Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in dance education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dominique Robinson, Co-Founder of Pizarts Dance Gap Year, located in New York, NY, USA.

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

Pizarts 'Dance Gap Year' is an experiential education service provider for dancers and visual artists ages 17-26. We tailor both short-term and long projects to fit the individual needs of our clients.

Tell us about yourself

While attending NYU for grad school, I came across a flyer about the gap year fair. I was curious, so I attended; after doing some research, I came to the realization that if dancers wanted to take a year off to explore their individuality, they would have to do so while compromising their dance studies and technique training. That gave me the push to play with the idea of designing a gap year program that allowed dancers the opportunity to stay connected with their craft but also have the freedom to study other things and find ways in which to incorporate two different passions. For Examples, include fashion and dance, photography and dance, painting and dance, and culinary arts and dance. What keeps me motivated is that each semester the outcome is totally different and very authentic because our approach to designing the program each semester depends strongly on the young artists coming in. I believe in self-efficacy being at the center of the work, and if hungry minds are not being fed, in part, something they are craving, the likelihood of them reaching their true potential at that moment can become stifled.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Being a part of the Executive Committee for Standards & Accreditation for the Gap Year Association.

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

As an artist, first, it sometimes becomes a challenge to switch hats. We work in such an intimate field driven by emotions and experiences, but as a business owner, it requires me a lot of the time, especially with finance, to make decisions I don't necessarily want to make but for the vitality of the company are much required.

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

  1. Read and write and ask questions about anything and everything, no matter how silly it may seem. You never know what connections will come out of it. Keep all of your journals. Computers are great, but the art of handwriting is much more rewarding when looking back at your ideas.
  2. Be very clear about your budget. If you can't sustain a start-up on your own dollar for at least the first year, go back to the drawing board.
  3. Surround yourself with like-minded people. Routines and energy play a huge role in how fast you can accomplish your goals. Make sure your circle is providing to your fuel tank, not merely taking from it.

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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