Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in dance education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kyle Seguin, Founding Director of West Suburban Ballet Conservatory, located in Countryside, IL, USA.
What's your organization, and who are your members?
We are West Suburban Ballet Conservatory, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) arts organization committed to preserving and disseminating the art of classical ballet through comprehensive training, inspiring mentorship, quality live performance, and delivery of dance to underserved communities. Our dancers are 7-18 year-olds who want intensive pre-professional ballet training. Our audience members include individuals of all ages and from all walks of life.
Tell us about yourself
I was a professional ballet dancer who transitioned into teaching when I retired from dancing. I taught all around the Chicago land area for years and eventually decided to open my own ballet school. Helping my dancers grow and develop as artists and people is so rewarding and motivates me each day.
What's your biggest accomplishment as an organization?
Last year was our first year in business, and I consider the whole year an accomplishment. We put together a full-length Nutcracker from scratch, produced and danced three other shows, competed in 2 of the world’s most competitive ballet competitions, and all dancers made it to the final round of both!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being an organization?
There are so many different facets of a business, and for me, one of the most difficult things is balancing my time between administrative and artistic responsibilities.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow an organization today?
- Talk to other business owners, listen, and learn.
- Know that there will be many ups and downs and that when you’re down, it’s important to remind yourself why you decided to start your business in the first place.
- Create a community to support your business. People love to feel like they are a part of something special, so try your best to make each person who makes contact with your business feel that.
Where can people find you and your group?
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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