Erin Pride's journey through the dance industry has been far from predictable. After graduating from Montclair State University, she went straight into teaching dance, then began performing with Pilobolus in her mid-30s. When she began to notice the lack of guidance for dancers transitioning from students to professionals, she eventually became a business coach. Now, she is helping dancers launch companies from scratch, using their own ideas and resources.
She recently spoke with Dance Magazine on her unconventional career path and how she helps clients realize their dreams.
Her Career Path:
"After college, I wasn't ready to start auditioning for work like my colleagues. But I knew I needed a job. At the time, there was no business training for next steps. I began running a high school dance program and realized I could make a difference with my students.
"At 35, I went to a Pilobolus audition, not hoping to get hired, but rather to learn more partnering mechanisms so I could better teach my students. After not getting selected, my mentor Andrea Kramer encouraged me to send an email anyway, thanking them for the experience. From that email, I was invited to the summer intensive and ended up getting asked to perform with the company.
How She Got Into Consulting:
"Burnout started to play a huge role in my life after 10 years of teaching. I loved my students but didn't have the same energy for it. I started listening to podcasts and enjoyed them so much that I decided to launch my own, called Dance Boss, which allowed me to teach and share in a different way.
"My different endeavors, such as building a high school curriculum from scratch and starting my own podcast, led me to realize how many businesses I was involved in. I knew how to teach and realized I had something special to share."
Who Her Clients Are:
"My clients are typically looking to build an online business or program. I've worked with dancers looking to teach online, provide improv techniques, and even a dancer who created her own subscription box to inspire young kids to engage in movement.
"When we start working together, I have them hone in on who they want to help and how. Think about what problems potential clients have in relationship to the knowledge you want to share. Then we package that data into an offer for their ideal customer, assess their financial goals and start piecing their idea together.
"Most dance clients want to do everything at once. I always say that you can have other projects, but be an authority in one thing. Do one thing great at a time, and be patient as you build momentum.
"Every path is different, and, like my own journey, you have to trust that your next steps will lead you in the right direction."