“While this could have been the end of the road, Kathleen dusted herself off and continued to pursue her dream.”
Meet Kathleen Doherty from GirlCrew Dublin and Founder of Floor Flying Dance
We all know children can be rambunctious, and for Kathleen Doherty’s mother the story was no different, but luckily, her mother chose an outlet that would set her on a path for life – “my mum thought I had too much energy so she sent me to ballet”. From the age of 3, Kathleen has been involved in dance and immediately fell in love with the art, and as her passion grew Kathleen decided that this would be her career path. At 12 she joined the Irish National Youth Ballet, before going on to train at Florida State University. However, the road to her current company wasn’t always smooth, and while she dreamt of tutus and pirouettes Kathleen was forced to make a hard decision – “I lived, breathed, and loved all things ballet then, I still get a little sad sometimes, when I realise that I was never going to have the body type for the artform I love the most”. While this could have been the end of the road, Kathleen dusted herself off and continued to pursue her dream.
She credits the Shawbrook dance centre in Longford, with helping her to make the switch from ballet girl to aerial queen. During her time there she was swept up in contemporary dance, and also discovered the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, where she would later earn a degree in Performing Arts. “There were times during this period [when] I literally felt like my mind exploded, and I am grateful for the expansion… [it turned me into] the artist I am today”.
After touring nationally and internationally with various troupes and companies, including Dance Theatre of Ireland and Fidget Feet, Kathleen switched to aerial two years ago and founded her own company Flying Floor Dance in 2010. When it comes to flying, she still gets over-excited and this was the motivation behind the company as she wanted to “perform, teach, and create” her own work under a name of her choosing. As she puts it herself – “I love it!”
1. What is the best thing about running your own business?
The control…. That says way too much about me! What I really mean is the choice, I get to choose where when and how I work, for how long and for what rate.
2. What did you find most challenging about creating your own business?
That first year and a bit, where you’re not really sure what you are doing, and you’re not really making any money, and it’s all a bit scary.
3. What is your proudest business achievement to date?
This is a little silly, however, it’s the moment I realised I could pay my rent and put food on the table from my own work, and that my little venture was viable.
4. What would be your one tip to others who want to set up their own business?
Plan, plan and plan more – plan for the successes, but more importantly, plan for the failures. Make notes, make lists, and if it doesn’t work try again. Adapt, adapt, and keep adapting. Throw your whole life at it and at the end, if it doesn’t work, you gave it everything, so feel proud, and move on.
5. What would be your motto in life, and in business?
“I get up. I walk. I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing” – Hillel