In 2015, we were close to finishing a home remodel project, which started with a garage addition, but had quickly evolved to include an extensive basement dig-out, and the installation of a semi-sprung hardwood floor. As construction wound down, a friend asked if they could rent out our basement for a dance class once construction was finished.
This request came as a surprise, but it really got us thinking...would it be possible, or even legal, to rent out our basement by the hour to dancers, or anyone else for that matter? As we performed some market research and looked into what it would take to start a business, it seemed more and more possible! If private yoga studios exist in people’s homes for rent, why can’t a dance studio?
After much consideration, we made our decision: we were going to start a business! The question was...what would we call our new business? It took a surprisingly short time for us to decide on "Lowdown Ballroom". At the time, we thought, “wouldn’t it be funny if we called it a ‘ballroom’”. After all, it was clearly a recreation room in the basement of a house…but branding really is something, isn’t it?
“Lowdown” seemed appropriate for several reasons. Besides the obvious pun of the space actually being “low down” in a literal sense (located in a basement), the name also has ties to our history as swing dancers and jazz aficionados. Traditional jazz songs such as “Uptown Lowdown”, or “Doin' the New Lowdown”, made for a double pun for those in-the-know (double the pun, double the fun!). Additionally, the name just fit with the speakeasy-inspired decor we had planned for the space, making the name too fitting to pass up!
In October of 2016, after much research, planning and dreaming, we applied for a business license with the State of Washington's Department of Revenue. With that, we began our new journey as entrepreneurs and we prepared to invite the public into our home for dance rehearsals, classes, workshops and special events.
With the freshly painted stately green walls, dark stained wood trim, newly finished dance floor, and jazz-themed photographs in matching gold frames...all the pieces fell into place, and the space began to take on a life of its own. Lowdown Ballroom, "Seattle's most intimate arts space!", was born!