From the outside, Temple Goddess Dance and Yoga looks like many other businesses on the popular Tarpon Avenue. But there's that school of thought that believes it's what is on the inside that counts.
The owners of the Tarpon Springs business, Gregory Cilmi and Evanthia "Eve" Savva, agreed that their venture has been worth every second of hard work.
Savva was freelancing her work as a dance instructor in New Jersey when the duo decided to relocate to Tarpon Springs.
"We picked Tarpon because of the history and because there's a good energy here," Cilmi said.
The couple moved to Florida in August of 2009 and opened the doors to Temple Goddess in the space now known as Tarpon Tavern. The studio moved next door a year later.
Even though the move wasn't something the pair had planned on, the new space offered endless opportunities, with a large studio area and room to boot. A growing clientele led Cilmi and Savva to believe the move was a good thing.
While operating Temple Goddess in Tarpon Springs, Cilmi continues to run a theater company based in Jersey. He travels back and forth between the two, while Savva's main focus is the studio.
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Cilmi and Savva offer a non-competitive environment where people of all ages can learn yoga and the art of Middle Eastern dance.
Although that's the main purpose of the business, Cilmi and Savva continue to grow their mission.
The duo wanted to emphasize that they don't just teach belly dancing at Temple Goddess. Yoga has become an integral part for the studio's performances, which adds elements of fitness and strength training to the mix.
"I think combining dance and yoga is more of a mind-body connection," Savva said.
The crew does put on shows at local events and venues, but Savva added that she would rather make the student's experience more healthy and spiritual than showy.
The room for growth is undeniable. Due to the size of the space, Cilmi and Savva have also hosted events and turned the boutique into a lounge.
Savva said that her Greek heritage is a perfect fit for Tarpon Springs. Each performance by Temple Goddess has some sort of tie to one of the famed goddesses.
Cilmi and Savva have mastered the dancing, yoga and retail aspects of the business. Now, they wish to incorporate juicing and food options.
As committed vegetarians, Cilmi and Savva said that it is their goal to give residents the opportunity to be more health conscious.
"We want to offer an overall healthy and spiritual lifestyle," said Savva.
More information on Temple Goddess Dance and Yoga
Address: 17 N. Safford Ave.