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Meet Leah Blanchard and Julene ‘Julz” McBride of Fuse Movement

Today we’d like to introduce you to Leah Blanchard and Julene ‘Julz” McBride.

Leah and Julene, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Our story goes way back, and how we know each other plays a huge part in our business structure, and what we do. Fuse Movement is located within The Dance Company of Long Beach, where we both trained in dance from a young age.

We eventually moved on to different types of careers, but dancing professionally, teaching, and choreographing have always been a part of our lives in one way or another. Not only did we grow up dancing together, we have remained good friends through the years, which made the idea of partnering up an easy decision.

Things started to align last year when the two of us were making the move out of corporate jobs at the same time. We were both in a position to reinvent our lives, and as we explored our options, it leads us back to our roots in a unique way.

We were proposed with the idea of starting a business at The Dance Company which evolved into the launch of Fuse Movement.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Fortunately, we have a lot of support from The Dance Company and our community, so many of the challenges we face as new business owners have been met with the guidance and knowledge of those that have been doing this for a long time. We are very grateful for that.

In trying new things, we’ve had our ups and downs, and we are learning a lot. There have been events and marketing we’ve tried that kind of missed the mark, and other ideas that have had a ton of success. Through trial and error, we have discovered our signature event called “Sass & Sip.”

We’d describe it as a night out with friends combined with taking a dance class. We set the vibe with special lighting, good music, drinks, and a fun routine that anyone can learn. By the end of the event, everyone is cheering each other on and having a blast!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Fuse Movement – what should we know?
Fuse Movement offers adult dance and fitness for all levels. We pride ourselves as being a judgment free zone, and an all-inclusive studio. It can be intimidating to walk up to a dance or fitness studio for the first time, we want people to know that you have a safe space with us.

Our goal is to create a welcoming and community-based environment, just like what we grew up with. We really feel that is what sets us apart from other studios. The classes Fuse offers are Barre, Mat Pilates, Lyrical/Contemporary, Jazz, and Hip-Hop.

We also have a Barre/Pilates fusion class called Fuse Remix, so you get the best of both worlds. We look forward to expanding our staff and class offerings as we grow.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
We have fun! You don’t have to already be in “perfect shape” or have a ton of experience to hop into one of our classes. We understand how it feels to be physically stagnant, and how life-changing it is to start moving again.

Having that understanding is a characteristic that helps us connect with our students on a deeper level and creates a special experience in our classes. Both of us love to encourage our students to try new things and give them the support needed to reach their goals.

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