Myatta Flanagan, founder of The Journey Dance Center, has made it her mission to make sure the dance floor has room for everyone.
In honor of National Black Business Month, “Good Morning America” (GMA) stopped in Dallas, Texas, to spotlight the Journey Dance Center and its owner Myatta Flanagan. The visit is a part of the morning show’s “Black Business Boost” initiative to provide exposure and resources for Black entrepreneurs and businesses, nationwide.
More than just a school for dance, Flanagan founded The Journey Dance Center as an inclusive studio that focuses on providing accessible dance lessons and community representation for all. Growing up, Flanagan never saw other dancers who looked like her in ballet class as a young girl. Now as a professional dancer, instructor, and choreographer, she is on a mission to change that with classes that include, ballet, tap, hip-hop, and acro-arts. In addition to a culture of exclusivity, she noticed that the steep price of dance classes also limited who could take classes.
When founding The Journey Dance Center, Flanagan set out to fill a gap in the dance world. The studio would “provide an enthusiastic, safe, nurturing and positive environment for dancers of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.” She even offered free online classes for families at the beginning of the pandemic.
Unfortunately, with recent rent increases and financial aftermath of the pandemic, Flanagan has lost her dance studio headquarters and is now forced into using local rec centers to host student practices.
To help Flanagan find a permanent, new space for her studio, the GMA team presented Flanagan with a $20,000 check from sponsor Wells Fargo that will help Flanagan find a permanent home for the Journey Dance Center. Additionally, the feature included a video message from dance legend Debbie Allen, who congratulated Flanagan for her work to diversify the dance community, as well as an Alvin Ailey VIP dance experience for the founder.
Speaking on the exciting offerings, Flanagan says, "It will help with the buildout for our next location and to put towards our digital studio, that will incorporate STEM and the arts as well, that we can use to teach our students in the future."