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Greetings Dders!

Aaron and I and the Dd team felt—in the true Dd spirit of innovation, education and new possibilities—strongly that we should share with you what we’ve learned while starting our new business, Barre. Over the course of the past year or so, we’ve certainly had so many lessons, some large and some subtly small. And we figured what the heck, why not share some of this stuff with the crazy-multitalented Dd community, to give you all a leg up (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun there…)?!

 

Here it begins, though what detail we give to certain topics remains fluid as we’d love any input from you, the Dd community, regarding what you’d like to hear about and what questions you’d like answered! So please do let us know!

 

Lesson #1:

 

just do it.

 

Don’t think for a second that you don’t have the capacity to actually DO that which you want to do, or think that it has to happen in that general time frame commonly referred to as LATER ON IN LIFE.  This should be somewhat of a no-brainer for such an overachieving subset of the population as dancers, having already attained goals loftier than many ever dream of. That being said, dancers’ lives are often quite structured, and that structure can bring with it a certain rigidity, or perhaps the feeling that there isn’t space in one’s life for that “dream” project. I’m here to tell you that you can create space; moreover, that space will indeed be created for you in many ways once you’re committed and out of the gates.

 

 

A visual timeline of our progress - the evolution of the Barre wrapper on our dry erase board!

 

My dad, a self-declared serial entrepreneur, suggested to me and Aaron when we first started out (just about a year ago this month) that we print business cards with our respective job titles and “work” emails. Though we had yet to make up the job titles (a fun project, right?) and didn’t even manage to set up the Barre email accounts until the day after I handed my first card out to someone, having those cards printed was a huge first step. It was a revelation—truly one of those “If you build it, they will come”, Field of Dreams (this is an old Kevin Costner movie reference, for all you youngins…) moment. And it worked. We declared it so, and then it WAS: we were in business!

 

Those business cards were an “it”—one of the first of many teeny, tiny “it”s that, in the aggregate, have amounted to an actual business. So my advice is to move in the direction of your dreams by taking action with some of those “it”s. They will accumulate, accelerate, and you will continue to surprise yourself!

 

Next lesson in the lesson plan: If you don’t know how, ask (aka, how to be comfortable admitting you have no clue what you’re doing…!).

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Written by Julia Erickson

Julia Erickson, originally from Seattle, is a Principal Dancer with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Julia received her training on a scholarship with Pacific Northwest Ballet School and San Francisco Ballet School. She toured to Europe and Asia with PNB and danced with the Fort Worth Dallas Ballet (now Texas Ballet Theater) for two seasons, prior to joining PBT in 2001. Some of Julia’s favorite roles include Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, The Sylph in La Sylphide, Stompers in Twyla Tharp’s In The Upper Room, Lady Capulet in Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette, and the leads in Balanchine’s Who Cares?, Agon, Prodigal Son and Serenade.

Julia is also the creator of Barre, a real food bar made by dancers for everyone. A lover of cooking and self-professed foodie, she’s thrilled to be able to combine her two major passions, ballet and food, in creating Barre. She’s constantly experimenting in the kitchen with that trusty Cuisinart to develop new dancer taste- and performance-tested formulas. In her free time she enjoys practicing yoga, Gyrotonic and Pilates, reading all her old New Yorker magazines that seem to pile up, farmers markets, listening to rap, bluegrass, and Arcade Fire (with the occasional secret sprinkle of Hall and Oats in there as well!), going on bike rides with her partner, Aaron Ingley, and watching The Wire. She is also a senior at the University of Pittsburgh majoring in Political Science and Business. She wishes to thank her friends and family for their incredible love, support, and inspiration, and wishes to implore the citizens of Seattle to bring the Supersonics back to the Emerald City!