Chelsea Rayna spends her time teaching dance to students with disabilities and has known this is what she's wanted to do since the age of 14. Rayna owns ADEPT Dance in Lewisville, which aims to create personal growth through quality dance.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I’m the owner and director of ADEPT, a business that teaches dance to individuals with special needs and disabilities. ADEPT impacts the lives of kids and adults through the creativity of dance. I started the business because I wanted to share dance with a group of people who are typically excluded.
Why did you want to start this business?
From a young age, I experienced and witnessed how much dance can bring joy to the dancers and the audience, and how it can heal the body, mind, and soul. From age 14 I knew I wanted to share the joy of dance with people who are often excluded from the dance world. By the time I graduated high school, I had decided my dream was to create a dance studio for dancers with disabilities and special needs. This is a population of people that are frequently turned away from traditional dance schools, or discouraged from seriously pursuing dance. I knew this was something I wanted to work to change, so more people could experience the joy that dance brought me.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate that everyone can dance! I believe that anyone who wants to dance should be supported and I work to make that a reality.
What are your goals for the future of ADEPT?
My long-term dream is that ADEPT works across the U.S. to support dance fore everyone who wants to participate. We would have studios across the states and also mobile programs that enter schools, studios, clinics to bring ADEPT Certified inclusive dance classes.
What do you do in your free time?
When I am not working with ADEPT I am a mom to my wonderful 1.5 year old girl! If I get some free time between my two babies, human and business, I love to crochet, knit, and do other crafts.
Where is your favorite place to spend time in Lewisville?
The Perc is my go-to spot for some relaxation and my favorite coffee!
How has the surrounding community supported you?
It's been wonderful to connect with parents, businesses, and organizations across DFW. They have been especially helpful in spreading the word about adaptive dance classes.
Who or what inspires you?
The most inspiring thing is to see my students succeed. When they meet a goal or get to perform on stage, their joy is the best inspiration to keep building ADEPT.
How did you pursue this?
In order to pursue this dream, I had to essentially design a college degree. There is no undergraduate degree that focuses on Adaptive Dance. I majored in Psychology and minored in Dance, while teaching mainstream classes at my childhood dance studio. During this time I learned the concepts and skills that would help me understand and teach individuals with special needs and disabilities. After graduation, I found a job at an Applied Behavior Analysis clinic and became certified as a Registered Behavior Therapist. I spent 3 years building my skills at the ABA center and dance studios.
When did you start your business?