Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Diny Kim, Owner of Rūts Dance Studio, located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Rūts is a dance studio located in the heart of Koreatown, LA. Focused primarily on hip hop fundamentals, we are a studio that offers dance styles such as Hip Hop, Popping, Locking, Whacking, and House. We also offer other styles, such as Open Style Choreography, Jazz Funk, Contemporary Fusion, and Kpop.

Koreatown is a melting pot of many different ethnicities, traditions, & lifestyles - our studio is a place where all cultures can freely come into one space to connect & exchange through the language of dance.

Rūts aims to be a home that encourages you to explore & cultivate yourself without boundaries - to learn your identity, discover your roots, and ground yourself in who you are. We believe in a community that challenges individuals to become themselves fearlessly, & through that, they can ultimately become shifters of culture through their own movement and expression.

Our customers range in all types of skill levels and ages - from beginner dancers who just don't want to feel awkward at the club to industry professionals seeking a training ground to call home.

Tell us about yourself

I am a professional dancer, teacher, and choreographer myself - so honestly, it felt really natural to open up this dance studio with my sister, Eileen. The location that is currently our studio used to be our mom's home deco store - we initially opened up the studio in order to save our mom's business space when it was going under bank foreclosure - and dance just happened to be the thing we knew how to do best!

Having been closed for almost two years due to the COVID pandemic, finally being open again and watching our students, new and old, walk through our doors each day to take a class and watching them grow motivates me to do what I do. It's been so nice to see the space finally bustling with activity again!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

One of our main goals as a studio was to provide a space for community building for dancers in the Koreatown LA area - a space for industry dancers, community dancers, street freestylers, and just locals to come together and connect - experience new friendships in the making, seeing them hang out outside of class, and watching people from different communities learn and exchange with each other through the language of dance really makes me so happy and proud to be the space that introduced these friends to each other!

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

I honestly didn't realize there was so much work involved! In the beginning, I just thought, "Yeah, we can just have some floors, set up some mirrors, and I know a bunch of friends in the industry that teach dance!" Little did I know that being a business owner meant learning how to do literally everything communications/marketing, HR, graphic design, social media, finance/accounting, physically teaching classes, videography, etc. the list goes on and on.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Have a core team of people that follow the same vision and mission statement as you, that is there with you for the long term, and who are just as invested in the space.
  2. Find good boundaries (especially when you are hiring your friends or working with your siblings) - it's important to differentiate your personal life from work relationships. This helps you be clear in your role to be respected as an owner and a boss and helps you learn to be generous and fair to your friends while also preventing being taken advantage of.
  3. Going off of the 2nd point, truly show appreciation to your friends and family that support your business, and physically show them that you care! From even small vocal thank you's, taking the time to connect and talk with them, or giving them discounts/free classes sometimes. I always try to let people know how much of an impact they make in building a positive culture in our space. The same goes for the staff that works with us! From upper management to the interns, and even our students, taking the extra time to show appreciation and connect with them to truly build a family-like culture really pays off in the long run! I want to be a personable boss, and I try to learn every student's name if I can!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Our one yr anniversary is coming up in November, and we've doubled in growth since we first opened. We are so thankful for each and every person that has made this growth possible!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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