Its happened, we've changed our name! Elena and I began four years ago with the name ‘I Charleston Brighton’ and it will always have a special place in our hearts. But to understand why we changed I Charleston to MyCharleston you need to know the story of how we began.
Elena and I became instant fans of Charleston when we performed in a Charleston troupe for a one off show in 2013. We decided we wanted to continue Charleston dancing and whilst looking for a project we discovered 'I Charleston the World.’ These charming films showcased dancers doing the Charleston in iconic locations around their city. So we decided to put Brighton on the map! The problem was no one was running regular Charleston classes in Brighton, so we brushed up our moves, made a flyer and I Charleston Brighton began.
We had no idea what it would develop into but from the first class we ran in January 2014, we fostered a group who were up for filming, learning, performing and socialising. So many of the students from those early classes are now dear friends and collaborators in the much larger business we’ve become.
Elena’s dynamite ability to market, organise and draw people together for the sheer love of dance was a huge part of our success. She gathered the momentum we needed for the film, with interviews on TV, Radio and publications. The film got over 42,000 hits and the Lord Mayor of Brighton came to the launch. By then all this dancing had made me very large and pregnant and on New Years day, January 2015, I had the child I’d waited seven years to conceive, I called him Charleston – not really but I was tempted!
The classes expanded and we now had a performance troupe, drawing talent from those early classes. Over the next three years our classes grew and other exciting opportunities came our way such as breaking world records, flashmobs, performances, festivals and speakeasy events. But all this had to fit around full-time jobs and motherhood. We would conduct our business over lunch breaks, evening calls and a lot of chats in car parks!
This summer we decided to throw everything at growing our classes into an actual business after we were accepted on the Entrepreneurial Sparks programme. So many people had told us how much they loved Charleston and wished there was something similar in their area, so we thought lets take our classes to other cities.
Like any new venture it’s been a whirlwind but so interesting and rewarding. One of our first new products was a ‘Dance in a day’ where we took the best moves, music and routines and combined them into a three hour workshop. The response has been phenomenal although the best quote was from I guy who’d been dragged along by his partner and was over heard saying ‘It’s actually alright'.
So there’s the story but why the rebrand? I Charleston Brighton was directly inspired by the ‘I Charleston the World’ project, so it wasn’t our creation. We had also found there was much confusion as to weather it was a small ‘i’ as in apple products or a good old fashioned capital I. We loved the name so much but by simply changing the ‘I’ to a ‘My’ we kept the essence whilst making it personal to all the people who have essentially created our business; Yes you, the dancers who come and embrace this silly wonderful dance every week in class. So whilst we are very happy to have a growing business and love the new designs it is essentially you who have created MyCharleston and for that we thank you.