We had the good fortune of connecting with Gina Francis Perlmutter and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Gina, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I am a first generation American born from 2 Indian parents. My parents immigrated from India in the 70s and my sister and I were both born in New York and moved to South Florida in 1987. Coming from parents that had to work for everything they had, I believe I learned at a young age what true grit was. When I was 7 years-old, my parents divorced and my father stopped being involved in our lives when I was 12. My mother had to work even harder to provide for us no matter how difficult it was. Divorce was also a taboo subject in our culture but my mom didn’t let that bother her. She did what she had to in order for us to grow up with everything we needed and more. The way she fought to provide despite her outside influences is the main reason why I am who I am today. Being that I am Indian and a woman, choosing to own a dance studio was not the traditional choice. My generation and generations before have typically chosen a career in healthcare or engineering. I never gave weight to anyone that told me no or said I couldn’t succeed at something and any attempt to silence me or stop me from what I wanted to do fueled me to do it even more. Some may call it defiant but I call it success. It took a decade to prove myself to be successful in the eyes of my family. I chose a difficult and less traveled path but even though it took me a while to prove myself, I wouldn’t change any of it for anyone or anything.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Having a love for dance has always been the root of me wanting to own a dance studio. I fell in love with dance at a very young age and since then, I could never see myself doing anything other than dance. It takes a certain type of person to be able to pursue the art of dance as a profession and doing so isn’t for the faint of heart. This profession, whether you are on stage or behind the scenes, has every capability of sending someone for the hills. The dance industry as a whole is very difficult and I can’t ever remember a day in which I sat back and said, “Wow, today was an easy day.” Despite the difficulties, my love for dance still prevails. Truly loving what I do even when times get tough, is what sets me and my team apart. What excites me most is knowing that there is still so much to learn. I made a professional career out of dance when I began dancing for the Miami Heat in 2004. After completing 4 seasons on the team, I opened my business in the Spring of 2008. A few months after opening, I auditioned for “America’s Best Dance Crew” along with some of my fellow Miami Heat Dancers and we placed top 3 on the show. This was a huge accomplishment for all of us and was most certainly one of the most exciting things I have experienced as a dancer. After my time in LA for the show, I was selected by the NBA as a veteran Miami Heat Dancer and I traveled to China to be a guest judge and performer on “NBA’s Dance Passion” which was a Chinese reality show in search of the country’s best NBA dancer. After spending over 2 months in China, I came home and was completely committed to making my studio the best in Broward. The studio is my chance to make a mark in my community by creating hard working and dedicated dancers that are successful both on and off the dance floor. Going into my 13th year of business, my mission statement has always been rooted in providing quality dance training while simultaneously instilling a high standard of moral qualities within my students. Our graduating students have moved on to attend UF, UCF, Pace University and the University of the Arts, to name a few. I have big plans in mind for the future of the company as a whole and my excitement to continue building is still strong.

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I love eating and drinking wine and some of my favorite spots include Steak 954, Tap 42, Rocco’s Tacos and Louis Bossi’s, all located in Fort Lauderdale. Some of my favorite spots to shop include Covetique, located in Cooper City, Etiquette in Fort Lauderdale, and the Shoppes at Pembroke Gardens in Pembroke Pines. The Hard Rock Hotel never disappoints and among all of the restaurants there, Council Oak is by far my favorite.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My company has succeeded with the help of a small group of people that have allowed me to make mistakes, learn from them and succeed beyond them. My husband is the man behind the scenes that I like to bounce ideas off of and with his experience in business management and finance, I couldn’t be in better hands. My longtime friend and Studio Manager, Kayla Weisman, is like no other person I’ve met and has been a true light at the end of every tunnel I have had to dig through. Taryn Shulak came along just a few years later and her incredible ability to create something from nothing is motivating and exhilarating, to say the least. Without these people along with my sister and my mother, I wouldn’t be where I am professionally and personally. Additionally, every person on my staff motivates me to be better and I am beyond proud to work alongside the most talented, caring and educated staff in the South Florida dance studio market. This group of people has helped create and shape the company into what it is today and I couldn’t be more thankful for the part they play in my life.

Website: www.studio-61.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/studio61dance/?hl=en or @studio61dance
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Studio61Dance/
Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/studio-61-dance-company-cooper-city-3
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/studio61dance

Image Credits
Stevan Reyes
JP Photography
Kalani Films

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