On the final episode of our four-part series highlighting Black-Owned Businesses in Utah, we take it to the dance studio, where we meet Marc Cameron. Marc is the owner of “The Dance Project SLC” located in the Cottonwood Heights area. Marc is originally from the United Kingdom, where he danced professionally before landing and leaving his mark in Utah. Marc is currently the only Black British Owner of a Dance Studio in all of Utah.
“It’s amazing how many people have not seen a British Black Guy,” Cameron says.
The studio teaches a variety of styles, but Marc enjoys the honor of teaching hip-hop and educating his students. “Hip-hop is predominately from Black culture, that’s where it came from. I am able to teach that history along with the dance as well,” he says.
Marc uses his real-life experiences to encourage his dance students. One key lesson he teaches is the importance of not letting anything stop you and him leaving the UK and creating a dance studio is the perfect example. “Any kid in my class, regardless of what their background is, I want them to know they can do the same,” he says. Despite the stigmas or people holding you back he reiterates that he is living proof of being “successful regardless”.
Although Marc has had good and bad experiences, he states that he is truly thankful for the families of his students and those parents that go and beyond to support the Black community. “I was surprised at how I would see mothers, kids in solidarity writing and putting on their social media things that I didn’t even know sometimes. They were doing the work, they were trying to make people aware and share that they were upset with the scenarios going on and they wanted to see change.”
The pandemic did impact the studio by having to shift to mostly online and losing a few students. But from the support of the parents and students, they were able to keep the studio open despite other studios closing in the area.
In January, they did begin to see a climb and in-person classes have resumed with Covid-19 safety precautions in place. He mentioned the hardest part was being able to reach students because the studio does more than just teach people to dance. It's a space for the next generation to grow and learn. “The idea of human interaction and connection is such an important tool. And when that gets lost it can make it hard to see the growth you want to see. Not just as a dancer but what it does for you internally,” Cameron reflected on the times when the classes were primarily online.
Marc truly does more than just train the next generation of dancers but he creates a safe haven for children to become better people. To find out more about classes or shows you can visit TheDanceProjectSLC.com. The studio is now open with covid-19 precautions practiced.
The entire Black-Owned Businesses series can be found on all of our social media channels. Throughout the series, we explored the arts, fashion, food and highlighting a non-profit organization for kids of color.