You know that feeling you get when the last school bell rings for the day?
When work is done and what’s left is usually fun, 10-year-old Amiya Alexander doesn’t quite see it that way.
“I mean like some days I just like to play, and be a sixth grader, and do my homework. And then on some days, I sometimes like to go to work. I call it work,” said Amiya.
By day she’s a student. By afternoon, she’s a full-on entrepreneur. See that bus? She owns it. See that dance studio? She runs it.
It’s called Amiya’s Mobile Dance Academy and it came to Amiya in a dream one night.
“It was 1:06 in the morning, and I was sleeping in my room right here, and I woke up in the middle of the night, and in my head I saw a pink bus. I wrote my ideas down and I sketched out the bus and I colored it. And I ran to my mom and I woke her up and I told her, and she was like ‘Can we just go back to bed?’ Tell me in the morning,” said Amiya.
After a little more convincing, Amiya got her bus in December, and after a paint job and some seat clearing, classes began that next month. On the dancing bus, Amiya teaches ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, salsa and meringue. Her students range in age from 2 to 12 years old. The schedule, instruction and business model all come from Amiya.
“We don’t need the television in our house. She’s just… she entertains, she imitates, she has fun even with her teachers,” said Tabeira, Amiya’s mom.
Tabeira was 20-years-old, a single mother and college student when she had Amiya. A situation that could have easily hampered each other’s growth. Instead, they grew close and that bond bore them strength.
“It made me a stronger person because I knew that it wasn’t just me. I had to live for Amiya. I think she caused me to mature more. Much faster,” said Tabeira.
“Your mom was saying some really nice things about you. How does it make you feel that she says she’s a better person because you’re in her life?”
Feel good about that?
“Yes,” replied Amiya.
It’s a family affair. Her inspiration, that comes from her mom. The bus driver; her great uncle, Sundiata.
“I think that she’s a little ahead of her time,” said Sundiata.
So here’s how it works: Amiya’s bus travels to various schools and parks. She attracts a loyal following. And then Amiya does what she does best: dance.