London dance studio on verge of closing until community rallied to bring it back to life
LONDON, ONT. -- A local small business owner was close to closing down her dance studio of 11 years, after a sewage backup caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage.
But members of the dance community are now rallying to see the studio open once more.
On Dec. 24, 2020, Julie Mytka, director and owner of the Sound In Motion music and dance studio, said her husband discovered a sewage back-up from the floor drain, that had quickly damaged a large portion of the studio’s floors.
Sound in Motion's Julie Mytka in London, Ont. on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (Jordyn Read/CTV London)
"It was shocking, really shocking, I don’t think we understood what we saw at first…everything rolled into the tens of thousands of dollars in a matter of days.”
After struggling financially throughout the pandemic, the fear of closing down her doors for good was becoming a near reality.
"To take out a loan last year just to get us to September and to think of doing that all again, and feel like you’re paying to go to work, but you want to stay involved. How far do you go? How much do you dig to continue on?”
The students and families of Sound in Motion were inspired to see the studio reopen once.
“I remember getting the email…and my heart sunk…immediately we were thinking what are we going to do, what can we do?” said the mother of a dance student, Natasha Benns.
So the community created a GoFundMe page to raise money for the cost of damages, expected to be around $60,000.
So far, over $30,000 has been raised.
"I am very, very, very excited to go back and dance again. I’ve been with the studio since I was three and it is like my second family,” said 10-year-old dancer Brea Benns.
In the orange zone, every person at the facility must maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person.
And the total number of members of the public permitted to be indoors at the facility in all classes cannot exceed 50 people.
While many dance studios across the region are opening to more students this week, Sound In Motion will remain closed.
Mytka said it will take another few weeks before it can partially reopen, but said it was all made possible by the community's generosity.
"The months that we spent talking about closing, bankruptcy discussions, to go from that to a community coming together. The studio is more than ours, the studio is for the community and it's really theirs. We’re really excited to come back and be in service to them.”