28 June 2021
This week we're shining a light on Katherine Tinoco, founder of ArtPerÚK; a business created to share Peruvian culture with the wider community in London and the UK, through the art and enjoyment of dance. ArtPerÚK burst onto the UK dance scene in mid-2019, offering Peruvian folkloric dance classes representative of the three regions of Peru: Coast, Andes and Jungle. We spoke to Katherine about her business journey and experience with the SiLL programme.
'We believe that dancing is a great way to keep fit, happy and develop your self esteem. It is also a great opportunity to improve your wellbeing, you have the option to meet people and explore different cultures, whilst reducing stress and avoiding negative feelings. We do not just dance, we take you on a journey through the exploration of the wonderful culture and history of Peru, that will awaken your interest and curiosity for Latin American issues by several detailed choreographies.
The services ArtPerÚK offer are:
- Dance Classes for adults and kids (online and face to face group classes)
- Private dance classes (online and face to face classes)
- Performances at private, corporate events
- Public performances and community events
- Team Building activities
- Fitness workshops
I've joined more than 10 online webinars and workshops, where I was able to learn more about how to reboot my business in this time of crisis. The marketing workshop has really helped me to improve my social media presence on Instagram and Facebook, the finance workshop helped me understand how to manage tax returns effectively. I was also able to enrol in several 1-2-1 meetings with a business expert, like Sophie White, who was amazing! She helped me align my ideas for the business and connect me with people to receive support on finance, and helped me to promote my events. That’s why we were able to launch 2 workshops for the Croydon community, offering free dance lessons online.
Free events are run every month for new joiners who haven't tried a lesson before, they can experience the classes and try them out to see if it's for them before signing up to one of the plans.
We offer private and public dance lessons including online for the pandemic, and we've also performed at several corporate events to bring a a colourful taste of exotic Peruvian culture.
We hope to present all our colourful choreographies in the near future to the public, with the traditional costumes that are such an integral part of Peruvian culture. Follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram and Youtube) where you can keep up to date with our latest offers, choreographies, tutorials, and flashmobs - when we can finally get out and make some!
My advice to anyone thinking of starting-up a business is to do a lot of research to make sure that your idea will work and manage expectations. Look at your finances for the initial years and the funding that you will need to operate well.
I learnt that as a women, mother and entrepreneur, we have to be resilient all the time and keep going. Using any trouble or problem as an opportunity to improve, see the glass half full and not half empty. As an entrepreneur, we faced lots of challenges and we need to see this to learn more and keep going with the same passion from the beginning.
Lockdown came at a really bad time for ArtPerÚK, when we were just starting to expand our physical classes and attracting interest through free trial dance classes around South London. However, “every challenge is an opportunity”, and when lockdown was implemented, I reinvented the services and switched to online classes. Suddenly we were able to attract several clients to the classes. Online classes also allowed us to attract clients from outside of London, like Germany, Japan, USA, etc. This allowed us to expand our client base beyond physical constraints of having to be present in a certain place. Lockdown meant that people wanted to keep fit and maintain social contact, and that is what ArtPerÚK offered. While in lockdown ArtPerÚK launched more than 151 online dance lessons private and public, created several online challenges and driving awareness and participation. Ironically lockdown also made some things easier, by allowing people to dance from the comfort of their own home and not have to travel, which actually helped get a lot more participants.
For more on Start-ups in London Libraries and how to register for our upcoming workshop, visit www.bl.uk/SiLL.