Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sophia Rabinovitz, Owner of Artivism Dance Theatre, located in New Orleans, LA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Artivism Dance Theatre is a collective dedicated to bringing awareness and generating discussion of social issues to a wide range of audiences. We tell our own stories in an effort to reach across divisions, find commonality, and spark change. We prioritize communication of social messages over esoteric performance, often using multimedia techniques in our work. We believe that art, and specifically movement, can communicate perspective and experience across gaps in culture, language, and tradition that might otherwise remain unreachable.

Tell us about yourself

The collaborative is comprised of dance professionals with years of experience in both performance and instruction. Trained in a great variety of techniques Artivism's repertoire displays the expertise of company members ranging from movements of the African diaspora to Ballet. We believe in the power of movement to transform our health, lives, and communities.

Our studio is a space where humans from all walks of life can come and move their bodies! We offer dance, fitness, and yoga with classes for ages three and up. We are committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our focus on social activism includes a financially accessible payment policy and scholarship program.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

The New Orleans-based company creates an original full-length performance every year, an excerpt of which was nominated for Best Performance at the Gambit Classical Arts Awards 2018 and 2019. In addition, Artivism hosts MOVEment for Change, a platform for socially conscious artists to share their vision for a world made better through artistry. Curated by ADT, this cabaret-style event brings together a collection of artists from various disciplines for a night of sharing and discussion. Other performances include dancing for local New Orleans artists at live performances and music videos.

We run weekly dance therapy classes at the Juvenile Justice Intervention Center for incarcerated youth in Orleans Parish and teach after-school dance classes through the DEA Education Outreach Program- a national initiative to keep students away from drug use. We also work with ArcGNO, a local non-profit for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, teaching weekly movement classes. We strive to foster spaces where artists and young people can connect and feel seen through the power of dance.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

One of the biggest challenges with being a business owner is balancing the creative and administrative duties. Managing the business side of things while working on artistic projects is a juggling act, but it is well worth it!

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Listen to your clients/employees. It is so important not to get tunnel vision when running a business.
  2. You have to spend money to make money. Your business is not going to be financially successful right away, and that's okay. You have to lay the foundation first.
  3. Take risks! You never know what works until you try, and you could very likely be surprised.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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