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Makena Kimani: 25 Year Old Running Successful Dance School

Makena Kimani, a creative, choreographer and a dance teacher is the founder of Kena Kona Dance Center.

The 25-year-old founded the dance school in 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when most people were home.

She started off by doing online classes before she got a space to rent, and started doing physical classes although no fully.

Here is Makena’s story as told by WoK.

Background

While most Kenyans were locked up in their houses die to the COVID-19 pandemic, Makena spotted a business opportunity.

She founded Kena Kona Dance Center where she’d offer online classes for budding dancers and people interested in the same.

Makena started offering affordable dance classes, creating dance awareness and dance education in a bid to inspire dancers.

“I was taking classes online and I was like, ‘I might as well do the same’. I’ve always wanted to have my own dance school and this was the perfect time to do it because everyone was at home,” she said in an interview with KTN.

Makena built her brand with the help of her friends and family who helped her with coming up with the right name for the business among other stuff.

“Everyone in my family was helping me; they were helping me figure what name to call the business. They ensured that I was focused on whatever I was doing,” she explained.

At her dance center, she teaches several dance moves including afro groove, bale, hip hop, contemporary, jazz and musical theater among others.

“I like dance specifically because it’s natural to me but I also like the performing arts all of them, I’m really interested in them,” Makena said.

Born in a family of three kids and raised in Nairobi, she explained that she is the only one in her family practicing dancing professionally.

“I was a very athletic child when I was growing up, I did karate, I swam, I did soccer, volleyball… I did anything that I could do,” Makena explained.

After completion of her secondary school education in Kenya, she enrolled for a dance program in College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas.

She graduated with a certificate of dance and worked as a dancer and a dance teacher with different companies.

“My childhood dream was not to become a dancer, at least until when I was 16. Before I really was not sure with what I wanted to do and I thought that I’d figure it out eventually,” Makena noted.

Makena also noted that her parents are supportive of her involvement with dance.

“My parents reactions were not surprising at all, they are very progressive when it comes to things like this… I remember when I’d go for dance classes when I was in high school they’d allow me to leave school early to arrive on time for the dance classes,” she said.