Geri Messer and Pat Balderas, both 66, love tap dancing. Two years ago, they took a big plunge.
They bought the Toledo, Ohio-based studio where they took lessons and turned it into Off Broadway Dance Company. “We both had a passion for it, and, since we were retired, we had the time to do it,” says Pat in this “Meet the Owners” story on the company’s website.
Their studio has been growing ever since. Off Broadway Dance Company’s clientele is strictly adults with an age range of 22 to 72. The studio offers classes for beginners through seasoned tap dancers. Many of the students are working women who attend evening and Saturday classes.
Since taking over the studio, the co-owners have made a number of changes to expand opportunities for their students and keep up their own skills. They bring in master teachers and travel to Chicago in August for a weekend of intensive training at a tap workshop. They also stage an annual show and give back to the community by performing in senior centers, assisted living facilities and nursing home facilities.
Off Broadway Dance Company received help from SCORE, a nonprofit that provides free counseling and other assistance for small businesses. As explained here, two volunteer mentors guided Pat and Geri on their future growth plans
The two entrepreneurs are proof that it’s never too late to find or act on a passion. Before she began taking lessons at the studio, Geri, a former nurse, hadn’t danced since she was 19. Pat didn’t start dancing until her 40s.
Just look at them now.