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Meet Karla Maldonado of Kumbala Dance Studio in Addison

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karla Maldonado.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico, the only girl out of three siblings. My parents were always small business owners, which I realized was engraved in me later on in life. I took leadership courses and earned scholarships while getting my Bachelors Degree in Economics. Thanks to my family, I am the woman I am today. I moved to Dallas 6 years ago. I faced different types of challenges from feeling confident enough to communicate in English to learning how to be away from my family.

As soon as I got here I started looking for dance classes, I never had time to do it back in Monterrey. I took some belly dance lessons as well as salsa and bachata. I progressed fast through the levels and ended up getting a job offer at one of the dance studios. Within the first four months, I was managing and teaching there. With time, I realized that teaching was one of my biggest passions. After five years, it was time to branch out and start my own place. That’s when Kumbala Dance Studio was born.

Has it been a smooth road?
If something is worth it, it won’t be easy. That’s something I learned from my parents. They have a great business mind and are extremely hard working people. The early struggles in Dallas were related to the language and the shock culture I experience, everything was different. When it comes to opening my own studio, the emotional path was a roller coaster ride. I was going through a very difficult time in my personal life. I was trying to stretch my savings while making some stressful decisions among other things. Overall, I enjoyed every step of the journey and I am extremely grateful for my family and all the students/friends that never let me doubt myself. Their support was always there through calls, text messages, hugs and kind words. They became my family and I felt their good vibe every single day.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Kumbala Dance Studio story. Tell us more about the business.
At Kumbala Dance Studio we specialize in different Latin rhythms from salsa, bachata, merengue, cumbia, reggaeton, cha cha cha, and many others. Social dancing is our main goal for our group and private classes. But we’ve also helped many couples with their dream first dance! We are known for giving high-quality instruction and making every class enjoyable!

I’m very proud of hosting these daily classes. The regular interaction with our students makes it easy to quickly become a family, I love this about the studio. It becomes a safe place for all of us. You are not going to feel judged, this is not a competition for any of us. We are here to learn, exercise through good cardio, take our minds off our jobs and our daily responsibilities. Seeing each other becomes the highlight of our days.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Dancing is a key component of society, but sometimes people don’t know that. In the future, I believe that people will gain a better understanding of all the benefits, physical and emotional, that dancing can bring to your life. And because of that, there will be more of us involved in this beautiful industry. The level of competition is definitely going up and I love it! It forces each of us, as a student, instructor, performer and social dancer to want more. It makes us improve, enjoy and be grateful for every single step we take.

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Image Credit:
Joanna Serrano, Hector Nicolau

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