Spotlight: Rūts Dance Studio, Los Angeles
Versai is featuring some of our favorite studios across the country. We’re starting in our hometown of Los Angeles, CA, where Diny Kim and Eileen Kim founded Rūts Dance Studio. We asked them questions about their inspiring journey to start and run Rūts over the last few years.
When did you start Rūts, and why? What's the reason behind the name?
We first founded Rūts Dance Studio in 2019, and rebranded in Nov 2021.
Born and raised in LA, it was difficult for us to find a community of dancers within this area. Most dancers move to LA after they have built their profession and dance skills in order to pursue the industry, but we noticed a lack of training ground and opportunity for people local to the area that wanted to receive proper training.
A lot of dance studios in LA were only geared towards industry professionals, so we wanted to provide a safe space for people to feel comfortable, whether they were new or experienced dancers.
Dance being such a huge umbrella of different styles and communities, we also wanted to be a hub where dancers from the industry, collegiate scene, and freestyle communities can come together in one place and learn from each other.
We specifically chose the name Rūts because LA is a melting pot of many different ethnicities, traditions, & lifestyles; we wanted to be a place where all cultures can freely come into one space to connect & exchange through the language of dance.
Rūts aims to be a home that encourages you to explore & cultivate yourself without boundaries - to learn your identity, discover your roots (Rūts), and ground yourself in who you are. We believe in a community that challenges individuals to become fearlessly themselves, & through that, can ultimately become shifters of culture through their own movement and expression.
How did Rūts adapt to COVID-19 social distancing and lockdowns?
Unfortunately, Rūts had to close down from March 2020 - November 2021.
How has technology supported Rūts?
In the state of COVID-19, technology did not support our business in any way. Although we did attempt to do online dance classes, it was unsuccessful.
How do you find your tribe of clients locally in LA?
Many of our students find us through social media or word of mouth. Our studio is also located on the street, so people can physically see classes going on while walking by. A lot of our students walked in out of curiosity, and ended up loving the space!
What are your favorite dance styles, and what makes them special to you?
Rūts is known for its fundamental / street style classes - these include Hip Hop, Popping, Locking, Whacking, & House. These are special to us because there is so much culture & history behind each of these styles. We do offer many other styles as well, such as Choreography, Contemporary Fusion, Jazz Funk, & more.
What has been the proudest moment in your teaching journey?
Though both of us have individually achieved so many of our goals as a dancer and choreographer, we found that the proudest moments for both of us have been when we are able to visibly see our students grow over time. Investing in the students is such a vital part of being a teacher, so we feel the most rewarded when we get to see the fruits.
Rūts Dance Studio is located in Los Angeles, CA on 266 S Oxford Ave. You can learn more about their studio at www.therutsstudio.com.
Find Rūts on Instagram: @rutsdancestudio