Katie Dixon knows that taking risks and making sacrifices are required to achieve your dreams.
The 24-year-old has had the goal of owning a dance studio ever since she started taking jazz, ballet and tap lessons at age 7.
Dixon decided now is her time and she sacrificed her immediate financial stability by resigning her human resources job in October.
She will open her dance and fitness studio - Kadi Fit Studio - in Cornelius Jan. 1.
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"It's such a risk because I had a steady job and had something that could take me really far too, if I would stay in that comfort zone," she said. "But I knew that I didn't want to do that."
Dixon and her husband, Mike, decided to rent their 2,400-square foot Huntersville home to move to a trailer on Lake Norman in Mooresville to pay their mortgage and other bills while the studio is starting up.
"We were fine financially, but we had to do this in order to make sure that we would continue to be fine," Dixon said.
Starting her own dance studio has also forced Dixon to postpone having children for at least a couple more years.
Through all of this, Dixon said her husband has been supportive.
"Not everyone would let their spouse give up their career and make all of these sacrifices to do what they love, but I think he believes in me and that he knows that what I'm doing is very important," she said. "He isn't as worried as some people would think, or he just plays it off really well."
Dixon said she developed a passion for dancing since her first dance classes.
"That's always been one of the most important things to me," she said.
Although Dixon shifted her efforts to cheerleading when she arrived at Myers Park High, she took dancing courses when she attended Appalachian State University. She went on to join the school's dance team.
Dixon said that part of the reason she pursued a major in business at Appalachian was to prepare her to run her own business.
But after graduation Dixon decided to get a "real" job.
"I started working for 'The Man' basically," she joked.
Dixon started to work in human resources, something she admits she still loves.
Three years ago Dixon started teaching Zumba, a group fitness class that combines Latin dances and a cardio workout, as a part-time activity.
In February, Dixon was inspired to create her own workout format when she attended The Pulse, a dancing workshop taught by well-known choreographers such as Mia Michaels and Wade Robson.
"They told us to go big and go for our dreams and that nothing is impossible - to not have boundaries," she said.
That's how Kadi Fit was born.
The Kadi Fit program combines working out with music ranging from hip hop to rock. Dixon said that her program combines simple steps that anyone can follow along with a cardio workout.
"I wanted to make it a workout you would enjoy going to....," she said.
She has been teaching her "KarDio Dance" class since March and created a new class called "Boga Fit," which combines ballet and yoga.
Dixon teaches her classes at Huntersville Family Fitness and Bailey Recreation Center in Cornelius, but she will start teaching at her studio starting Jan. 1.
Dixon said she also will offer personal training and party services at her studio.
Kadi Fit studio will have an open house Jan. 2, with free classes all day for the public. Dixon said that she hopes to have live music that night after the open house.
Dixon said she doesn't regret the decisions she has made in the last six months.
"I've made these sacrifices because it's going to help me to do what I love," she said.