Web Design and Dance: What Do These Fields Have in Common?
As many of you know, I’ve spent the last 6 months on sabbatical from teaching dance. It was a self-imposed sabbatical, designed to assess where I was in life and where I am headed in the future.
A career in dance has offered me many incredible opportunities. I am proud of what I’ve accomplished and will continue to accomplish in the future. However, I had reached a point where I had checked off most of my major boxes. I began to grow concerned about allowing the inevitable to dictate my career rather than pausing and really considering if it was still the best path for me.
It didn’t take long for me to figure it out; it just took time for me to admit it. My husband summed up my feelings really well when he said, “You still love dance, you just don’t love what it gives you anymore…”
As you can imagine, there was a wide range of emotion at the beginning of this sabbatical. During one of the days, I was just miserable. I decided to do something for someone else. I find that my spirit gets agitated when I’m too focused on myself and giving is a way to bring peace. So, I created a website for a friend in the music industry. She had produced an album, but didn’t really have a marketing plan. In the meantime, life had taken over and she hadn’t had an opportunity to do more with her music.
So that afternoon, I sat down and mapped out a two page site for her that highlighted her latest CD. It wasn’t the first time that I had created a website. I made my first website six years ago after being selected for the Breaking Glass Emerging Female Choreographer’s Project. As a reward for being selected, we had a year of mentorship which included plans for marketing. I didn’t have the funds to hire a website designer. So, I rolled up my sleeves and learned the ins and outs. This has served me well over time because I have been able to update my site regularly and create the sites for our family businesses.
But, this was the first time I created a site for someone outside of the family. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if it was something that I wanted to do for other people- if I would enjoy it as much. I had an opportunity to put that to the test soon after when another friend hired me to do her website. When we completed the project, I knew that I wanted to continue to grow as much as possible in this field. I had already been doing it. I just hadn’t given myself permission to become fully invested in it.
Since then, I’ve been booked every month and beyond for a new site!
What excites me is that I’m using everything I’ve learned in my dance career. I’m also engaging my degree in Art History.
Website design is like choreography on a page. You use elements of composition to decide what is visually attractive. If done well, you communicate a story.
Each site has its own color palette that sets a mood, just like the costumes I chose for each piece I choreographed.
There is a never-ending quest for excellence. There is always something new to learn, styles to explore, methods to try.
I am fully engaged. When I am hired for work, I don’t simply give you a design. You get the weight of my knowledge in business, marketing, design, and even performance. It is impossible for me to bring any less to the table.
So what does the future hold? Here’s the short term plan. I will be dedicating this site, daniellesmithguillermo.com, now danielleguillermo.com primarily to web design services. I will continue blogging and all things dance at mydancenerd.com. I will be dedicating more time for myself to enjoy dance again, but not engaging in full-time teaching. It is a balance that works well for me, my family and my happiness.
I know that it will be a disappointment to my students, but I hope you can see that I can’t be a great teacher if my own needs aren’t met first. I hope you’ll learn from my blogs and vlogs all of the wisdom that I would otherwise share each day in the classroom. The bonus is that I get to reach an even bigger audience with the power of the internet and help even more students navigate a dance career. I’ve also been called upon to consult with studios and dance teachers. I can’t tell you how excited I am to make an impact on the dance community.
So, please join the mailing list at mydancenerd.com/insider so that we can stay in touch. I will continue to blog here, but I will be covering the websites that I’m building as well as business and design trends. If this is of interest to you, by all means, stay here!
Thank you so much for all of your support for my work both on the stage and online.