Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Keith Thompson, Artistic Director of danceTactics Performance Group, located in Tempe, AZ, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
danceTactics is a contemporary dance company that makes performances live and online, hosts workshops in-person and remotely in a variety of dance-related disciplines, and collaborates with a variety of artists & communities.
Tell us about yourself
I've been dancing for over forty years since I joined the Zenon Dance Company in Minneapolis. Since then, I've had the good fortune to collaborate with people like Trisha Brown and Liz Lerman, as well as create my own work as a choreographer all over the world. The opportunity to create with other people, especially when it is something as beautiful as people dancing and moving, is what I live for.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
There have been a number of markers within the 15-year-career of being Artistic Director of danceTactics. However, the most recent one that I feel very proud of is making our group a 501(c)3 not-for-profit arts organization. We're no longer going through a fiscal sponsor or using someone else as our "umbrella" but have our own board and our own team, and we are using this resource to nurture our own small team of employees (dancers, company manager, social media manager).
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Like all performing arts organizations, contemporary dance constantly relies on fundraising, applying for public & private foundations and philanthropies, ticket sales, and more to stay afloat. Sometimes it can be challenging to keep one's spirits up in this constantly-unpredictable landscape.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be sure that you have something you are passionate about and want to do as a business owner versus an employee. It's a big commitment!
- Don't do it alone! Find other people to work with so that you can share the labor, collaborate, and work together.
- Give yourself time. Managing a successful and thriving company is not done overnight!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Follow us on our socials, so you can learn more about what we do at danceTactics!
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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