"Everything I learned, I learned from dance class". - Erin Pride
Stage Name: Erin Pride
Hometown: Maplewood, NJ - Paterson, NJ Native
Profession: Dance - Educator, Consultant, Blogger, Podcaster
Enterprise: Dance Education
CEO & FOUNDER
PERFORMING ARTS DIRECTOR
LOVE TO DANCE! get your dance shoes because we are off to New Jersey for a master dance inspiration session. Welcome back to our world weekly readers and new readers. Today, we have another an exclusive interview from our selected list of Top 100 Self Made Entrepreneurs around the globe with the dance boss Erin pride.
Erin Pride is a Dance Educator, Consultant, Blogger, Podcaster and founder of her own Dance studio based in Paterson New Jersey, United States.
From a very young age Erin Pride found her passion in dance, which led her to pursue a B.F.A from MSU, and Master's degree in Dance Education from New York University. Through her entrepreneurial journey Erin Pride has been able to embrace her gifts while helping others within the dance community. As an educator, Erin Pride teaches her students not only dance but to be good humans, self confidence and reach their full potential. We are excited to be releasing this interview for you to learn more about Erin Pride dance empire. Plus, we hope she inspires you as well.
Please, Erin tell us about yourself?
Everything I learned, I learned from dance class... This is extreme, but in many ways true. From taking, to teaching all of my experience, and knowledge was uncovered on my dance journey. It was here that I fell in love with education, inspiring others, and systems.
Training since I was 4, receiving my BFA in Dance from Montclair State University, Master's in Dance Education for New York University, touring with Pilobolus Creative Services, owning a dance studio, and being the Director of a Performing Arts High School Dance Program, all contributed to my years of knowledge and experience in running a successful classroom, reaching students of all facets, and transforming ideas from hopes to reality. Most recently I created the Paterson Public Schools K-12 Dance Curriculum, helped develop the NJHS Dance Festival, and assisted in the establishment of the Inner City Ensemble Summer Dance Intensive.
How did you get start with your enterprise?
I felt my time in the classroom teaching dance coming to an end. When thinking about “what next”, I asked myself “what am I good at and what do I love doing?” Public speaking, interacting, and educating all came to mind. I remember looking on dance forums and seeing questions that other dance educators asked about running effective classrooms, and I would say to myself, “wait I can help with this, I have a system for this”. So, I began sharing these systems - first through comment replies, then expanding to my blog, and podcast, and eventually taking the leap, and offering one on one services.
Take us through a day in your life as a female entrepreneur.
Monday - Friday I juggle working full time as the Dance Director of a Performing Arts High School, with my Dance Education Consulting Business. During the day I focus on the Dance Department , and if I have time, I will do a few business related things, and on Wednesday evenings, and Sundays I focus on my business. As far as daily operations I block schedule time for - content creation, client calls, networking, etc… The kinks of balance are not all ironed out, but I just try things, and if they don’t work I try something else.
What is the inspiration behind your enterprise you enterprise?
I have danced since I was 4, it is what I know, I love, and what I am passionate about. At, first I resisted focusing on dance education, but once I leaned into it, things started to blossom. It felt like “this is where I am suppose to be, this is what I am suppose to be doing.” Also, dance education can be an isolating field, unless you have had the privilege of receiving your masters in dance education, or work in a k-12 setting, you may not have been provided the tools and information to run a successful dance classroom. I definitely saw a need for mentorship and coaching in the dance education community, and I thought “ why not me to fill that need, and help my peers.”
How can someone become a part of it?
There are so many ways to be involved in dance - many think dancers just train, teach, and/or perform, but their are actually so many dance entrepreneurs out there crushing it and adding value to the dance community. I recently started the Dance Boss Podcast that not only discusses systemizing your dance classroom, but i interview todays dream crushers who are adding value to the dance community in “non traditional” ways - Garment Creators, Writers, Filmmakers, etc... The point is if you love dance there is a way to get involved and stay involved, you just have to be courageous enough to take the first step.
What is you favourite Dance style and why?
Ahhh well there are two answers - my favorite style to teach is modern dance. Modern dance is my base, my core, and what most of my education is focused around, I feel most at home and connected to this technique, especially when sharing it with my students. Second, jazz dance, I love a good old Broadway Jazz class, I feel free, light, and just have so much fun when I have the privilege of taking this style of class.
As an entrepreneur what are some of your most memorable experience (s) you have had?
My first one on one client call - I got off of the phone after our first session, and remember feeling so on fire, so centered, and so free. I Thought to myself “Erin wow you know your shit, and you can help other people feel good about themselves, and what they are doing”. At that moment I felt my fears of not being good enough, knowing enough, and that I couldn't help anyone dissipate. I realized I can do this, and that is what keeps me going everyday.
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs who are contemplating following in your footsteps?
You have super powers use them! We all have gifts to share with the world, and my biggest lesson on this entrepreneurial journey has been to embrace my gifts, and embrace help from others. If you can not do something, or if you are not good at something own it, it’s not a badge of honor “doing it all”, reach out build community, and use other’s super powers to enhance yours.
As professional educator/ Teacher Which statement do you believe is more true and why? A) High self-esteem leads to greater academic success B) Academic success leads to higher self-esteem.
I don’t really lean toward either, I more so believe the more love you give others, the better you will feel about yourself, and the better you feel about yourself, the more you are open to learn and grow. I teach my students from a place of being good humans, not necessarily begin the best academically or in my case the best dancers, but the best human they can be at that moment. If they can show up, and lead with kindness- kindness to themselves, their peers, their teachers, etc... the more they will be able to accept the knowledge that is being gifted to them.
What can we expect from you in the next 2 years or so with your brand?
My master plan is to move into consulting, and public speaking full time, as well as grow, learn, and share with the Dance Boss community. I am super excited that along with my friend and powerhouse Christine O’Donnell , I will be hosting the first Dance Boss Teachers Summit, at her beautiful studio Sukha Arts Center, in Harrington Park, NJ, Spring 2019.
Who are other talented influencers, educator or entrepreneurs you would hope to collaborate with?
Mia Michaels - I would love to pick her brain, have her on the podcast, and share her educational philosophies with the community, Brene Brown - So many of her concepts translated to dance education, and communication with students, and my wish list of Soulpreneurs - Marie Forleo, Oprah Winfrey, and Debbie Allen.
Amen! We do hope Oprah Winfrey reads this interview to make that dream a reality. It was an honour to have you here with us at NEECEE LEXY blog. Thank you so much Erin.
We look forward to see your 2 years plans come to life and re-interviewing in the near future. Please keep up posted on how the Dance Boss Teachers Summit goes and we would love to share more information on it.
For those who are interested in Keeping up with Erin Pride dance journey please scroll down to find all her social media contacts.
ERIN PRIDE: Benchmarks Bootcamp videos