As her company grew, Andrea Miller found herself spending less time in the studio and more time on operations. Adding a First Republic personal banker to her team has helped her manage finances, allowing her to return to what she loves – choreographing dance.
HOW DID YOU FIRST BECOME INTERESTED IN DANCE?
I remember always running to where music was playing and dancing: in my room, in our home. As I got older it became something I got more excited about and I would go to see performances with my mom. Compared to the majority of people with dance training, I had a very strange entrance into the world of dance. I started training with a woman who was 80 years old and was one of the pioneers of modern dance in the United States in the ‘30s. From her I learned not just about movement, but also about composition, the form of a dance and why we were doing what we were doing.
“First Republic shares our passion for innovation and world-class performance.”
AS AN ARTIST, WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?
Inspiration is one of those things that you always feel available for. Depending on the events in your life different ideas start coming to the surface. A painting, a book, a poem or even a conversation with a friend can hit home with the perspective you’re looking at the world with at that moment. The things that are going to be relevant start appearing and speaking to me loudly. I listen to those voices and play with them. I spend a lot of time treating a dance as if it’s not separate from my life or the dancers’ lives, but it’s really mixed into who we are normally and presented in a dance.
WHAT ROLE DOES IMPROVISATION PLAY IN YOUR WORK?
It plays a huge role. It lets the dancers tell me how they understand the idea that we’re working on, how they personally interpret what the concept is that we’re playing with. It opens my perspective because they’re making it interesting and they’re making it rich. I work with improvisation so I become more aware of the possibilities of an idea. I’ve learned that there are many ways to solve any problem through improvisation.
DO YOU THINK OF YOURSELF AS BEING A BUSINESS OWNER AS WELL AS A PERFORMER AND ARTIST?
When we first began as a small dance company of just a few dancers and me, we really didn’t have any sort of financial business to manage. As the company started to do well and we got a lot more work, being an entrepreneur was a big part of my day: fundraising, making strategic plans for the company, payroll. It was taking me out of the studio, so I wasn’t dancing any more. I realized that I had to figure out how to get myself back into the studio so I brought in an administrative team and executive director. Our relationship with First Republic has also helped.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH FIRST REPUBLIC?
With First Republic there is an overwhelming sense that we are a priority to them, that we’re first on their list of things to do in the day. That has meant a lot to us, and there is such a personal relationship with the team. Our bankers come to our performances and to our studio events. I’ve met them on multiple occasions outside of company business. That’s meant a lot to me because they know what I’m doing here, what I’m trying to achieve, and it feels like they’re on my team. It’s great.