Innovation and Inspiration Speaker Series: Premiere Dance Project

Innovation and Inspiration Speaker Series: Premiere Dance Project promotional image

Owners of Premiere Dance Project to Speak on Oct. 6

Amanda Gustafson and Aunica Harvey, owners of Premiere Dance Project in Waukee, Iowa, will headline the Innovation and Inspiration Speaker Series on Oct. 6 from 5-6:30 p.m. (CST) at the Hawkeye Room, G350 Iowa Memorial Union.

The public is invited to this free event, which is hosted by the University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (Iowa JPEC). Because of limited space, registration is required. You may register at

Both women graduated from the University of Iowa in 2018 — Gustafson with a bachelor’s degree in dance with an entrepreneurial management certificate, and Harvey with bachelor’s degrees in dance and business administration. A week after commencement, the duo left Iowa City and opened their dance studio.

“If you sit back and think about it too long, you can talk yourself out of something great,” Harvey said.

“We were blessed where we decided to end up (in Waukee),” Gustafson said. “We didn’t have a huge understanding of what it was going to be when we signed our lease.”

Harvey, a native of Corning, Iowa, began dancing at age 2; Gustafson, from Elk Horn, Iowa, started at age 5. Because of the time and energy Premiere Dance Project requires, they now run the business full time.

“We had known for a long time that our end goal was to open a dance studio,” Gustafson said.

After striking a friendship in ballet class at the University of Iowa, Gustafson approached Harvey with the idea of co-owning a dance studio. Harvey was originally a hard no. Gustafson’s stubbornness wouldn’t accept that answer, so the women agreed to meet over a cup of coffee where they listed pros and cons of jointly running a business. Within days, a partnership was formed. Premiere Dance Project creates an environment where dancers can develop themselves individually, physically, and artistically. 

The public is invited to attend the presentation by Gustafson and Harvey, beginning with a networking session at 5 p.m. Beverages and appetizers are provided.

Thursday, October 6, 2022 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Iowa Memorial Union (IMU)
125 North Madison Street, Iowa City, IA 52245
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Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Jan Finlayson in advance at 319-321-7360 or