Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in dance training but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Peter Mills, Owner of Dancing with Peter, located in Edmonton, AB, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Dancing with Peter is an online platform for learning jazz, tap, and musical theatre dance. My customers are mainly performing arts training institutions looking for musical theatre and dance teachers, and my students are a mix of pre-professional and professional actors, singers, and musical theatre performers looking to improve their dance skills as they prepare for their careers, as well as young dancers interested in building their technique and range of styles.

Tell us about yourself

I grew up outside of Boston, Massachusetts, in the USA, where I also completed a four-year BFA degree in Musical Theatre from The Boston Conservatory. After graduation, I spent a number of years in NYC, performing professionally in many regional theatres in the USA. I enjoy the freedom and creativity of expression that comes with dancing in the theatre, diving into stories, and fully being present in the movement and in my body. Jazz, tap, and musical theatre dance has this spark of joy, sexuality, and freedom that is infectious; it's lovely seeing a dancer come into their sweet spot and really enjoy their dancing. Seeing students light up when they accomplish new skills or perfect choreography is a highlight of teaching.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I've enjoyed how building this online platform became an extension of my in-person classes. Teaching and choreographing with Opera NUOVA has been a highlight of my teaching career, helping young aspiring artists challenge themselves in learning tap dance and giving them the opportunity to really dance full out in a musical. Raising students in class with my belief that they can do things they thought they couldn't is the greatest accomplishment; it's stunning what a little positive belief and follow-through can accomplish.

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

There is always pressure to keep things moving as a self-employed artist, so it's been a good learning curve to just relax and trust in the natural flow of how a business and a career unfolds.

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

  1. Enjoy where opportunities naturally open for you and the people you meet.
  2. Listen to what nurtures you.
  3. Don't be afraid to reach out to other businesses and co-workers for opportunities. It can go a long way to simply introduce yourself to the nearby major institutions in your field.

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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