Who is Kimberly Jones?
Growing up, I was always known as the daughter of Bishop Jones! My dad always jokes that now he’s known as Ms. Kim’s Dad. I am a Christian, dancer, choreographer, Confidence Coach, creator, artistic and creative director, Co-Founder of EllaGirl Beauty, Inc. and the proud owner of an award winning dance studio, Katura Dance Academy. But I am also socially awkward and I have an anxiety disorder. I am living proof that you can be what you want to be. I am a DreamPusher!
Before we go any further we’ve got to acknowledge the current state of affairs surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. How are you adjusting and trying to continue business in this time of social distancing normal?
We have been wiping down every half hour, making sure the kids don’t have any partner activities, keeping sanitizer available and also ensuring we all wash our hands before and after class. With the schools closing, we have decided to move our Spring Break up to this week. Our teachers are now preparing to send home activities the dancers can do at home and are currently training to host online classes.
OK now that we’ve acknowledge where we are in the world. Let’s get back to the good stuff.
When did you know that you wanted to make dancing a career path?
Dance was always my thing. My parents put me in classes at 3 years old. I looooved performing. I knew teaching would be my path when I was 8 years old. I had my first sleepover. I’ve always been a little bossy, lol. I was bored so I started choreographing with my friends and started my first dance team, Splash. We traveled performing for 5 years after that. In school, after I finished my work, I would plan for my dance studio. I never questioned it. I knew it was going to happen.
Describe to us how you feel when you’re on stage or creating a routine for your students?
There is nothing like the feeling you get when you are on stage. All eyes are on you and it is your time to shine. You get to give people joy by doing what gives you joy. I didn’t think it could get better than that, but it did. The joy I feel when I watch a student dance on the stage for the first time is inexplicable. They are having a ball and are so proud of themselves. To know I had something to do with that extra confidence added to their life is rewarding. Confidence is important. I strive to build it in all of my students.
How does your faith impact your career and your goals as a creative entrepreneur?
My faith reminds me that with God all things are possible. Im able to open my mind and believe bigger. It reminds me I don’t have to worry because God will provide. It also keeps me humble and grateful.
What resources did you have when you started your business? Did you have mentors?
When I started, all I had was a business plan and enough savings (from my parents and events I held) to put a deposit down for a building. The banks weren’t really giving loans for small start-ups at that time but I’m glad I finished my business plan because it gave me a blueprint. I had the best mentor, Amber Turner-Weeks. She owns DanceArt Studio in Garner, NC. I worked there for 8 years before I moved back home to start my studio. She gave me the structure I needed and really showed me how a dance studio owner was supposed to operate.
What has been the biggest challenge in your career?
Learning that I can’t do everything alone and managing my big heart. I had to learn how to operate my business with wisdom. Of course I want everyone to experience the joy of the performing arts, but I had to learn that I had to lead with my head as well as my heart. Sometimes as creatives, we don’t think about the logistics and business side of things- we are just passionate about our art and that can allow our feelings to get in the way of business. You can do both, you just have to learn to balance. Be passionate about the work, but have systems in place so you can pay that light bill. Also, outsource your weakness. For example, I know I am not good with responding to emails because I will forget. So I finally had to get an assistant to help.
What are you most proud of in terms of your business?
I’m most proud of the confident leaders we produce at KDA. They aren’t just dancers, but they are well rounded, intelligent, and creative artists. I also love our family atmosphere. It’s important to me that our students feel they have another space that feels like home, where they can feel free to be creative, grow and learn. Im forever grateful to our KDA DanceMoms and Dads for believing in me enough to provide that for their dancers.
Tell us what the future holds for the Katura Dance Academy and Kimberly Jones in general?
We are in the middle of our competition season with our Company Dancers. We’re trying to gear up for our Daddy/Daughter Dance April 10th, and our Spring Recitals May 30th and 31st. Stay tuned for Summer Camp information and Fall 2020 Registration. Next year will be a big year for us. We will be celebrating Season 10!
How can we learn more and get in contact with you?
Feature images by Randy Curtis Artiisan Photography