LA PLATA, Md.—College of Southern Maryland (CSM) graduate Danin Turner of La Plata is living her dream of owning her own performing arts studio—and she is only 21 years old. She credits CSM for preparing her to become a small business owner and for putting her on a path to achieve her goals so early in life.
"I graduated in 2017 after completing my business administration degree program," she recently shared. "I chose CSM because it was such an awesome option. It allowed me to stay local, continue to dance and teach dance while furthering my education."
She said she was thrilled this past winter, just months after graduating from CSM, to join the other 581,712 small business owners in Maryland when she opened Danin's Showbiz Boutique in La Plata. Dancing since the age of 2, Turner said that for as long as she can remember she has always wanted to dance and have a career doing what she loves.
"I have had a vision since I was younger to share my passion for dance and performance with others—to create a positive environment for children to pursue their passions with confidence," she said.
Now, just shy of its one-year anniversary, Danin's Showbiz Boutique is a bustling performing arts studio offering ballet, tap, jazz and hip-hop classes for all ages and features daytime dance classes for homeschooled children. The boutique also offers acting and singing classes for all ages and provides jobs for four part-time employees.
CSM's Entrepreneur & Innovation Institute Director Thomas Luginbill said Turner's success is an example of CSM's deep commitment to its students and preparing future business leaders for success.
"Real-world business knowledge among students has been a subject of intense debate, both in rural and urban communities, as students' debts have swelled into trillions of dollars," Luginbill said. "As a regional education institute, it's our job to promote entrepreneurship and business studies in the classroom to help our students prepare for life after college. The college is proud of Danin and the many other CSM alumni who have gone on to start and work at successful businesses."
Turner's said her start at CSM made all the difference for her.
"Business is going great," she said. "I absolutely love it. I love all the new people I get to meet through being a business owner. It's like a new adventure every day. There are some things that come up that are unexpected, but it has been so much fun learning the ins and outs of owning a business."
The dancer turned entrepreneur said that her time at CSM equipped her to achieve her dream. "I had an overall great experience at CSM," Turner said. And while she has learned a lot about being a small business owner, she has bigger dreams. "My ultimate career goal is to keep growing my performance arts studio. I love kids and want to have a positive impact on as many children as possible."
The Charles County Department of Economic Development applauds Turner's goals and CSM's commitment to student success.
"The College of Southern Maryland is an outstanding resource for workforce development and entrepreneurial training," said Economic Development Director Darréll A. Brown, Esq. "Whether it's an affordable start on your bachelor's degree, a two-year technical training program or a myriad of continuing education options, CSM is creating and maintaining a well-educated workforce, which in turn drives a healthy economy. We value their partnership."
Registration for spring semester classes at CSM is underway with several options available. For information visit www.csmd.edu/programs-courses/.