How We Built MyCharleston

Dance brought us together when Elena stumbled into Fiona’s dance class on a cold January evening back in 2013. Within just 20 minutes we had a connection and were planning our first performance. Neither of us could have imagined that this newly formed friendship would lead us to teach thousands of people to dance, to become world record breakers and create our company, MyCharleston.

 Elena and Fiona's first photoshoot in 2013.

Elena and Fiona's first photoshoot in 2013.

Our business is a partnership characterised by our energy and passion which has been enriched by having two distinct personalities with a shared vision: Creating a successful dance company.

The success of our relationship is as much about our differences as our similarities. One thing we have in common is we are not shy to speak in public, in fact we love it! We both have drama degrees and when we arrived at the NatWest Accelerator in Brighton, we won the pitching competition on the first day. While many people hate public speaking, we are in our elements when talking about MyCharleston.

 Wining the Pitch Challenge on the first day of joining the NatWest Accelerator, 2016.

Wining the Pitch Challenge on the first day of joining the NatWest Accelerator, 2016.

 Leading dance lessons for 200 people at Brighton Fringe 2017.

Leading dance lessons for 200 people at Brighton Fringe 2017.

Apart from our love of the limelight, we are quite different, but this works because we can be the ying to each other’s yang.  Elena keeps Fiona on task and answerable to deadlines. Fiona pushes Elena to step outside the day to day business and focus on the future vision.  Sometimes we do struggle to see things from the other person’s perspective because we are both passionate, strong women. Thankfully our senses of humour are completely aligned and this has always got us through tense moments. Teaching dance and creating 1920s events leads to some ridiculous situations and we would not have come this far if we didn’t both see the funny side.

 Elena and Fiona in the studio ready to teach.

Elena and Fiona in the studio ready to teach.

 Dressed in costume ready to perform.

Dressed in costume ready to perform.

People quickly recognise that Elena has the business brain, she is considered in making decisions and can structure her time to achieve tasks. Her five years’ managerial experience in the marketing industry has given her so many useful skills for running the business, from project management, to web editing and running marketing campaigns. Her creativity and talent for marketing is so effective that when we looked to enhance it, marketing consultants they said there was little we could do to improve our social media campaigns.

Fiona loves working with people, she is a strong communicator and will work hard to nurture the talent she sees in others. She is excellent at designing content for dance courses and training teachers.  Her experience as a documentary maker for BBC means she can bring our product to life. The first video we made went viral and as a company we recognise video marketing is a huge part of our success.

Together we are creative, enthusiastic, analytical and supportive bringing out the best in each other and, in turn, our work.