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Rising Stars: Meet Marcella Palazzo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marcella Palazzo.

Hi Marcella, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I always loved watching dance as a child, but was too shy to take lessons! I would just dance to the Spice Girls in my mirror and envision choreography in my head. It wasn’t until I was 15 that I enrolled in my high school’s dance program and absolutely fell in love. Although this program focused mostly on performances rather than technique, I still got to learn all the basics of Jazz, Ballet, Modern, and Hip Hop. I then went off to community college not really knowing what I wanted to major in. After enrolling in a few dance classes at my community college, I quickly decided that I wanted to pursue a career in dance. My dance teacher at this school was also the head of the Yoga Teacher Training program and encouraged all dance majors to get certified as a backup. During my Yoga Teaching Training, I learned the deep benefits of Yoga and became passionate about teaching it to others. I then transferred to a four years university in hopes to get my Bachelors in Dance, in which I was told is the only way to become successful.

This program proved to very emotionally abusive and limited student’s creativity. After one year of this program, I decided it wasn’t healthy for me to be in it any longer and I dropped out. At the same time that I dropped out, a space above my father’s car repair shop in San Francisco became vacant. I quickly insisted that it would be a perfect spot for a Yoga and Dance studio. My sister and I painted the entire studio and put in hardwood floors. I decided to call it Mood Studio because each class would create its own mood and vibe. I encourage my instructors at Mood to think outside of the box and use their creativity in their teaching. I vowed that Mood Studio would be a safe and welcoming place for anyone who wishes to dance or practice yoga, without any toxicity like my college dance program.

Alright, 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?
Finding the right instructors for Mood and making my vision come to life was the easiest part. However finding ways to get our name out there and build clientele was tricky. We opened November 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers were scared to come in person but were also not willing to participate in virtual classes. Three weeks after we opened, a stay at home order took place and we had to close for in person classes. This impacted us greatly. We were required to close before we even got our feet off the ground as a studio. Signs ups for virtual classes were low, bit each instructor aggressively advertised themselves and didn’t give up. Each month we were still able to make the payments.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I teach Flow Yoga as well as Burlesque Dance. My yoga class is called Yoga Flow, Aroma, & Crystals. In each class, I pick a theme and build a yoga sequence around it. The sequences are all about smooth transitions, building both flexibility + strength and connecting body and mind. Some of my themes include cleansing, relaxation, and energizing. I then fill the room up with an essential oil aroma that goes with the theme. Lastly, I put crystals that also go with the theme in the center of the studio that their healing properties may spread throughout the room. What sets my yoga class apart from others is that it invigorates all your senses and gives you a whole experience each time. My Burlesque dance class incorporates elements of Jazz dance, Musical Theatre dance, and Heels dance. I take inspiration from classic choreographers such as Bob Fosse and implement elements of newer styles such as Jazz Funk and Heels. What sets my choreography apart from others is that it has a very classic feel to it. I use music from old musicals to make it feel like a blast from the past. I also make sure that each dance has its own vibe and I never get lazy with the choreography.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
My father played a huge role in Mood Studio. Not only did he allow me to open a studio above his car repair shop, but he also taught me a lot about business. He guided me through all the legalities and technicalities about opening a business. He also gave me advice about advertising and giving customers a good experience. My employees/instructors have also made Mood Studio what it is. They are all so passionate about teaching and put 100% into their choreography. Even when times were hard, each and everyone were so supportive, cooperative, and professional. They keep our customers coming back week after week! I have never met such creative and genuine people.

Pricing:

  • Weekly Classes: $20
  • Monthly Classes: $25
  • Studio Rentals: $100/hr
  • Private Lessons: $50/hr

Contact Info:

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