7 Questions with

Sheenah Johnson, Director, SheeKriStyle Academy of Dance Arts, Inc.
May 6, 2020
Alicia Tharp
Tim Brumbeloe
7 Questions with

Sheenah Johnson is the director of SheeKriStyle Academy of Dance Arts, Inc. and also coaches the Mad Dancerz. Like all businesses, SheeKri has had to adjust amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but that isn’t dampening the spirits or stopping the forward progress of the studio. Johnson shared how the company has adapted and what keeps her busy.

 

Q1: Tell us about SheeKriStyle.

We are a family owned and operated school of the arts, specializing in all genres of dance for ages 2 and up. We offer an awesome recreational and competitive program. We pride ourselves on the family atmosphere and being known for more than “just dance” in the community. We are entering our 21st season of business and very excited to see what the future holds! The dancers and families are something special at SheeKri, we are really a diverse city of our own when you enter our studio. The special bonds formed with the dancers, parents and staff are truly amazing and something worth smiling about. It’s a space where we create and escape the worries of the day and turn them into beautiful artistry through our bodies. “SheeKriStyle, we make you smile!”

Q2: What led you to starting your own dance company? 

My mother had just been laid off from her job at well known company in Fort Wayne and I was going through the normal antics of a 15 year old. I was not sure if I wanted to dance anymore, I was not enjoying my current dance classes, and I was wanting to “hang out” more with my friends. My parents always instilled in me that quitters never win, so I took to the idea of sharing my talents and passion of the arts with others. Teaching was something I enjoyed doing and was blessed enough to be given that opportunity at a young age. One of my former dance instructors gave me the chance to spread my wings at the age of 13 with two of my very own hip hop classes, after that I was hooked and loved sharing my talents with others. 

Q3: How have things changed for your company since the COVID-19 pandemic began? 

This has been a TEST, but with tests come even better testimonies. Things changed overnight for us, my team and I began to brainstorm a way to keep connected with the dancers and families. SheeKri has moved to a virtual platform for all classes, we teach live and pre-recorded classes to the dancers. It can be taxing and a bit more work but WELL worth it! The families have been nothing but grateful for our efforts and it shows through them attending classes each week. This whole situation has tested everything in me, we were on our way to our first full studio competition in Indianapolis and boom, it was stripped away in a matter or minutes. It has tested every fiber of my being and made me even want to give up, but my parents always taught me to KEEP the faith!  You have to send the right messages upstairs and keep a positive outlook on things. Our doors will remain open, and through this time, the students will learn more than anything accountability is KEY and how being a team player is important.  We say, “Can’t stop, won’t stop #teamsheekri!” 

Q4: Tell us what you enjoy most about coaching the Mad Dancerz.

I love being able to help mold the adult dancers into great community role models, awesome entertainers and help bridge the gap for them when/if they decide to take on the next level. Seeing the outcome of months of planning, practicing, conditioning and personal development is so rewarding. The crowd only sees the short routines and the glitz and glam of the hard work everyone puts in. The joy that comes to my heart after our first time out on the court is a true blessing. To see their faces and how proud they are to be a part of an awesome organization seals the deal for me. All the sacrifices and time spent are not in vain and they truly enjoy every moment together. It is sad that our season ended so abruptly, but I am looking forward to seeing the team again to celebrate this wonderful season and all of their accomplishments.

Q5: How do you define success?

By keeping God first, you can continue to move forward through everything. He can help keep you on the track to meet your desired goal. Have a goal, plan the steps, pray about the goal and the steps needed to achieve the goal, implement it into action and continue to pray. Success is always evolving and size isn’t always important. Waking
up today is a huge success and sometimes we need that gentle reminder. 

Q6: What does an average day look like for you? 

Things have changed a bit since the social distancing/ stay at home was put in place, so here it goes:  

  • Wake up, prayer journal, prayer time
  • Get myself and my son together for the day
  • Breakfast and smoothie time
  • Home-based learning for Dinari and emails and Zoom for me ( all while assisting with home-based learning) 
  • Connect with my business manager Miss Barb to see how she is doing for the day
  • Social media uploads and a quick fitness session before the class Zoom call for Dinari  at 1 p.m.
  • Lunch and laundry
  • Zoom private dance lessons for an hour or two 
  • Regular evening class schedule from 5 to 9 p.m. on Zoom with the SheeKri Dancers
  • Dinner and Dinari time - something I missed out a lot on with being so busy before. This additional time with him each and every day has shown me to prioritize better and what is really IMPORTANT!
  • After our awesome classes and connecting, I gather things up and plan to do it all over again the next day. Cheers to the new norm for now

Q7: When you’re not dancing, where can you and your family be found?

At home! Dinari in his room screaming about the internet "lagging" and me enjoying the CSI Miami or Law & Order SVU binge on TV in the living room, while attempting to fold the same basket of laundry that has been staring at me! Really just enjoying life and taking it one day at a time. Love our random night time dance parties or TikTok sessions, so much fun!


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