Daytonian of the Week: Kelly Dailey

A quote writers often hear is "write the book you want to read." 

Kelly Dailey built the dance studio she wanted to attend.

Dailey is the founder and owner of Funk Lab Dance Center in Kettering, an all-ages dance studio offering hip hop dance classes for kids and people of all ages.

Earlier this month in New Jersey, one of the Funk Lab squads placed first at the Star Dance Alliance 2016 World Dance Championships. The senior troupe performed a routine choreographed by three of the instructors at Funk Lab, and placed 1st at the regional competition, had the highest scoring routine of the day, and beat 31 of the worlds top dance teams for that title. 

Perhaps most impressively, Dailey runs the place on pure passion. When not at the studio, she is a nurse and a mom to two small kids. We were able to grab a quick word with Kelly to see why she chose Dayton for her home, her business and her passions.

Name: Kelly Dailey
Age: 34
Job: Funk Lab Dance Owner

What’s your favorite spot in Dayton?
The Oregon District. In particular, I enjoy Press, Heart on 5th (Heart Mercantile), Link bikes and enjoyed Sew Dayton.  

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What’s your guilty pleasure?
Desserts and sweets. ;)

What’s one word you think people would use to describe you?

Why did you decide to settle in Dayton?
I moved away to Chicago briefly looking for dance opportunities that Dayton didn't have. Once I realized the grass was not greener, I moved back and created what Dayton did not have.

How did you get involved with starting Funk Lab?
I have been dancing for 27 years. I've been teaching for 16 years. I like to challenge myself. I like to help people. I like to create new things and experiences. It all made sense to open the dance studio.

DOTW Kelly Dailey

What was the most challenging part of that?
Getting permits, licenses, insurances and all other small business startup requirements. I had no experience doing any of those things.

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How did you push through the challenge?
I love reading and learning and I have some really great friends and acquaintances who helped.

What inspires you about Dayton?
The people and their passion for revitalizing Dayton. There is determination and incredible amounts of talent and creativity.

If you could change or bring one thing to Dayton, what would it be?
I love boutiques. I would love to see a shopping district located downtown.

What do you think Dayton will look like in 10-15 years?
I'm excited to hear of the plans for the new outdoor concert venue downtown. I am optimistic that there will be more growth downtown in the way of more job opportunities, parks, shopping and restaurants, an even stronger acceptance for people of different backgrounds and lifestyles and continued environmental awareness. 

>> RELATED: City may contribute $1M to downtown pavilion

Do you want to shine the spotlight on someone doing good things in the community? Nominate someone for Daytonian of the Week by sending an email to