Dream & Do

#BOSSLADYDREAM Finalist: Meet Claire O'Shea from Dance Energy Studios

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Claire O'Shea from Dance Energy Studios is one of our #BOSSLADYDREAM competition finalists! Check out her 60-second video here. We're announcing the winner of the $40k Business & Branding Package on 4 July…

What drove you to start your own business?

Starting my business at the young age of 19, I truly wanted to share my passion for dance & dance teaching with young people in my community. My dance education as a young child was nurturing, supportive and amazing. Something I dreamt of emulating & honouring in my own studio. My Mum helped me get my small idea off the ground and grow that spark of interest into a blazing fire of passion. At Dance Energy Studios, we know that dance education is not all about the steps and technique. We create a culture of kindness and support for the next generation of #bossladies so that they grow to find their own direction, passion and purpose in life. I had this vision when I started my studio and it is something that my team and I continue to grow each and every day during dance classes.

When I first started my studio, I can’t say that I had the best understanding of what running a successful business entailed. Over the last five years I have thrown myself into the education of how to streamline, systemise and run my studio as an efficient, thoughtful & inspiring Leader. When the studio started in 2013, I was a team of one. On top of teaching every class I tended to all the emails, signed up new students, returned enquiries, ran all the social media platforms, updated the website and the list goes on! In 2017 I am proud to say that Dance Energy looks very different. We have an amazing team of over 10 inspiring women who play an integral role in the amazing reputation that we have today. All of our teaching team have a passion for professional development and work with me on a weekly basis to reflect on their classes, discuss student welfare as well as plan and create for the future.

We have had wonderful success in a short amount of time and this amazing experience has provided me such a fantastic opportunity to reflect on where I have come and what I know I could do and achieve with further support.

What has been your greatest challenge so far?

A personal fear or challenge of mine during this process was being seen as too young as a Business Owner. When I first started, I was terrified for people to find out my age. Now I have come to learn that it only has been beneficial & a positive for my students as well their parents. For me, my young age has been the perfect opportunity to knuckle down and focus on the growth and systemisation of my business. Whilst every element in a business has room for improvement and growth, it has been the perfect time in my life to focus on the development of my business as well as dream and create goals for where I want to be in the future. 

From 2013 - 2014 Dance Energy was run out of hired primary school & community halls. We outgrew that very quickly and I was so excited to find a place that we could call our own and provide an atmosphere that reflected our ethos. What I thought would be a simple process in finding a permanent building for our dance studio turned into a long and strenuous one, due to the strict rules and regulations from our local council. Out of every challenge comes a lesson and we are now very blessed to have a fixed location in the main shopping street of Caloundra, right across from the beach!

Lastly, my other challenge would have to be the transition from a Dance Teacher to a Dance Studio Owner. Both jobs are unique in their own ways and require a really different set of skills. Over the last year, with further education and business coaching I truly feel I have stepped into my own as a Leader within the studio and my business. I believe there is always room for growth and am so excited to see where opportunities such as the #bossladydream competition can assist with this expansion and development.

What has been one of your best highlights?

Without a doubt, it would be witnessing and experiencing the amazing development of the students at Dance Energy Studios. As we enter our fifth year, having worked with some of those young girls and boys from the start of this journey, it is an absolute honour to see how much they have progressed in their dance ability as well as developed as young people within our community.

Our students support our ethos and values that we have at the studio as well as help Dance Energy develop and grow each year. They are our biggest advocates and it is so wonderful for me to hear them spread the word about the benefits they believe our program can bring for others and themselves.

How do you keep motivated being a boss lady?

Motivation can ebb and flow depending on the stages within your business as well as depending on the day and the week. Firstly, incorporating meditation, reading & journalling into my routine each day has provided me with a sense of clarity and I believe more space to develop & create new ideas. When you feel empowered, you can dream bigger than you ever thought possible. Positive visualisation, affirmations and planning have also played a role in the direction I have been able to take my business as well as where I hope to expand and develop in the future.

Secondly, would have to be collaborating with other Studio Owner’s at all different points of the business owner journey. It is uplifting to provide help and support to others with questions or needing advice as well as to seek out support and guidance for your own concerns. Group Coaching has provided me with the confidence to grow my business the way I want and also to follow the passions and dreams I never thought possible.

