The Working Dancer
Hey there. I’m Shate’ L. Edwards. I’m from Houston, TX, and I now reside in the Dallas area. I’ve been dancing since the age of 3, but not by choice. I was extremely clumsy. My parents, hoping to “buy” me some grace, placed me in my first creative movement class. And so, a dancer was born.
Around the age of five, I was already producing my own shows. Never mind they were make-shift puppet shows. The point is that I’ve been in show business for a very long time.
I used to “make up dances” for fun starting around age 10, I began teaching them to others around around age 11, and I began being hired to perform at local events around age 14.
If you don’t learn anything else about me, know this: I have a heart for dance that won’t quit. Dance chose me first, and I’ve been choosing it ever since.
This loan is special because:
More about this loan
I graduated with honors from Spelman College, afterwards started my career in LA, then years later moved back to TX to attend graduate school. While earning my MFA in Dance, undergraduate students would approach me for advice on their career pursuits. That trend continued while teaching at local colleges. Not only that, I also remember not having any guidance when I first began pursuing my career.
With that, TheWorkingDancer.com was born. I started with blog posts giving insight on getting work as a freelance dancer. Blog posts have grown to include a podcast, an ebook I just self-published, coaching sessions, and more.
While much of my content targets dancers ages 16 – 23, especially those within school dance programs as that’s the community in which I’m immersed, I also offer dance classes and choreography services for the public at large.
I’m most proud of the quantity and quality of educational content I’ve been able to produce through The Working Dancer in under six months. The site and business is everything I wish I had when I was first starting out.
There is so much potential for growth. I’ve just established a relationship with a business coach, and I have goals to launch apparel as well as inspiring greeting cards for dancers in Fall 2016. I’m also in the planning stages of a dance career fair scheduled to occur in late 2016 or early 2017.
I have long term goals of establishing a mentorship program for dancers that will provide scholarships for college or other career development programs.
What is the purpose of this loan?
This loan will greatly impact my business and my life. I’ve been operating as a sole proprietor for over a decade, and while I’ve done some great things in my own career, I’m ready to do more for my community and industry as a whole.
This loan will help The Working Dancer evolve into a fully functioning business system that will be able to operate without me, in time. Over 50% will be spent on business coaching, which will help me to develop clear strategies as well as a sustainable business model. The remaining funds will be spent on advertising to aid in expanding our reach, and on production costs for new products.
Years in operation: More than 5 years