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Mar 10, 2020

This week on 5.6.7.EIGHT, Aleksandra interviews Katrina Rathbone, Artistic Director and Co-Founder at Outlet Dance Company. Katrina is a graduate of Illinois State University and has danced for both film and the stage. In 2013, Katrina and one of her childhood friends began entertaining thoughts of achieving one of their dreams — opening their own dance company. And, in August of 2014, they did just that. To date, her company has doubled in size, growing from 14 company members to over 30, and has recently opened up its second location.

On the podcast, Katrina discusses her journey from dancer to business owner and why she ultimately decided to depart from the stage to focus on entrepreneurship. She also shares some encouraging thoughts on why she believes women are well-equipped to hold leadership positions in the dance industry, though they have historically shied away from those very positions. During the conversation, listeners are sure to benefit as Katrina shares from her wealth of knowledge on the dance industry and on entrepreneurship, in general.

Moving Quotes:

“It doesn’t matter if you’re not good enough or not this or not that. Just dance because you love it."

[On being an entrepreneur] “There are still moments where I wonder if I’m the right person to be doing this or running this. And you know what? All I can do is just keep educating myself and keep moving forward and keep learning from my mistakes and going for it."

“Allow yourself to branch out. Don’t focus on thinking that there’s only one way you can be successful in the field of dance."

“When I set choreography for my dancers, I ask, 'What feels good for you? What’s going to look good on you? How do you take what I’m giving you and make it feel good?’ I think that’s what ends up looking the best on stage."

Bullet Points (w/ timestamps) - Highlighting key topics discussed:

3:06: Katrina discusses the origins of her company — Outlet Dance Co. — and how its recent expansion has changed the way she’s operating her business.

7:36: Katrina describes why she decided to start her own dance company.

9:48: Rathbone shares some practical recommendations for those who may be interested in pursuing a career in the dance industry, while not being a dancer.

12:18: Rathbone describes her past and present mentors and how these people greatly influenced her life in its various stages.

14:14: Katrina explains how she and her co-founder balance out each other’s personalities, which ultimately makes them the perfect business partners for each other.

16:02: Rathbone retells her dance journey, from a young three-year-old dance student all the way through college and beyond.

17:42: Katrina discusses why she believes women have historically not held leadership roles in the dance industry and encourages other women to overcome these obstacles.

20:09: Katrina describes some lessons she’s learned in dance that carry over into her day-to-day life and how seeing other dancers find these types of lessons gives her great satisfaction.

24:43: Rathbone describes the unique way that her company crowd-sources and chooses choreography for their performances.

26:35: Katrina sheds some light on how she and her co-founder have tailor-made their company’s board to ensure that the company thrives, no matter what situations arise.

Bullet List of Resources – 

Katrina Rathbone

Outlet Dance Company