Get To Know #Girlboss // Katie Dickens
You know you’re in the presence of a Girlboss when even a shithouse Thursday at 4.30pm can be turned around and leave you bubbling over with inspiration as you catch their infectious warmth and energy. Katie Dickens is that Girlboss.
Owner and director of Dance Barre by Katie Dickens, Katie was born to be a performer and to be on stage. Training at some of the most prestigious performance schools in Sydney, Katie is also a qualified personal trainer, Pilates instructor, dance teacher and choreographer. No business experience, just sheer determination to make something of herself.
Her career in fitness started out of a need to keep herself afloat while following her passion of being a performer. By 18, Katie was working 75 hours a week between the two part time roles, building the foundation of what would eventually be her full time passion; helping women to be the very best version of themselves.
What inspired you to go out on your own, and what were the biggest challenges you found?
“After deciding not to pursue a career in the performing arts, I knew if I were to stay in the health and fitness industry the only way to survive and earn some decent cash flow was to own my own business. I've always preferred to work for myself as I like to have creative control over my work and the execution of my work. “
Biggest challenges by far have been the highs and the lows that I know all businesses experience, some more then others. There have been times when I've not been sure how I would pay certain bills and continue to operate. Thankfully I've been determined to never give up. My biggest inspiration has come from my desire to help others achieve happiness within themselves and their new healthy lifestyle choices. With happiness comes self confidence, appreciation and gratitude.”
Katie’s genuine desire to want to help people shines through in the way she talks about her life, her studio and her method. She incorporates motivational speaking into her fitness classes to inspire women to change they way they talk to themselves. She want’s women to build their confidence with little hints during the class (“eyes up, look at yourself in the mirror”) and to help them love themselves.
Facing personal struggles and business hardship, trying to find the balance between work and life, Katie’s road to success has not all been smooth sailing. She had two studios’ that weren’t quite what she had envisaged, but looked at both of those closures as a way to learn from her mistakes.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start out on their own venture or business?
“I know we hear it all the time, but business takes work, commitment and passion. I wanted to give up in business almost every month. Because things get tough, you need to make hard decisions, and you need to be prepared for the repercussions that come with decision-making. I also knew that if I didn’t give it one last try, I would look back in 10 years time and think, “you could have done it girl!” This was my last push, and I knew I had it in me to make my dream come true.”
“I needed a bigger space, in a new part of Brisbane with a completely new brand and new image. I set to work on creating my ultimate dream in Dance Barre, finally having the confidence to put my name on the brand. My point is business takes time to grow. It doesn't happen over night. Stick it out, stay true to your dream and your goal and anything is possible.”
Setting her sites high and aiming to be training Victoria Secret Angels, Katie has a proven method that is focused on developing long lean muscle tone, with women’s needs, wants, and fitness ambitions in mind. Even her studio location is based on catering to female needs and ensuring that her fiercely loyal clientele do not feel intimidated walking into a male persona heavy gym.
"Backstage" of the Albion studio you will find Katie instructing through her workout videos that will eventually become available on her website so she can take her method world wide! Katie is no fool, and she is all about systemising her technique to reach out to women all over the world.
What are our goals for your studio and brand in the next 5 years?
“I would love to have multiple studios in several of our main states so that other women can experience the energy and atmosphere that comes with being a member at DB. I wanted to create a space where women could come and feel supported, be inspired and just have an awesome time working out and making new friends. “
Your classes are so dynamic including dance cardio and trampolines! What inspired you to incorporate these into your workouts, and what kind of response have you had?
“Because they are FUN and results oriented. Everybody likes to have fun when working out. Each women has a different shape and different features. It's my job to enhance those beautiful features and help each women learn to love and embrace their new healthy toned body. Bounce and Dance cardio are a great way to achieve this without feeling like you're running on a treadmill.”
What would you say to anyone who wasn't sure if dance barre is for them?
“Give it a go. No dance experience necessary and all fitness levels are welcome and I LOVE THAT about my method. I'm so grateful that the feedback I've received is so great! The girls that come and participate in my workouts always love the feeling and love the results. People just keep coming back, I really hope to continue helping women love to train and love to work on creating their best body.”
You can try your hand at the classes at Dance Barre with a free 7 day pass available here.