Lastly, would be passion for the value that Dance & Arts Education can bring not only to children, but people of all ages around the world. Health & fitness keeps me motivated and in turn I am able to promote the benefits to my students, friends and family. I truly believe dance is the biggest gift. Being able to teach dance and call it my job is truly a blessing. I am motivated to keep sharing the joy and life lessons dance can teach as well as expand free community initiatives so that as many people as possible can experience the wonder that dance can bring.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

My two biggest inspirations in business and life would be Jen Dalton and my Mum and Dad. Jen Dalton is an extremely impressive entrepreneur and role model for me and my biggest business inspiration. Her dance studio has amazing values that I myself align with and find so uplifting. Her passion for creating the amazing, qualified Dance Teacher’s of the future is something I admire so greatly and am 100% behind. Aside from Jen’s amazing studio she has found the time to launch an online business, Dance Teacher Central. It has been a privilege and inspiration to be a part of this journey. Jen is so giving of her time & advice, which is something that I find so admirable & encouraging. Jen has opened up my eyes to so many possibilities in the Dance Industry. She is so supportive of me and I can’t thank her enough.

Secondly, would have to be my amazing parents. They are unwavering in their support of my decisions and are constantly at the ready to help at dance concerts, community performances & as maintenance assistants when something breaks at the studio that I can’t fix! Being business owners themselves, I have grown up in an environment where hard work & determination gets you results & respect. They have provided me an amazing life and something I hope to emulate one day with my own children. They are my role models, inspiration and number 1 cheerleaders in business and in life.

What blogs/mags or insta feeds do you follow for you business?

Top 3 Insta:

@iamcarriegreen - For great inspirational quotes and female entrepreneur inspiration!

@businesschicks - For great business tips and upcoming workshops and business growth opportunities!

@_dreamanddo_ - For inspiring quotes & images with a twist! The images are edgy, eye-catching & fun!

Top 3 Blogs:


Jenna Kutcher is a Photographer in the United States and runs a successful wedding photography business. Now she has branched out into education for other business owners and provides some fantastic insight on her blog.


Dani Watson is the creator & entrepreneur behind the Clique Elite program. Her blog is FILLED with great practical advice & business coaching tips.


Chantelle Bruinsma Duffield is a leading Business Coach & Mentor in the dance industry. Her blog provides an ambulance of fantastic articles and practical business ideas to transform your studio to be something you love as well as profitable. I find the video’s really inspiring and helpful.

Top 3 Podcasts:

I had to include this in here because my addiction to Podcasts has reached absolute peak levels at the moment! I love listening to them when I driving to and from work, cleaning or doing jobs around the house. I find them a fantastic source to spark new ideas, find solutions to challenges you may be having or the practical guide of how to implement something new in your business. Below are my top 3 at the moment!

  • The Goal Digger Podcast - Jenna Kutcher
  • Online Marketing Made Easy - Amy Porterfield
  • Building a Story Brand - with Donald Miller

What is the best quote, book or piece of advice that has been given to you on this journey?

I am huge advocate for personal and professional development. As a part of this I love to read across a huge range of topics. So far this year, these are my favourite books for inspirational quotes, practical business tips and also provide a little ‘kick up the butt’, if you need it!

  1. “The One Thing” - Gary Keller with Jay Papasan
  2. “She means Business” - Carrie Green
  3. “#girlboss” - Sophie Amoruso
  4. “Start with Why” - Simon Sinek

What would winning the #BOSSLADYDREAM competition mean to your business? How will it change things for you in particular?

Being acknowledged as a true #bosslady will allow the Dance Energy vision to reach more students and positively influence the future leaders of tomorrow. Through mentor programs and community outreach, we will break down barriers and educate young girls & boys on how to unleash their unique energy, power and potential in life. The #bossladydream will provide me with the necessary support and edge to grow my clientele, to have the thriving business I desire. This includes the possibility of expansion in physical locations as well as the hope to create an online hub where we can share our lessons online around the world. 

With this competition, I would explore other opportunities within the dance industry and in the online business world, in the form of business coaching for other young female business owners. My passion in life is to teach and motivate, whether that be students in the classroom or other inspiring entrepreneurs. I would like to support and collaborate with more Studio Owners in a coaching capacity to guide them to find their own #bossladydream.