Aug 18, 2020
This week on 5.6.7.EIGHT, Aleksandra interviews Kate Jablonski, owner and artistic director of Beyond Words Dance Company, The Kate Jablonski Statement, and Camp Kate. Jablonski — a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago — has danced for some of the greatest teachers and choreographers on the East Coast and has garnered several accolades such as a Gold Leo’s Award and a Capezio A.C.E. Award. Kate’s entrepreneurial endeavors have even expanded internationally, opening Camp Kate locations in London and Italy.
Kate would be the first to admit that, to grow big, she had to start small; her current success that spans continents started with a future vision and with the discipline to get there. On the podcast, Kate shares her unique perspective as someone who has been profoundly successful in both dance and business and gives some behind-the-scenes insight on the joys and challenges of entrepreneurship.
“As an entrepreneur, it doesn’t get any easier — the workload never ends — so you have to be passionate about what you do."
“Competition — a healthy competition — can very valuable, beneficial, and motivating for students, as long as it’s not the sole focus of [dance training]. I don’t want them to feel like terrible dancers if they don’t win first place.”
“I would tell parents to encourage their children to expand upon their passions… People told me that I needed a back-up plan, which implied I was going to fail. Instead, I tell my students that you don’t want to be a 'one trick pony.' … Make your palette as wide as you can."
“I would say to any business owner that, if you want to start a business, take some courses in accounting or finance. Those subjects are not my favorite, but it was good to have to learn about them."
“Over the years, it’s been hard to delegate to other people… I have a wonderful staff, but it’s sometimes hard to let go of those things that you’re used to doing and to trust other people to run this business that’s so near and dear to me."
Bullet Points (w/ timestamps) - Highlighting key topics discussed:
4:14: Kate explains the origins of the Beyond Words Dance Company.
6:12: Kate gives her point of view on why healthy competition can be good for young dancers.
10:20: Jablonski walks through her journey as an entrepreneur and how starting small was key to her long-term success.
14:58: Kate discusses some unexpected struggles that she has faced as an entrepreneur, including staying disciplined and being willing to delegate.
17:00: Jablonski explains how her dance companies are built for scale through her culture of teaching and mentorship.
19:17: Jablonski discusses her other two dance endeavors — The Kate Jablonski Statement and Camp Kate — and how Camp Kate has recently grown internationally.
21:20: Kate walks through the events that drove her into a full-time dance career.
26:35: Kate shares some advice for parents who want to be supportive of their child’s dance passion.
32:05: Jablonski, who is a highly decorated dancer and artist, describes the joy of receiving several top dance awards for her work.
34:27: Kate looks to the future and casts some vision for where she’d like her dance companies to go in the next few years.
Bullet List of Resources –
Beyond Words Dance Company