When Charlie and Rebecca Reese married four years ago, Rebecca was already running Blair Dance Academy in Altoona, Pennsylvania. New husband Charlie looked around to find ways he could bring his skills as a financial analyst to the business. Today, although employed full-time outside the studio, he keeps the books in order, deals with the accountants, the studio budget and bank accounts, while Rebecca handles the artistic end and day-to-day operations. It’s a winning system. “We joke that she just married me for my money skills,” says Charlie.
When they were ready to take the next step to grow the studio, Charlie managed purchasing a new building. He is also a self-taught graphic artist and web designer, helping out with everything from recital posters to ticket design. “It’s been neat to learn new skills,” he says.
And some things are learned the hard way. “Once I tried to offer some advice on the artistic side—as in a song idea—and I learned quickly where our boundaries stand,” Charlie says, with a smile. “Really, she does listen to me, but it works best when we keep to our strengths.” It helps that he understood completely what he was getting into. “We are a successful couple because I knew right up front that I needed to buy into the dance world,” he says. “Her dreams are my dreams.”