I’m super excited to introduce today’s guest to you all because she has had a huge direct impact on my dance journey. Please welcome to the blog, Briana Suakjian! She is the wife and pro dance partner of Kris Suakjian (a.k.a. Teacher!), and together they own and manage the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Laguna Hills, California. They took over their new studio literally weeks before the pandemic shut everything down. Despite possibly setting a record for worst timing ever (or perhaps the best, more on that later), Briana and Kris have successfully built a warm and welcoming dance home for their students. And yes, I may be just a bit biased.Continue reading
Elaine Rau’s team reached out to me last month with an idea to interview each other for our blogs. I enjoy connecting with fellow dancers, writers, and in this case, entrepreneurs, so of course, I agreed! Elaine Rau founded the blog, LadyBossBlogger, after realizing the company she worked for cared more about her sales numbers than her as a person. Like me, blogging for Elaine started out as a creative outlet and a way to make connections when she first moved from the U.S. to Honduras. Quickly, she turned it into a profitable online business.
We decided to exchange a list of questions to answer. Even though Elaine’s journey looks a lot different from a ballroom dancer’s, I think you’ll find we share a lot of similar elements!
Without further ado, please welcome Elaine Rau.Continue reading
I’d like you all to meet Samantha Stout! She is a professional ballroom dancer and teacher based in Utah. She is the owner of Love.Live.Dance, LLC and host of the podcast Ballroom Chat.
She invited me to be a guest on her podcast a few weeks ago. The episode aired last week (you can also watch it on YouTube). I returned the favor and asked her to share her story here. Samantha has experienced both the pro-am student and teacher sides of competitive ballroom dance, which gives her a unique perspective on our art/sport.Continue reading
One of my favorite things about this blog continues to be the connections that I make with dancers and other creatives that would have never happened otherwise. Today’s interview is a result of one of those connections. Rebecca Gentry, professional ballroom dancer and owner of City Ballroom Dance Studio in Lancaster, PA, found The Girl with the Tree Tattoo on Instagram and reached out. We had a wonderful conversation a couple weeks ago and I’m happy to be able to share it with you today.
Please welcome to the blog, Rebecca Gentry!Continue reading
Please welcome to the blog Duffy Betterton! She and her mother Debi Camp are the co-founders and co-owners of Dance Dress Couture (DDC). Duffy and I connected last year and through our partnership, The Girl with the Tree Tattoo was introduced to the country western dance world. DDC was forced to shut down like so many other businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Duffy isn’t one to sit back and wait though. She pivoted by bringing a whole new product to the dance community! I invited her here to share the story behind this new product.
Without further ado…Continue reading
Last time, I wrote about how this ballroom dance thing is so much more than a hobby for a lot of us. It’s a passion. We take it just as seriously as any other commitment in our lives. We practice our steps under our cubicle desk at work and down grocery store aisles. We use all of our vacation time on competitions. The dance studio is our second home.
But what happens if we start to feel…less than passionate about ballroom dancing? What if the experience starts to lose its sparkle? What if something else begins to have a stronger pull?
Between Desert Classic and last week’s trip to the Bay Area for a meeting with my business group, the last two weeks have been a whirlwind! While I let the dust settle in my brain, I’m pushing back this week’s blog post.
Don’t worry, I still have a story for you! Right before I left for Desert Classic, I managed to find the time to do an interview with Starterstory.com. Check it out to get a behind-the-scenes look at how I’ve built my business and brand:
Just popping in real quick to share some exciting news. While I was at Embassy Ball at the end of August, I was interviewed by FloDance. They’re part of the FloSports network, kind of like an online ESPN. FloDance focuses mainly on ballroom dancing.
They used part of my interview in the video The True Cost of Being a Dancer, but today, they released the video just about The Girl with the Tree Tattoo!
Check it out here: https://www.flodance.com/video/6057295-the-girl-with-the-tree-tattoo
Of course, I’m thrilled (after I got over my initial “Eeeeek! There’s a video about me! No one look!”) as well as incredibly grateful for the opportunity to share my story with another audience. Every day on this ballroom journey, I strive to stay true to myself, overcome my fears and doubts, and release the dancer inside me. I share that journey, with all of its ups and downs, in hopes that you’ll be inspired and encouraged to continue on your own journey.
Birgit is a close friend who is responsible for introducing me to the dance studio I’ve trained at for nearly five years! The unimaginable happened to her last year, but as it turns out, life does go on. Read on to find out how she was forced to find life outside of dance.
This month’s guest is a fellow writer/dancer who has explored a variety of partner dances for almost 20 years! Her latest passion is Argentine Tango, but from every style, she’s found another piece of the puzzle that is her true self.
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Karen Kaye.