Presenting Denver would like to shine a community spotlight on Julie Gill and Broche Ballet!
Artist/Owner: Julie Gill
Organization: Broche Ballet
Education: Bachelor of Science, Computer Science
Hometown: San Diego, New York City
Presenting Denver: If you are not a native, why did you choose Denver?
Julie Gill: Denver is a beautiful place to be! It’s a growing city with an appetite for the arts, combined with plenty of opportunities in new or underserved markets where I can really make a difference.
PD: Do you split your time between dance/arts and another vocation?
JG: Running Broche Ballet is my full-time job! When I began the studio, I worked full-time as a product manager for a learning management system company, but left that job to run the studio full time after it had been open for about nine months. I advise other businesses on the side, as a business and technology consultant, as a way to share what I’ve learned in order to help others pursue their dreams.
PD: What is the best part of your day?
JG: The best part of my day is when I can feel that our studio is making a difference in the world. Whether that is a student’s light-bulb moment in class, a comment on our social channels about how we’ve inspired them to get back into ballet, or an instructor who is joyful for the opportunity to live their dream teaching ballet. I love to see people transform and be able to become who they never thought they could be.
PD: How can dance be more inclusive and why is access to all important?
JG: Our work in the ballet studio is reflective of our life. Our fears and insecurities come along with us to dance class, and we can use the dance environment to explore overcoming and letting those go. We have to take risks and we have to face our fear of failure, imperfection, or not being good enough. We have to look at ourselves in the mirror (literally) and move beyond all of those insecurities. The transformations that we experience in the studio translate to our work lives, our family lives, and our ability to pursue our dreams in all areas of life. Everyone should be able to experience this and take part in this process to improve their lives and communities.
PD: What advice would you give to another aspiring person in dance?
JG: The best thing to do in business, dance, or in life is to get started. That is a really hard part in the process and a big hurdle for many. Whether that’s trying a new form of dance, working on your next choreographic piece, or practicing in the studio… just get started. As dancers and business owners in the dance world, we can be perfectionists, and this perfectionism can paralyze us. We want to be perfect right out of the gate, so we don’t start because we know we aren’t perfect. The thing is, perfection is a direction, not a destination. So, you have to get started along the path because you don’t even really know what perfection even is until you’re on the way. You will learn so much about yourself, about the process, and what you’re doing along the way that will help you.
PD: How do you turn your breakdowns into breakthroughs?
JG: There comes a time when you must either quit or try harder. If what you’re doing isn’t working, take a really hard look and ask yourself: Have I REALLY tried everything possible? Chances are, there’s an idea in your back pocket that you haven’t tried because you didn’t have to. And if not, your wonderfully creative mind will come up with one.
When things are working well, we are not forced to pull out all of the stops. We are the most creative when our back is against the wall. We learn the most about our bodies when we recover from injuries, we get the most creative ideas about how to teach a concept in another way when a dancer isn’t understanding our usual way of explaining something, and we find the most unique ways to get students into the studio when we have slow months.
If your eyes are set on your goal, and you’re really committed to that goal, then just remember that you will find a way through whatever you’re going through. You’ll likely be even better and stronger because of it. Remember that just because you don’t know what the solution is right now, it doesn’t mean there isn’t one. Start looking for solutions, getting creative, and know that you’re strong enough to get through it!
PD: What about this art form drives you?
JG: I love ballet for the relentless pursuit of perfection combined with the constant struggle for acceptance of your imperfect self along the way. I love business even more for the opportunity to make a difference in the world much larger than yourself.