Growing An Idea Into A Passion. Meet Danielle Deuel of Nu Movement

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Photography by Brenna Thering of Brenna Thering Photography

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
My name is Danielle Deuel and I am the founder of Nu Movement Co-op & Gallery. In addition to running Nu Movement, I am a new mom to a sweet little girl named June, a wife and an advocate for the Arts and wellness practices by building a community around it here in Rochester. I am also a Ballroom Dance Instructor, but my lessons are on the back burner right now with my busy schedule.

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What did you want to be when you were a child?
I never really had my heart set on any ONE thing. Whatever I was into at any given time was IT. I guess the one thing that stuck since my childhood was my desire to be a dancer. I wanted to be a writer at one point, a backup dancer for Janet Jackson and to make music videos for MTV to name a few!

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How did you get started? What were some of the difficulties you faced in starting?
It all started with an idea that wouldn’t go away. I would daydream about creating this beautiful space where I could teach dance, offer up wall space to local artists who are trying to put their work out there, where I could be inspired and help other instructors like myself find that creative space and outlet to share our passion. I was working as a sever and teaching Ballroom Dancing full time, living in a tiny apartment on Rowley St. when I first started to try and make this idea happen. I didn’t have much money, so my first space was a loft in the Flat Iron Building where I was living out of the back and teaching in the front. Some difficulties were realizing that things will morph and change, the idea can take on new meaning and being okay with that. I wanted to try and do things in a different way, as a group effort, since I was finding so many other people like me who were trying to “find a home” for their craft. That was the birth of the Art & Movement Co-op idea. I had seen some similar multi-use spaces when I was in San Francisco and NYC, and wanted to take it a step further by adding the Art Gallery element. I was so inspired by some of the art I was seeing, I couldn’t help but wonder if it would have an impact on my dancing if I was moving and essentially living with other people’s artwork.

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Lettering by Hannah O'Connor of Better Lettering

In moments of self-doubt, hardships or failure, how do you build yourself back up?
I am so lucky to have the most supportive husband and family anyone could ask for! When I’m feeling bummed out and things may not be going as well as I had hoped, my husband has a great way of putting things into perspective and reminding me of WHY I do this. All of the self doubt and stress seems to melt away when I think about helping others become better teachers, giving people the opportunity to put themselves out there, giving artists a place where their work can be moved with and lived with rather than just be observed...the good always outweighs the bad.

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What is your best advice to someone just starting out? What advice do you wish someone had said to you?
My advice would be to not give up on the idea or dream you are chasing. It will change just as YOU will change. You are going to hit many roadblocks, but take heart in knowing that all things in life struggle to find balance. Those ups and downs are all part of the process. Investing in yourself is one of the best investments you can make. Work hard, but give yourself credit and take time to just be silly too! It can’t be all work and no play ALL the time.  Remember “The journey IS the destination”, that is a good mantra to live by with work and life in general. I wish I had been reminded of that early on.

What inspires you?
I’m inspired by people who try. That might sound a bit “general”, but I think a lot of times people give up before they begin. People who put themselves out there even if they are afraid of what others will say or think. I have always been a firm believer in working hard and showing up. It shows you what you are capable of, what really drives you to do WHAT you do... otherwise you will not be doing whatever it is for very long and you will be pretty miserable. There is a lot to be said for simply following through with things. I respect that.

What is your favorite part of what you do?
My favorite part of running an Art & Movement Co-op are my Co-op Members / Instructors who I share it with! Everyone brings something different to the Studio and to their classes. We get to share some of the most diverse class offerings, some that you can’t find anywhere else because they are dedicated to what they do and HOW they want to do it. From Contemporary Dance, Yoga with Acupuncture, FREE Yoga for people recovering from addiction, Om Chanting and Gong Sound Baths, these teachers are passionate about sharing what they love because they truly BELIEVE in the benefits it brings to their students and ultimately to the community.

What do you find most challenging?
As a new mom, the most challenging part of my day is finding enough time to do all of the things that I want for Nu Movement and being there for all of the special moments with my daughter. I try my best to find that balance, but worry at times that one will suffer. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myselfto “Do it all” and sometimes that just isn’t very realistic, especially when your baby is crawling and climbing everywhere and you need to answer emails and update your website.

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Name some local creatives that you really admire.
There are SO many! The one that really stands out though is Amy Vena. She is incredible and has been with me and shared my vision of Nu Movement since very early on. She has helped bring recognition to so many artists with her amazing talent, organization and passion for all that she does, I admire her a great deal. Another is Lauren Seaver, founder of Rochester Yoga Preschool, another woman who I’ve met on this journey. She had an idea, believed in herself and saw it through and continues to follow her dreams both professionally and personally, I admire her and her LOVE for what she does for those little children and her love for her family and all those who cross her path.

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