1. What is your business, and what do you do?
I am the owner of Suzanne’s School of Dance together with my husband, Patrick Sleebos. We offer quality dance classes in an uplifting environment. Our motto is “Excellence of dance and heart.”
2. What does it mean to be a Christian dance studio? How does your faith impact the way you run your business?
Our studio family is built on five main core values: Worship, Respect, Communication, Excellence, and Joy.
Above all else we desire to honor the Lord in all aspects of our business. Whether we are performing, picking out modest costumes, or communicating, we do our best to uphold our faith values.
3. Running a business can be hectic. As a Christian business owner, how do you balance your faith, family, and business?
Owning a business and being a mom is difficult. I wouldn’t change it, though! However, it is challenging to find balance. I believe that the correct order is God first, family second, and my business third. There are moments when I find myself struggling with His Kingdom order. When this happens, everything suffers because that’s not how God intended it to be. God, in His kindness, always shows me when this happens. It is a continual place of surrender in my heart. The Lord has helped me over the years to create healthy boundaries to guard my family time.
4. Are there any verses in the Bible that you find helpful or encouraging in running a business? Why do these verses inspire/encourage you?
“The joy of the Lord is my strength.” -Nehemiah 8:10
This verse gives me strength. I’m reminded that God is my joy no matter what I face. His Joy is a gift that I can grab hold of every second of every day. I encourage my staff to do the same.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
-2 Corinthians 12:9
These words are so comforting. I’m not expected to be perfect! The Lord is always there if I will just humble myself and call on Him. He desires to be involved in every area of my life including my business. It’s up to me if I will invite him in and really lean on his strength and power and not my own.
5. How do you feel that God uses you as His light in the dance industry?
Every year we put on Spring Shows that have a Christian message. It is held at a public venue and free of cost. We believe that dance has the ability to touch hearts in a way that words cannot. Our next shows will be held at Rudder on Saturday, May 26th and Sunday, May 27th.
Another way is through our companies at Suzanne’s. They do Bible studies together on a regular basis and use their gifts to serve in this community. We provide a safe environment for dancers of all ages to grow in their talents while learning to worship through them.
6. Can you share with our readers one lesson you feel God has taught you in your years of owning a business?
There are so many lessons I’ve learned from owning my business. It has been the most humbling experience for me over the last five years. There have been many challenging moments. However, the high points definitely outweigh the lows. When I see all the lives we get to positively affect on a weekly basis, my heart is so satisfied and grateful. I love my job!
One big lesson for me has been to know our calling and sticking to it. It’s so easy to get distracted and compare. Over this last year, we have been focusing on our strengths and putting aside the areas that shouldn’t be our focus. While they may be good things, it doesn’t mean it is for us. We don’t want to try and fit another mold. For us, anytime our team makes a decision we ask ourselves this question, “does it fit in our core values?” We are all called to run our race. We are learning what it is to stay in our lane and keep our eyes on Jesus.
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