Thank you to the 1,400 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions!
I hope reading
7 Questions with Lavania Rosie
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Lavania Rosie
Name: Lavania Rosie
Current title: Director and Founder
Current organisation: Dance Embassy
I’m Lavania, a freelance dance fitness instructor who always loved dancing since young but was advised against having it as a career. A decade into my passion, I now run a successful one stop dance, fitness and wellness company in Singapore, catering to individuals, groups and even corporates.
It wasn’t a planned foray that brought me to where I am today. While working with Singapore Airlines a few years ago, I was spotted by one of the instructors at a dance class that I was attending. That instructor turned out to be my driving force to pursue my dream. Not an easy decision to leave a comfortable job, take a huge pay cut and pursue my passion.
Starting off as a franchisee of Bollybeatz, years later I started Dance Embassy. From a one woman company, today I have a team of dedicated instructors, over 1000 students and counting and notable clients like Apple, Singapore Armed Forces, OCBC, Manulife, Allianz etc and I owe all glory to Father Almighty. My goal is to empower aspiring instructors and professionals in the dance, fitness and wellness realm and help them grow in their respective fields. To equip them with the necessary resources to grow their own community and following like how I’ve grown mine.
In 2020, I launched my Bollywood dance fitness program called BollyFreak in Mumbai and since then I’ve gained international traction and recognition. I believe that knowledge is powerful and it’s even more powerful when you share it with a tribe. Thus, I pivoted the business model of Dance Embassy and have positioned it as an integrated platform for dance, fitness and wellness professionals to grow their brand and community. I trust that with the support of our growing community, this will be a much fulfilling journey that I’ve embarked on.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
I find it challenging to keep in touch with my instructors, clients and students. I love human connection and as much as I love it, sometimes it can also drain you. I am an introvert by nature though not many people will believe it but I love connecting with people and build genuine relationships with them.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Dance Embassy wasn't a large enterprise to begin with. I was the sole person running everything. It has grown over the years with the support of a lovely community that I've built over the years.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Although my business runs mostly digitally, I am still very much a paper and pen kind person. Because my toddler has started school, I spend every possible minute with him and that's mostly in the morning when we are awake. Once he's at school, I either have my personal classes to teach, or attend my French classes. I also make sure I indulge in my daily word by listening to Joel Osteen podcast. During the day, I jot down every little work and accomplishments that I've done and achieve and at the same time list down my to-dos to tackle when I have the time. I schedule appointments and meetings, review what I did the day before and my to-do list. I fetch my little one from school and I catch a wink when I can along with him because since my job is physical as well, rest is imperative for recovery! When he's awake, I again spend some time with him before his dad comes back from work to take over and I dive back into work again. I am grateful for a supportive partner. He runs his own business and he therefore understands the dynamics of running one! I switch off from work at around 10pm which includes switching off my phone too. I meditate before I sleep and that has helped me a lot in getting a restful sleep!
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
That people's priorities change and that's ok. I've had instructors who discontinued teaching and I've learnt to accept that this industry is not cut off for everyone and I wish them well. Even though I may have invested a lot of my time and energy in training them, I learn about different personalities through my leadership tenure with them and that's my key takeaway.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
I am an avid reader but if there's one book that has taught me lessons on kind leadership, that will be the bible. It may surprise most but actually there are lots of lessons to learn from the experience of every character that has held a leadership position. For example, from the story of Moses, even though he was old and doubted his capabilities of saving his people from slavery, his faith surpassed every obstacle that was thrown at him. He was vulnerable as well when he felt things were not going to work out for him but he stayed calm and eventually led his people out of slavery.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
I believe in transparency. I share our wins and even losses but sharing about the latter has bound us even stronger. Each of our instructors and staff are our stake holders. They are aware that when we grow, I am generous and even when we were suffering a loss, we stand together as support each other. Being a leader that not just leads but walk along with your tribe is truly important and I believe in growing together with my people.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
When Covid happened, even though we quickly shifted our classes to online and were even published on national newspaper, our competitors were doing the same as quickly. I was even told to accept defeat that my company has failed. My company is my baby and I wasn't willing to let it go. In fact like how a mother would want to see her child excel in every possible way, I reviewed its weaknesses and built on its strength. The weakness was our infrastructure and the strength was our community. I kept sharing about the latter on social media and an old client of mine from years ago got in touch with me to produce along with them the World's First Bollywood Dance Fitness podcast. It was a groundbreaking project and it definitely pushed me out of my comfort zones. Little did I realise that I also emerged from it with the mindset that all of us have the capability to achieve the impossible. We just need to have the right tribe with us!