Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Fitzgerald.
Jessica, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve been in the dance scene since I was three years old. Dancing in a small town studio myself I knew from a young age that I wanted to have a studio of my own one day. I took every step necessary to get me to this point. From dancing competitively growing up, to traveling around different states to learn from the best choreographers in the country. When I was 16, I was granted a scholarship for college and once in college was surrounded by opportunity. Our professors believed in training as much as possible to make sure we could get a job in the dance industry. I was lucky enough to perform in Aspen, New York, Utah and California and establish connections that are still important to this day. After college, I was awarded a full ride scholarship to Duke universities American dance festival and was surrounded by the biggest name in dance. At Duke, we trained every day with different choreographers and performed as well as attended cutting edge shows every night. My mind was filled with inspiration and motivation. Thereafter I moved back to Colorado and worked for many different studios until I was ready to open Flatirons Dance. I was very fortunate to have parents that supported my endeavors and encouraged them. I’ve had many people in my life that gave me solid advice to get me to this point.
Has it been a smooth road?
The dance world is never smooth. But I knew that I had to keep pushing if this was going to be a career. My mom always told me “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. “ there were many times that dancers and choreographers had an upper hand on me but rather than get defeated I studied them. What made them successful, what did I like about their skills and pushed myself to learn from them. When we opened flatirons, I was incredibly nervous because there are so many great studios in Denver but I knew I had something to offer. There are always struggles opening a new business but for me, I think the biggest was my own fear. Fear can limit you to your greatest abilities if you let it and I just didn’t let it.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Flatirons Dance is a dance studio first and foremost. My number one goal is to teach kids how to dance. So many studios I know get ahead of themselves by only teaching choreography or spend too much time socializing. My goal is for kids to be able to get up and dance at any given day, like school events, or weddings, mostly to give them the confidence to do so. If kids don’t leave class sweating, they aren’t dancing hard enough and that’s on me. After we get the dance classes through and show students that’s their priority we have different tiers. The first is to participate in our shows. We offer two shows a year. We do this because kids want to perform. They long to be on stage and there is something to be said for live dancing in the community. The second tier is community performance. We try to have a couple of performances a year in the community like dancing at the mammoth game, or local parades. The third tier is a competition team. Here the dancers learn choreography to compete against other studios. We go to two competitions a year and use our competition team to build the upmost well-rounded dancers. Confident, skilled and versatile. I believe flatirons is different from other studios because we look at these dancers as how we can help them not what they can do for us. We would be nowhere without these kids and I do my best to know each one of them and their families personally. I’m most proud of the environment at our studio. We have the hardest most accepting set of kids. My kids know that when a new dancer comes into the studio to go right up to them and introduce themselves and make them feel welcome. If they see another dancer struggling to go up to them and help them out. The kids excel at this. I remember one day I was teaching jazz and we had a new student trying out the class. As I was teaching I noticed the new student doing the moves and as I looked over one of my veteran students went and stood beside her and was giving her a thumbs up to tell her she’s doing great. If I could teach these girls one thing that’s it. Be a girl that lifts up others. Be the one that helps them succeed. This world is too negative at times and I’m proud that flatirons is a positive escape.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Arvada is the most amazing city for new businesses. The amount of rescources that we have is incredible. When I first was starting out, I took classes for free at the better business bureau. We also have the most incredible chamber of commerce. The ladies there give there everything to making businesses succeed.
- Address: Flatirons Dance
12650 West 64th Avenue
Arvada co 80004
- Website: Flatironsdance.com
- Phone: 720-231-3435
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org