When Phillip and Erin Fusaro decided to turn their passion for the art of dance into careers, they found plenty of resources for starting a business through the Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center (SV SBDC). After attending one of the SV SBDC’s popular Start Smart Workshop, Phillip began to work closely with Business Advisor, Allison Dugan to learn more about launching a small start-up business.

Over the course of their meetings, Allison assisted Phillip with incorporating as an LLC and learning more about business accounting and tax planning; understanding how to address legal and human resources issues; knowing how to get funding for a business: and finding ways to tackle cash flow management.

Tapping into Harrisonburg’s Friendly City ethos while combining their talents – Phillip choreographs while Erin is the artistic director – the Fusaros have been able to provide unique and accessible forms of partner dance for all ages, incomes, and skill levels. This emphasis on inclusivity and community are at the core of Phillip and Erin’s business vision. They believe that individuals can achieve a better quality of life through dance and strive to provide every opportunity for participants to achieve just that.

“Allison has helped me with the details to bring about change. We wouldn’t be where we are today without her.”

Allison advised Phillip to apply for a Harrisonburg Biz loan to ensure that he had ample capital to launch and sustain his studio.

Phillip and Erin’s passion for dance paired with the small business help provided by the SV SBDC allowed Friendly City Dance Room to successfully open in March 2019. In a recent testimonial, a dance client wrote:

“Phillip is an excellent communicator and makes learning a lot of fun. It is a low pressure, light, and fun atmosphere. He has you focus on enjoying the time with your partner as you learn together. It is a great date night for us and is great for our marriage. I would highly recommend Friendly City Dance Room!”

The SV SBDC is thrilled to see the community sharing in the Fusaros’ enthusiasm for dance and to have played a part in growing a small business enterprise like Friendly City Dance Room. If you are thinking of starting a small business of your own, be sure to get off on the “right foot” with a small business seminar or consultation from the Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center! Contact us today!

Keeping Up with Friendly City Dance Room
Wondering how dance may benefit you? The Friendly City Dance Room offers introductory lessons and community classes.  Sign up for a lesson either online at www.friendlycitydanceroom.com or visit the studio at 2 North Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA, 22801. Follow on social media for special events and programming, and check their website for the latest COVID updates.