“I put myself in their shoes to figure out what they would want,” explained McCabe. “I decided to give the children something to work towards just like we do with in-person classes.”

McCabe opened up the imaginations of her students by telling them their dance recital practice would be performed to an audience of a superhero or princess. This caused them to become excited for dancing and making an effort to create a fun, performative atmosphere in a fresh way.

Follow your passion and build something around it

Despite the pandemic, McCabe said her love of dance and teaching children hasn’t wavered.

“The most beautiful thing I get to see are their lovely smiles,” she said.

She explains this joy and passion is what’s pushed her to continue forward in her entrepreneurial journey, and as such, it’s her No. 1 piece of advice to budding entrepreneurs.

“Find something you love to do so much that you would do it for free, then create your business around that,” she said. “[I] built a six-figure company around that love and passion.”

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