Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in a dance company, but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Isabel von Rittberg founder at AscenDance Project based in Colorado, USA.

Tell us all about your business...

With AscenDance Project, we have given birth to a new genre of dance that fuses rock climbing, music, and choreography performed on a vertical wall. Without ropes or suspension, our dancers use sheer strength to overcome gravity with grace, beauty, and artistic prowess.

A 12ft high and 24ft wide climbing wall creates a vertical stage on which performers move through three dimensions, using time and space as inconsistent and unpredictable variables.

AscenDance Project has performed in venues across the globe including the Macky Auditorium, TEDxBoulder, Dairy Center of the Arts, Singapore Parkway Parade, Sharma Climbing Barcelona, NBC’s America’s Got Talent, Outdoor Retailer, Boulder International Aerial Dance Festival, Denver Premium Grand Opening, and Boulder Arts Outdoors. With the AscenDance Bus, our troupe aspires to bring their art more easily to new locations, including schools, underprivileged neighborhoods, inner cities, small towns, and places where people don’t have the same exposure to art.

What's your background and motivation to grow as a entrepreneur?

My passion to combine climbing and dance stemmed from my deep-rooted love for movement, music, rhythm, and choreography. Climbing reminded me a lot of dance and the idea of combining two different worlds of the movement sparked a real fire in me. It’s been so fun to see what kind of athletes and performers I have pulled in over the past 15 years (gymnasts, dancers, parkour artists, aerialists). What keeps me going are those little moments of uplift when I feel like I have touched even just one person’s heart with our dance. My goal is already accomplished, and those moments we step on stage (or on the wall) are so magical, that even though there is so much grunt work and time in between, it always does feel worth it in the end.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Two of my biggest accomplishments: Making it on National TV: NBC's America's Got Talent in 2010 and our performance at the Macky Auditorium for TEDxBoulder in 2017.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a entrepreneur?

Being responsible for all aspects of the company: logistics, marketing, finances, and of course choreography and dance.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run or grow a small business today?

The most important parts of running a business I learned by doing, not through schools and classes. I believe that is the most efficient way to learn firsthand how to manage tasks from building a website to building a climbing wall.

What are some of the things you put in place to maintain a healthy work/life balance and to keep it all together?

Alone time, time in the mountains, meditation, and yoga.

Where can people find you online?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share then email, we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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