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They Don't Teach Bookkeeping in Ballet

Updated: Nov 1, 2020

Here's a blast from the past I though y'all might enjoy! People often ask me how I got started in the Pilates industry... this article, written by Andrea Spencer published in the mid-2000's, gives a quick glimpse into the back story of how I found myself in the midst of 'accidental entrepreneurship' all those years ago...

The art of entrepreneurship

Amanda Smith ’03 blends creativity and business

Amanda Smith ’03, owner of Core Integrity Pilates, conducts

a class in her studio located off of Lawndale Drive in Greensboro.

When her boyfriend moved out in 2003 leaving her nothing but a mattress, Amanda bought an expensive piece of pilates equipment called a Cadillac. And her journey into Pilates began...

Before her mid-twenties, being an entrepreneur had never been a dream of Amanda’s. She graduated cum laude from UNCG with a BFA in dance and performed with the Jan Van Dyke Dance Group, among others. She was also a Salem Academy dance instructor, waited tables and trained extensively to attain expertise in Pilates. “I knew I’d always have to have a job or two to support my career as an artist.”

Though she was making it work, it was an exhausting combination. That’s when she decided to focus solely on Pilates, earning several certifications- including her comprehensive teacher training through Power Pilates, NYC- after hundreds of practice hours, travel all over the East coast, an apprenticeship, and written, oral and practical exams. “With CIP becoming a Participating Training Center for Power Pilates I hope to help the UNCG dance department funnel graduates into such programs so alumni can manage their dance careers with the support of a steady income from Pilates instruction.”

As her client base continued to grow, Amanda recognized a consistent challenge. She had no entrepreneurship training.  “I kept thinking, ‘I have no idea how to run this.’ I knew I’d have to embrace my business side and just figure it out. But business training would’ve made it much easier.”

No bookkeeping in ballet

In March, Amanda was the performing arts speaker at the Southern Entrepreneurship in the Arts Conference . Her topic? “They don’t teach bookkeeping in ballet.” She’s keen on encouraging today’s arts students to take advantage of business classes . “I never dreamed I’d become an entrepreneur, so I didn't take any business classes. My advice? Take the swimming lessons before you find yourself in the middle of the ocean with no float.”

Nonetheless, Amanda has demonstrated innate business savvy. Some of her best ideas came to her while hanging upside down from that Cadillac in her tiny living room. For example, she purchased the right for Core Integrity to be the only studio in the Triad that can offer an exciting new class – XTEND BARRE WORKOUT , which she describes as “Pilates and dance amplified.”

“My vision is that everybody should be able to do Pilates. I get to watch people grow into their potential through the healing power of movement. It’s so rewarding.”

“I hope every student on track to graduate with an arts degree takes full advantage of the entrepreneurship program. Even the most ambitious can’t predict where life will take them in the years ahead, but entrepreneurship courses will prepare them well.”

by Andrea Spencer, University Relations

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