It's kind of hard to believe that TURN has been open for a year and a half now. It's more than I ever expected it would be. As new instructors and students walk through the door, I can't help but think about the little that it came from.
When I first visited the space, I thought I was going to have a partner help me do the prep work and open the doors. TURN was almost part pole studio and part Dance Trance. How different that vision was. In the end we went our separate ways. It's a good thing too - because I wouldn't have called Seo if plan A had worked out. And she's been instrumental in getting the word out about TURN.
In October 2014, the studio was a place where they did millwork and was a pile of dust. I mean for real. I walked in and there was a layer of white dust about 2-inches thick everywhere. In every crevice and on every inch of floor. You can see it in some of those photos below. And there were so many rooms in the space that later became the main studio. It was horrendous. But all I could see was a fitness studio.
My aunt visited this week and Deverly (my friend and rad DT instructor) walked her through all that we accomplished. And we revealed how we did the work. How we, the students, and the instructors and the husbands pulled together on a GoFundMe and a beg-and-borrow budget to demo, prep, paint, clean, install, strip, and clean again agenda. And how we learned as we went. Realizing after the initial demo went through that we were going to have to call an electrician, a plumber and how we needed duct work for the AC. Oh yea - and maybe a drywall guy or two.
I remember how I was cleaning the main studio for like the millionth time -- pushing out that dust, and I looked at Sarah (another friend and fab instructor) and said -- this sucks and it's not going to work. She said, "No. It's going to be awesome. It's already awesome. Don't worry." I took her words and turned them into positive ammunition and confidence. Little did I know that when Sarah drove home she called her husband and was like, 'WTH are we doing? This is crazy!' LOL
The point is -- without everyone who came together on this journey and without the faith they had -- we wouldn't be here, in one of the best parts of Richmond offering some of the most unique and dynamic classes. It's what makes TURN more than a fitness studio, but a community. I think it's the thing that sets us apart and why I still feel the butterflies when I walk inside. I hope you feel them too. - Sandi
Left: Main studio, mirrors replaced this burlap and panel wall. Right: Garage and exit doors and the white dust.
About the Author
Sandi Cano Cauley is a small business owner, fitness instructor, dancer and retired broadcast journalist. She operates Turn Cardio Jam Studio in Richmond, VA (founded in 2015) with goals to mesh dance + fitness and connect others with some of their youth. She is also a 3 x boy mom, a Tejana, a wannabe