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Episode 124 | Building Your Dance Company & Studio: Nicolina Lawson, Ballet North Texas

Nicolina Lawson joins Martheya to talk about founding Ballet North Texas and Ballet North Texas Conservatory. They discuss women in ballet, securing a studio space, and what it’s like to create your own dance company and studio. (25:57)


[0:19] Martheya says welcome back


[0:40] Topic: Nicolina’s Journey to Founding Ballet North Texas

  • [0:40] Martheya asks: “Can you walk us through your journey as performing dancer and teacher up to founding Ballet North Texas & North Texas Conservatory?”

  • [2:30] Martheya asks: “What made you want to create Ballet North Texas?”

  • [3:51] Martheya asks: “What were the opportunities you feel like you weren’t finding?”

  • [4:51] Martheya asks: “Did it start with a desire to choreograph?”

[6:06] Topic: Securing a Studio Space

  • [6:06] Martheya asks: “I want to hear more about securing a space. Did you have a budget at the beginning?”

  • [7:41] Martheya asks: “Did this include things like the mirror and marley?”

  • [8:19] Martheya asks: “What was that process like? If you were telling our listeners and someone wants to start their own studio, what would you say to them?”

[9:07] Topic: Starting Your Own Dance Company

  • [9:07] Martheya asks: “If I am a dancer who wants to start my own company, where do you think I should start?”

  • [10:22] Martheya asks: “When you got started, did you have a business plan? Where did you start?”

  • [12:02] Martheya asks: “What do you think are some skill sets that make a good leader in the dance world?”

  • [13:25] Martheya asks: “Do you have an example or a time you would be willing to share where you feel like you had to make a hard decision?”

[16:09] Topic: Networking & Entrepreneurship

  • [16:09] Martheya asks: “How do you approach networking?”

  • [17:10] Martheya asks: “Can you talk about some transferable skills that artists can take from their careers as dancers or dance teachers that might apply to their entrepreneurial approach of founding their own company?”

  • [16:09] Martheya asks: “How do you approach networking?”

Questions from kNOwBOX dance Archive

  • [19:12] Martheya asks: “Do you think social media is influencing the dance world? If so, how does it influence your work?”

  • [20:19] Martheya asks: “How do you say NO to the BOX?”

[22:43] Martheya asks:

1- If you had to recommend a resource to our audience what would it be?

[22:57] Martheya asks:

2- What was the first dance you saw?

  • The Nutcracker

[23:03] Martheya asks:

3- Do you think social media has a positive influence on the dance world (yes or no)?

  • Yes & No

[23:10] Martheya asks:

4- What is your favorite social media platform?

  • YouTube

Recommended Resources:

Connect with Nicolina Lawson and Ballet North Texas

Nicolina Lawson founded Ballet North Texas in November 2017. Under her leadership BNT has grown from eight  dancers and six performances to seventeen  company members delivering eighteen full evening performances consisting of two repertory concerts and two full story ballets per season. Throughout Mrs. Lawson’s long performance career, she performed nationally and internationally, acquiring a vast repertory that includes many principal roles in classical and contemporary works. She has choreographed 15 original ballets on the company, and restaged three full length historic masterpieces including Les Sylphides and Sleeping Beauty. In 2019 she founded BNT Conservatory as the official school of Ballet North Texas, bringing a wealth of experience to the organization as a dancer, choreographer, and businesswomen.

Pigeons in the Park

Behind the Scenes Photos of Ballet North Texas


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