A profitable health entrepreneur with nationwide TV credit, Dong led grasp lessons in conditioning and an expert improvement session, “Harnessing Your Authenticity to Launch Your Profession,” throughout a campus go to
Discovering success as an artist and entrepreneur has as a lot to do with understanding your function as expertise and exhausting work, Colette Dong ’14 instructed undergraduates in Elon’s Dance Program throughout a latest campus go to.
Dong ought to know. She’s the co-founder and co-owner of The Ness — a booming health firm with purchasers across the globe — and has been featured on NBC’s “Right this moment,” “The Drew Barrymore Present” and within the New York Instances. She additionally was Elon’s first scholar to graduate with levels in each dance efficiency and choreography and dance science.
Via a number of grasp lessons providing instruction and critique, in addition to a career-building session, “Harnessing Your Authenticity to Launch Your Profession,” Dong supplied college students with real-world recommendation to develop the mindset, abilities and resilience wanted for fulfillment.
“Your function and your ardour are basically your model. It is who you might be and the way you place your self out into the world. That function is actually what is going on to drive you in life and it is the way you lead an genuine profession the place you discover happiness,” Dong mentioned Thursday, March 30, to about 30 dancers assembled within the Heart for the Arts. “What is the level in the event you’re not pleased in what you do?”
After graduating from Elon, Dong accomplished a season with the American Dance Pageant earlier than returning to New York Metropolis the place he labored as a dancer and Pilates teacher with hospitality jobs on the aspect. Shifting into health coaching, which she discovered aligned along with her values and function, she and Alison Giampolo based The Ness in 2018 to create in-person and on-line movement- and choreography-based exercises — a few of which contain trampolines. They formally launched in 2019, launched the trampoline routines in 2020, and their revenues tripled over the following two years. This yr, The Ness is opening a location within the Hamptons.
“We’re persevering with to develop and now the enterprise is nearly working itself,” Dong mentioned.
Dong had college students full a quick train in figuring out their values and function earlier than plotting a roadmap to success involving analysis, group and constructing an genuine community.
“Your community is crucial, and your community is on this room with you proper now. Lean on them and create genuine relationships. Play the lengthy sport. Actually give to them as a lot as they may take from you,” Dong mentioned.
Whereas at Elon, Dong was additionally the primary dance science main to current analysis on the Worldwide Affiliation of Dance Drugs and Science and was awarded a aggressive internship on the Harkness Heart for Dance Accidents at NYU Langone Well being. Professor of Dance Lauren Kearns labored carefully with Dong whereas she was at Elon, together with mentoring her in undergraduate analysis, and following her profession within the years since commencement.
“Colette’s profession expertly blends each of her levels, and I needed our dance efficiency and choreography college students in addition to our dance science majors to realize a deeper understanding of the assorted profession pathways in motion that they will forge,” Kearns mentioned. “Colette is a artistic innovator and disruptor within the boutique health trade who has methodically constructed an genuine and wholistic profession centered on body-mind conditioning and wellness.”
Early after commencement, Dong mentioned she was initially hesitant to ask folks for assist or cash to pursue objectives. Expertise taught her the most effective methods to ask folks for favors: Ask the precise individual and be sure you inform them why they’re the precise individual; provide one thing in return; set a schedule and provide dates and instances for follow-up.
“Should you do not ask, it would not occur. Interval,” she mentioned. “Make it simple for the individual, be direct, and be sure you have a function going into it.”
She suggested college students to create disaster response plans for worst-case situations, figuring out prematurely networks for help, monetary help and psychological well-being.
“I like to consider it as planting seeds,” Dong mentioned. “Each day you might be planting seeds. So if you’re feeling defeated, inform your self, ‘I planted a whole lot of seeds as we speak.’”
College students appreciated the candor and practicality of Dong’s recommendation.
Makayla Kanerviko ’23, a double main in dance science and entrepreneurship, mentioned Dong’s steerage helped her higher establish a path towards a profession in health entrepreneurship.
“She’s very well-accomplished in how she manufacturers herself, and I feel that is actually vital as to how you place your self out into the world. She actually coated how to do this as we speak,” Kanerviko mentioned. “I’ve made connections with trainers outdoors of Elon, and Collette actually dove into how vital that sort of networking is.”
Madison Valgardson ’24, a dance science main mentioned Dong’s conditioning grasp class supplied a better consciousness of the connection between the thoughts and physique, whereas the career-building workshop helped her start to confront fears about venturing into the world after Elon.
“This workshop was a good looking reminder to ask myself, ‘Why not go for it and take a look at?’,” Valgardson mentioned. “We frequently do not go for issues out of worry. I feel that is as a result of we neglect that we aren’t going by issues alone, we will all the time have or discover a help system. Collette is inspirational as a result of she determined to leap and go for what she needed.”