Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in dance education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rachel Levitt and Nicole Decsey, Owners of A Dance Way of Life, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Our business, A Dance Way of Life, is a lifestyle blog about all things dance. We venture beyond reviews and “what’s on” content to offer insights, reflections, tips, interviews, and more about all things that make up the dance lifestyle. Our clientele is dance artists (with a focus on emerging artists at the beginning of their careers) as well as dance enthusiasts from all walks of life.
Tell us about yourself
Rachel – I’m a professional dance teacher and choreographer based in Toronto. After writing for school papers in high school and college, I began to crave the chance to publish my own content with full editorial control. In the summer of 2020, I reached out to Nicole Decsey about collaborating, and we have been one happy pas de deux ever since!
Nicole - I am a professional dancer and teacher who trained as an art critic through The National Ballet’s Emerging Arts Critics Program. My friend and colleague Rachel Levitt started the business, and I was more than happy to join her. Writing about all things dance through A Dance Way of Life was a natural transition and gave me the opportunity to write monthly. I continue to do this work because I thoroughly enjoy working with Rachel, and I love writing fun articles about my craft and passion.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Nicole – I think our biggest accomplishment with the blog is our website. Rachel did a fantastic job making our site professional and user-friendly.
Rachel – For me, our biggest accomplishment was when an established dance company in Toronto started reaching out to us about covering their upcoming projects. Nothing makes you feel more on track than when people start coming to you.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Nicole – I would say the hardest part of being a business owner is creating awareness and a following for your business.
Rachel – Definitely what happens when you’re unwell. I got quite sick in 2021, and it took some time to recover. Editing articles and posting on A Dance Way of Life’s social media became an exhausting feat, and I even had to put writing and publishing my own articles on the back burner. Having a diligent, supportive, and enthusiastic business partner like Nicole was invaluable during that time. Her patience taught me that as long as I didn’t give up, the blog would survive. Thanks to our teamwork, we are entering year three of A Dance Way of Life!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be patient. Learning how to grow your business can take time, and failure is a great teacher.
- Recharge, don’t give up. How you work with, not necessarily through, the hard times is key.
- Just do it. Any sort of business endeavor is an amazing experience that will change your life, no matter the outcome.
- Be as active as possible on all social media platforms.
- I would advise any young entrepreneur to take the time to make a professional website and buy their domain name.
- I would suggest networking as much as possible. News travels fast via word of mouth.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
If you have any dance-related stories, tips & tricks, or topics you’d like to see us cover, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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