Industries involving physical spaces and bringing people together like dance and fitness studios have been dealt with a heavy blow by the pandemic. It is in these times that dance and creative spaces like Nude Floor have stepped up to the plate to provide creative solutions to keep the business and community sustainable.
We talked to Shayna Cua, owner and co-founder of Nude Floor dance studio in Circuit Makati, to find out how they continue to share their love for the arts and movement to their community.
Shayna Cua, owner and co-founder of Nude Floor. She also a choreographer, dancer & teacher
Make It Makati (MIM): How was your regular day like before?
Shayna Cua (SC): Nude Floor is a year old now. It was born out of our love for the arts. Our main motivation was to have a space for artists to thrive and provide a platform to create, share and collaborate.
In our world, a “regular” day is very dynamic and changes everyday. We offer daily dance classes at Nude Floor from ballet to hip hop to social dance classes. Apart from our daily classes we open our space for photo/video shoots, rehearsal s and various collaborations. When there is down time, I personally use the space for choreographing and creating pieces.
Aside from offering dance classes, Nude Floor is also a space for collaboration for creative projects and events
“Movement and art has always been a way for us to express and connect with ourselves and others. We’re happy we have that and that’s ultimately what keeps us going.”
MIM: What would you say was the impact of the pandemic on the dance/fitness industry?
SC: The biggest impact common to the dance, fitness & Nude Floor’s industry is the inability to use the physical spaces we have provided. These industries are predominantly built on individuals coming to a specific place to work out, learn, dance etc — All of which are social activities.
When the pandemic hit, we actually felt the impact quite quickly at Nude Floor. Our classes got smaller, there were less bookings and some projects were cancelled. This is due to the nature of how we operate. We depend on people coming together in a space – quite the opposite of social distancing.
Then there is the consequential financial impact both short term and in the long term. All of the studios are physical spaces that have capital and overhead expenses that come with owning a physical space. This will be hard to pay off going forward — During ECQ, MECQ and even going into GCQ our industries and the nature of the business will still mean that we will be restricted to operate like how we used to.
Nude Floor offers classes from ballet, to hip hop, to social dance classes
MIM: What would you say is the difference between how a business like Nude Floor should adjust to the crisis versus larger, established companies?
SC: Nude Floor has only been around for a year, we have been slowly growing and establishing our identity. Nude Floor’s physical space is something that sets us apart from the beginning – the unique design and the feeling it creates when you are within the space. In the past, we have not placed a huge emphasis on our online platforms. Our community was growing through the experiences of different individuals within our space.
For larger, established companies it will be easier for them to shift to an online platform (if they don’t have one already) as they will have the resources and reputation to do that. As for Nude Floor, we have to carefully think about the community we have established, our identity and most importantly how realistically we are to survive this pandemic.
The unique space and ambiance is what sets Nude Floor apart from others, making it an ideal venue for creative activities
MIM: What would you say businesses like Nude Floor should prioritize when creating plans for their business to survive the COVID-19 pandemic?
SC: To survive the pandemic, we need to prioritise the community we have built, Nude Floor’s main goals and how we are to carry that out given the new circumstances.
Nude Floor has been slowly but steadily been building their brand and reputation through their classes and sense of community among its students
MIM: What’s your new normal? How did you #MakeItBetter?
SC: We are a work in progress and have carried out surveys and trial periods during this time. We have started exploring online channels and reaching out to our community. On the education & training side, we have provided online classes and are currently working on a way to continue to deliver quality classes. Gratefully the passion for learning (dance) was not lost during the pandemic. It has actually enhanced some of our students to give more time and thought into training. In the arts collaboration aspect, we have projects in the works – stay tuned to our Instagram. We hope to continue to invoke that magic you feel when entering our space (even virtually).
We #MakeItBetter by listening to our community and allowing ourselves to take our time to redirect Nude Floor and its operations in order to be sustainable. Movement and art has always been a way for us to express and connect with ourselves and others. We’re happy we have that and that’s ultimately what keeps us going.
Whether it is a work in progress or shifting to other platforms, one thing is for sure- businesses are always on the move to come up with ways to keep their businesses sustainable. Tell us how you, or your business have adapted to the new normal. Tag @_CircuitMakati in your posts.