Kim Hohman
Kim Hohman

VAN WERT – Friday is International Women’s Day which celebrates the impact women have had on the world and those around them. For the past 23 years, one local woman has made a huge impact on the lives of children, teens, and adults. Since starting her studio in 1996, Kim Hohman has seen thousands of students come through the doors of her DanceWorks. Hohman owns both Kim Hohman’s DanceWorks on Van Wert-Decatur Road and Hollywood Dance Jamz, a dance convention that travels around the United States teaching and educating dancers of all ages.

Hohman, who is originally from Delphos, started her dance business after graduating from The Ohio State University with a bachelor’s in Elementary Education with a concentration in the fine arts. During her first year of business, Hohman trained 75 students at the DanceWorks studio, which was located on the third floor of a Main Street building.

“I knew I wanted to do this, but I felt that that teaching aspect was very important too,” said Hohman. “I was in a dance company in Dayton while I was in college. I continued my dance education by going to conventions and doing different things while in college.”

After the first year, her dream grew, and the studio was moved to 107 E. Main St. where she trained more and more students. Years later, Hohman moved her business to the current location on Van Wert-Decatur Road where her studio has been for just over 14 years.

At just five years of age, Hohman started dancing. In high school at Delphos Jefferson, she was a cheerleader. She knew from a young age that she wanted to run her own dance studio.

“I can’t imagine being anywhere else now,” said Hohman. “We’re involved in the community. I feel the studio is a place for the kids to come where they can be themselves and meet friends from so many other schools."

Hohman said that having her own business has been a lot of work, and while there have been ups and downs in the past 23-years of business, there have been many highlights.

“We love performing in the community,” said Hohman. “A lot of times it's just families and close friends that come to recital, so we love doing community performances.”

For the past five years, Kim Hohman’s DanceWorks has been invited to dance in New York City with Dr. Oz.

“That’s something we look forward to every year,” said Hohman who noted that she and her dancers have been able to make many connections during competitions that open opportunities.

Every other summer DanceWorks students perform on Carnival Cruise lines.

In addition, dancers at Kim Hohman’s DanceWorks have won Nationals for several years and have won dozens of awards including Best Choreography, Most Entertaining, Best Studio Sportsmanship, Best Technique, and more.

Hohman has volunteered as a rehearsal director for the Moscow Ballet, which performed in Van Wert in the Nutcracker in 2007. She was also the local Dance Teacher Coordinator for the 2011, 2014, and 2018 performance of the Nutcracker performed by the Ballet Theatre of Toledo. In 2016, Hohman received a Woman-Owned Business award from the Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce.

Today, Hohman’s studio averages around 325 students a year and offers classes to all ages starting with a Mommy and Me class that offers instruction to 18-month-olds and their guardians.

Hohman said she has seen dancers develop a variety of essential skills like teamwork, hard work, concentration, and coordination. She also sees the physical and emotional benefits of dancing.

“One of the best things is watching them grow up into successful adults and then seeing them come back and tell me what an impact dance has made with things like teamwork, confidence, and self-image with their jobs,” said Hohman. “I have a lot of second-generation students which shows how important dance was to them that they want to put their kids in it.”

Hohman and her husband Dan have three children, Kylie who is a senior at Lincolnview and two twin 14-year-old boys, Kaden and Carter. Hohman hopes that one day she can pass her studio on to her daughter.

“I picture myself doing this forever,” said Hohman. “I want to stay involved in the community and stay active.”

“I am so thankful for my family, all the dance families and the community that have supported me and believed in me,” added Hohman. “My advice to anyone starting a business is to set goals, believe in yourself, your product, and to follow your dreams.”