Kristen Weissman runs Studio K Dance and Photography in Lake Buena Vista. (Photo by Michael Freeman).
LAKE BUENA VISTA – Physical fitness is a popular social trend these days, and there are a lot of ways to keep in shape, from doing cardio to weight lifting to zumba classes.
Kristen Weissman thinks she’s hit on a new trend likely to quickly catch fire: Hot Hula Fitness.
“It’s a new dance style,” Weissman said, one created by Anna-Rita Sloss, and it’s a great way for adults to have fun and stay in shape.
The web site for Anna-Rita Sloss Enterprises describes Hot Hula Fitness as “a fun, new and exciting dance workout. It provides a ‘total body workout’ in 6o minutes,” and is “inspired by the dances of the Pacific Islands,” with “easy to perform dance movements set to the sounds of traditional Polynesian drum beats fused with funky Reggae music, resulting in a modern, hip fitness workout.”
Best of all, Weissman said, Sloss Enterprises selected Studio K Dance & Photography to introduce the fitness routine to the Orlando area. Located in Lake Buena Vista, directly behind the Orlando Premium Outlets at 12211 Regency Village Drive, Suite 8, this is “the first of its kind studio,” said Weissman, who operates the business.
“Studio K is an entertainment studio featuring the largest offering of dance and dance fitness classes for adults in Central Florida,” she said.
The studio, which opened eight months ago, features a unique combination: dance, photography, and a professional entertainment agency in one complete, state-of-the-art setting. The studio has 30 employees, including several who can teach 23 different styles of dance. Weissman said Studio K did an impressive job recruiting top dance/fitness talent to become instructors there.
“People think the best of the best is in New York and Los Angeles,” she said. “I’ve got 16 dance instructors and they include a top 10 finalist from ‘America’s Got Talent,’ a featured Broadway performer, and a world champion breakdancer.”
If clients are not showing up to take dance classes, they might check out Studio K’s quality photography work, Weissman said, with professionals available to do headshots, corporate photos, and family and personal images.
“We have seven leading photographers in the industry,” she said. “We have a photography studio located in-house.”
There’s also a professional entertainment agency that works on public relations, marketing, image consulting and representation management.
“Studio K’s agency division serves as a national public relations and marketing agency,” Weissman said. “Our developed corporate partnerships include Mind Body Sole, Tropicana, and the Hilton Corporation. Hilton chose Studio K because they were looking for something unique to offer to their clients at the resort. That’s really working well for us, and we’re hoping to expand to other hotels in the region.”
Weissman’s own background is in public relations, and she has 15 years of experience in the field.
“I was originally in the casino industry,” she said, before eventually coming to Central Florida to become the director of communications for Give Kids The World, the Kissimmee-based charitable group that helps terminally ill children.
In the short time that Studio K has been around, Weissman said, they’ve demonstrated a wide appeal.
“We have grown so qucikly, so fast,” Weissman said. “We were highlighted on Groupon as the ‘largest selling dance feature in the industry,’ and we tried to set the Guinness World Record for the largest burlesque dance. We didn’t break the record, but we came close. We were also just chosen by the Orlando Magic as one of their dance teams.”
Studio K’s dance classes are now just for adults, Weissman said, noting that she often gets asked why they also don’t have classes for kids.
“We’re adults only, and I get that question all the time about why we don’t have programs for kids,” she said. “We wanted to do something different. Our adults come in and they’re so happy to have that time to themselves.”
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