Quiana Revere’s DiverseMoves dance studio starts its 17thth year this September. Revere built her dance studio on her values of faith and diversity.
“When I moved back to Marion 21 years ago, we wanted to bring the community together from all walks of life. I was used to living in a melting pot of people, food, and culture.” Revere said.
Revere prayed on her plan for a dance studio and talked to Pastor Curtis J. Mitchell.
“He said, ‘Quiana, if you keep God first, He will use your gifts,’” Revere said.
A donor offered space rent-free for six months and DiverseMoves was born.
“We have kids from the city, kids from the country, all different shapes and sizes, nationalities and religions,” Revere said. “These dance babies are my babies. That is my greatest reward – to love people unconditionally and see people the way God sees them.”
Her first student was Shannon Smith of Marion. Smith has taught beside Revere for 16 years.
“I love knowing I have a positive impact on the kids. No matter what’s going on in their life, it’s a safe place,” Smith said.
They teach students from age three to adults a variety of dances including clogging, Irish step dancing, tap, and exercise classes.
“The dances are really fun to do and you get to interact with new people and make new friends,” said Lydia Strother, 10, of Marion.
Her mother, Nikki Strother, found DiverseMoves filled an important need for her large, multicultural, adoptive family.
“We want our daughter Sarina to have a strong black woman as a role model,” Strother stated. “You cannot beat the environment there. You are hugged. You are loved. Quiana looks every child in the eyes and says she is so happy to see them. Everyone can feel the warmth. We close every class with a prayer circle.”
Strother now teaches tumbling at DiverseMoves.
“It’s like a miniature Cirque Du Soleil,” Revere shared. “Within a year, my son Marquis was doing backflips, back handsprings, and aerials. It’s like he defies gravity, “Revere shared.
Together, these women have taught with thousands of children.
“Some kids who came to me when they were in trouble as teenagers and now I’m teaching their kids. Some had low self-confidence. DiverseMoves is a safe place. We let kids know we love them,” Revere said. “Sometimes it’s the only hug they might get. The snacks might be the only food they get. We have students who are being raised by grandparents or great-grandparents on fixed incomes.”
Every April, they hold a Spring Bling hip-hop recital at Victory in Truth Ministries in Bucyrus to a crowd of 500 people. They also hold a packed Christmas recital in December. The pandemic changed the crowds but didn’t stop the studio.
“It doesn’t even feel like work,” Revere shared. “Every day I wake up, I can’t believe I get to do what I love.”
Revere finds her job incredibly rewarding.
“The greatest thing is watching our babies start at the age of three, dancing with two left feet, and then we get to watch them make competition team. By the time they get out of the studio, they earn more than a dozen medals from competitions,” Revere said. “They share that stage with a lot of other local talent here in Marion. Marion is represented very well with all of our studios here.”
Revere finds Marion to be a great environment for her studio and her family.
“There’s nothing like raising my babies up in a tight-knit community that embraces the passions and the gifts of local people,” Revere said. “Marion has welcomed so many people from different walks of life. There are so many opportunities to fulfill your dreams.”
Revere said DiverseMoves wouldn’t be possible without strong local support.
“We’ve had the best community support ever. We couldn’t be who we are without the support and sacrifices of parents, grandparents and volunteers,” Revere said.