We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Yano Hilary Pawlik and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashley Yano, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Artist Entrance Dance Company was founded on the idea of bridging the dance studio experience with the professional dance world. There is a serious need for a pre-professional dance company that prepares serious artists/dancers for a possible future in commercial dance, concert dance and dance education and this is why we started this company. The other thought behind starting AEDC was to empower young dancers to explore their artistry and allow them to open their eyes to all of the possibilities available to them in the professional dance realm.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Artist Entrance Dance Company is a pre-professional dance company, which is designed for serious dance students between the ages of 12-18. We aim to help dancers find their place as artists in the field of dance, creating a bridge from the dance studio world to the professional dance world, whether that be in commercial dance, concert dance or teaching/choreography. We are most proud of our company members who are disciplined, passionate and driven by this art form. It is a dream come true to be able to help strengthen their love of dance and technical form. Hilary Pawlik and I, Ashley Yano, have been friends for over a decade, having met as professional dancers and transitioned to co-teaching and co-choreographing together! We saw a great need for a pre-professional dance experience to open dancers’ eyes to the possibilities in dance – we wanted to give them an opportunity to train like a professional company, dance on film, perform in a full-length dance concert, as well as music videos and other professional opportunities that arise. It is always a risk to branch out and start your own company, but the reward was always so much greater to us than the risk. We knew that if we were able to start this small, focused, niche dance company, that we would help young artists immensely, because we truly care about them as a whole, not just as dancers. We have learned many things along the way, but the greatest lesson has been the symbiotic relationship of dancer to teacher/choreographer. We learn just as much from our company members as they do from us. We value the ability to grow and learn and evolve TOGETHER! Artist Entrance Dance Company is truly a unique experience and we hope that all young artists are able to find a safe place where they can feel included, valued, and respected as we have created here.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Hilary and I met doing an AWESOME burlesque/cabaret dance show by the brilliant choreographer, Terry Beeman, This show was performed at “El Cid” in Silverlake, so we might be partial, however, “El Cid” is this incredible hidden gem on Sunset Blvd. The building was built in 1915 as one of Los Angeles’ first theaters screening silent films of the day. In 1925, the building was converted into a Jail-themed café, complete with waiters dressed as guards and prisoners. And then in 1962 it became, El Cid. It has long been Los Angeles’ premiere destination for traditional flamenco dancing and authentic Spanish tapas. serve delicious Spanish cuisine, amazing drinks and the best entertainment in Los Angeles including live Flamenco dancers!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We would like to honor and give gratitude to all of the young artists/dancers who have trusted us with their dance training and taken this journey with us! We truly have the most incredible group of company members and incredible group of families who support them! Hilary and Ashley would also like to thank their families, including their spouses and children!
Photographer: Nikki Dalonzo