Jessica “Jessa” Doll is a professional dancer, choreographer, and movement coach. Originally from Langley, BC, Canada she currently resides in LA. Jessa has danced for artists like Ariana Grande, Jennifer Lopez, and French Montana and has spent the past 3 years touring the world in venues like Madison Square Garden, The Forum etc, with Latin Artist Maluma. She has also appeared in TV/Film projects such as “DC Legends of Tomorrow”, “Riverdale”, “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”, and more. In addition to dancing Jessa has a true passion for Movement Coaching artists where she teaches them how to dance on stage and move with their microphone. Jessa also created an ebook a few years ago called TRULY SHINE: A Basic Guide To Becoming A Professional Dancer In The USA, in hopes of helping other young aspiring dancers to pursue their dreams like she did.
How did you get started in this business?
Jessa started dancing at a young age training in many different styles of dance. She started dancing professionally at age 19 in Canada. Her first appearance as a dancer was in Disney’s “Girl vs. Monster.” She stayed in Canada for a few years, training and slowly beginning to work more and more. At age 21 Jessa applied for and received her fist O-1 visa. From there she continued to expand her network and grow her resume which lead her to pursuing her career in Los Angeles.
How do you make money?
I’m a professional dancer in TV/FILM, Music Videos, Concerts ( back up dancer ), Commercials. I also teach dance at children dance studios and adult drop in studios. I movement coach upcoming artists that are looking to dance/move and feel more confident on stage. I also choreograph back up dancers for music videos and live shows.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
As soon I started working at age 19 I was making money with dance. Once I moved to LA there was more opportunity for financial gain, as there is more work in the USA. It also helped that once I grew my name in the Los Angeles dance scene, I started working more. By year 4/5 I started seeing major results as I booked a job dancing for Latin Artist Maluma on his world tour! This provided consistent income while fulfilling my dreams.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
There were many moments of doubt when I first started. It was a new industry and scene I was learning about. There are so many layers to the entertainment industry that it can feel overwhelming. What helped me handle self doubt was doing everything in my control to be my best self ie; branding myself properly, networking, training etc. I knew that as long as I did everything in my control, that was all I could do. It also helped picking up hobbies and having a balanced life.
How did you get your first customer?
I booked my first job Disney’s ” Girl vs. Monster ” through my network. I received a phone call and was direct booked on the job. A lot of my cliental and booking are through referral, recommendations and network. This why it is so important to be professional, kind and a good person because you never know where your next client could come from.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
Another marketing strategy I find that works well for me is cold reach! I direct them to my work page, demo reel, or resume.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
The toughest decision I’ve had to make in the past few months was turning down a huge travelling opportunity to build my network more in Los Angeles. I love the city and what it has to offer. It is difficult to build while you are away ( out of sight out of mind ). I also enjoy being close to home-Vancouver, Canada. Staying on the West Coast seemed more in line with where I wanted to be in my life.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I think what makes me successful is my resilience, professionalism and kindness. I also believe staying true to yourself and being genuine is the only way to operate in life. When I’m booked on a job or work with clients I try to bring all these traits into the room. Lastly I believe in going above and beyond. If a client books a session with me I always try to give them a little more than what they paid for, so they feel fully satisfied with the service.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
My most satisfying moment in my career so far has been dancing for Ariana Grande at the VMAS in New York City. I had trained for years with her choreographers, which became my mentors and was so exciting to be able to work for them for the first time. It was also my first big job with an artist and my first time in New York City. The whole experience was so fulfilling and exhilarating.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
Currently I’m looking to expand my artist cliental for movement coaching. I’m also excited to work with new choreographers, dancers, and teams! It truly is the people you work that makes the experiences amazing! I’m definitely someone that is open minded and likes change so whatever projects that come my way, I’m excited for.
What business books have inspired you?
One book that I like is, You Are a Badass at Making Money. It is simple, fun but also very informative. If you’re like me, and you’re someone that isn’t thrilled about reading, this is the book for you!
What advice would you give to your younger self?
The advice I would give to my younger self, is to keep trying no matter what, not to let others effect you, blinders on! To carry yourself with grace and not be too hard on yourself. Everyones path is different and as long as you are doing your best and operating out of a place of kindness, you will always be happy in the end.
Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?
The best way to contact me for dance jobs, choreography, or movement coaching is through my email: firstname.lastname@example.org