We had the good fortune of connecting with Dannia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dannia, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Work-life balance is absolutely important to me. In fact, this was one of the main reasons as to why I decided to become an entrepreneur. Since I started my own business, I have been able to achieve a healthy balance between my work and my personal life. By being my own boss, I have the liberty to create a work schedule that fits me and my personal needs. It is very fulfilling to take control of your life and enjoy success in your work without sacrificing your personal life. I have learned that it is possible to achieve both and that you need to create it for yourself.
What should our readers know about your business?
I created “¡Hola! Learn Spanish” in 2016. I have always known there is an interest in learning Spanish in the U.S. and around the world. I offer private in-person Spanish classes in the Denver area and Spanish online classes, which has allowed me to have a bigger reach of students, even outside of the state of Colorado. I now teach students from 7 different states in the U.S. Within these two modalities, I teach Spanish classes for beginners, intermediate and advanced level. I also offer conversational Spanish classes, these are very popular classes. These classes offer students the opportunity to practice what they have learned. Spanish classes for travelers, in which you learn not only helpful expressions to get around a city, but also, you have the opportunity to practice with me, a native Spanish speaker, which will play an important role in tuning your listening skills. Spanish tutoring, I work with high school and college students providing extra support on the subject of Spanish. Spanish Now, these classes are for students that aren’t able to have a recurrent class schedule, so they can pick up a class when they can. Finally, I teach Spanish group classes, I keep these classes between 4-6 students max. to be able to still provide one-on-one guidance. My intention every day, when I am teaching a class, is to offer a learning experience that will make each of my students feel empowered. Learning a new language can be very intimidating and it isn’t always easy. I know that from experience, I understand what it takes to learn a second language, I have gone thru the process. That is why it is extremely important for me to create a safe learning environment. Where they can learn how far they can go, and where it is ok to make mistakes. I am my students’ biggest fan! I celebrate their efforts and hard work and, during my classes, you will often see me clapping, dancing, singing and screaming out of excitement. I am Hispanic after all! (laughs). I can tell you my best moments as a teacher are when students surprise themselves and achieve a milestone in their journey that they never thought it was possible for them to reach. I also like taking time to get to know each of my students on a personal level. I care about learning how their week has been. This will have a huge impact on how they are feeling during class and I am mindful of that. It is important for me to have a relationship with them in addition to the teacher-student relationship. It truly feels like we are friends, learning Spanish together! That is who I am, I enjoy connecting with people, I am naturally friendly, warm and welcoming. And my business is a reflection of that, I couldn’t do it any other way. It has taken hard work, dedication, and perseverance to get here. I am absolutely proud of how much my business has grown and all the positive feedback that I receive for the work I do. I am deeply excited to see what the future holds. But I have to take a moment to express my immense gratitude to each one of my students, for their trust and unconditional support during these years. It is an honor to work with them every day. All of this has been possible because of them.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My favorite places to go in Colorado are definitely the mountains. Their beauty is breathtaking and they are so majestic, like something I have never seen before. A must-see are Pikes Peak and Lookout Mountain, gorgeous views and an excellent outdoor activity.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate this article to my wonderful husband. Whose unconditional love and support during all these years have encouraged me to be bold and take risks. It is because of him that I do what I do today.