Saschie MacLean, 28

Co-founder, RSVP 33


Saschie MacLeanEvaan KherajLife Story: In 2013, Saschie MacLean’s 17-year-old sister, Chantal, was killed in a car accident. The loss uprootedMacLean’s life: “It was, and still is, devastating,” she says. Clips of dance routines on Instagram were an escape from her grief. Once a competitive cheerleader at her high school in Richmond, MacLean, who earned a bachelor of business administration at SFU and a public relations diploma from Kwantlen Polytechnic University, also began dancing again. In early 2015, she decided to hold a Vancouver class. “I thought I was going to draw five or six girlfriends, but when I put it up on social media it was all strangers who signed up,” recalls the Tourism Vancouver communications specialist.

The formula for what became RSVP 33 was simple: basic hip hop and contemporary dance routines set to pop hits, with a focus on exercise for women of all fitness levels. Thanks to word of mouth and savvy marketing—MacLean’s fiancé, videographer Roman Magbanua, helped produce clips for Facebook and Instagram—attendance multiplied. Last year, after MacLean started fielding inquiries from would-be dancers elsewhere in the country, RSVP 33 hired instructors and opened Calgary and Toronto workshops.

The Bottom Line: RSVP 33 now runs classes for 1,300 clients per term at four locations. The company, whose team includes four staff on the operations side and a dozen dance instructors, posted more than $150,000 in revenue last year.