Every month the Alton Business Association selects one of our member businesses to highlight. Each member of the Alton Business Association contributes to not just our organization, but to our larger community. As such, we generally try to highlight our members’ history and community impact. The Alton Business Association hopes that by sharing resources, knowledge, and engaging with our community, we can empower small business owners to succeed.

For October, we selected the Alton Dance Academy as our Member Highlight, owned and operated by Ashley Dowling.

Tell us a little about yourself and your business. Why did you want to open your business in this community, and what do you value most about this community?

First off, I love the community of Alton. It reminds me of where I grew up, in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. My husband, Ryan and I knew this would be the perfect place to encourage young dancers to flourish.  We knew this because there is an abundance of parents and locals willing to support the arts and dance community. That is something I pride myself on- owning a business means you do a lot of educating!

What has your relationship with the Alton Business Association done for you or your business?

The Alton Business Association is wonderful because it includes me in things! I am not the typical business and do not work typical “business” hours. Whenever businesses offer raffles, I am not usually able to offer much due to my offerings. I have never once felt less than within the business association and am pleased they ask us to perform, and participate in events. Giving back to the town is important for me, and great for kids to see, because they are the next torch carriers!

What business accomplishment are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my dance academy is several ways. The first and foremost being my students. I have kind, dedicated dancers of all abilities and ages here at the academy. I have a large student body and I am proud to be in a position that I have wanted my entire life. Dance and the Arts community is so very important to me, that I take my role as educator seriously. It is important to me, that my kids know where the movements came from, who made them up and why it’s important. Parents, Grandparents and babysitters who bring dancers back and forth every week- I am grateful. I am also proud of my faculty and staff.  They rock, and I am very lucky. Our shows, are also something I spend almost 7 months creating and love the work I am able to present. I hope that my business is one that is to be respected. I believe that if you truly love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life! I have been in Alton for 14 years now, bringing new things to the community!

To find out more about the Alton Dance Academy, check out their business listing here.


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