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.
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.
As follow-up to their joint interview in April, I had asked Elizabeth Thomson and Nicholas Barkley if they would be willing to do individual interviews and share more of how ballroom has impacted their lives. Liz shared her struggles with PTSD and how ballroom brought her back to life in May. Now, we get to hear from Nick!
This month, I invited another dancer to write her own story. We met through Instagram of all places. Her Instagram account (@girlinthe_vans) is mainly videos of her dancing at a gym. No fancy costumes or glamorous settings. Just her, the music, and dance. The story behind these videos is full of pain and loss. But always, there was dance, ready to act as a lifeline when she reached for it.
I met Mandy Mykitta, this month’s interviewee, at the Murdy Park community center in Huntington Beach, California. When I arrived, kids were outside playing on playground equipment and a game was in session on a basketball court while parents watched and chatted. Families spending time together outside? Imagine that! After a long day and getting stuck in traffic on the way to the interview, seeing some pure and simple positivity lifted my mood.
When I first spoke with Nicholas Barkley and Elizabeth Thomson about doing an interview for the blog, I also proposed a second set of individual interviews. Their stories of how ballroom became the key to coping with their PTSD were incredible and deserved their own spaces, separate from their shared story of becoming an amateur couple.
Liz was kind enough to make time for me during one of her visits down to Orange County. We met at my studio after one of my dance lessons and talked for over an hour. While we sat stretched out on the floor of the teachers’ break room, Liz shared her journey, from enlisting in the Army to getting diagnosed with PTSD to finding relief in ballroom. Although she still struggles, ballroom has been Liz’s defibrillator. It brought her back to life and saved her from becoming “just another PTSD statistic.”
In my continued effort to bring you stories from other ballroom dancers besides me, I’m happy to introduce you to an American Smooth amateur couple, Elizabeth Thomson and Nicholas Barkley. They have backgrounds that you would not expect to find in ballroom and share an important message. This month, we get to learn how they got started in ballroom and formed their new partnership.
Hi everyone! A little while ago, I was honored to be interviewed for the Dancing Housewife podcast. The episode aired today!
We talk about the inspiration behind my Dance Diaries series (including my personal experience behind the infamous “Friendly vs. Friends” article), the origins of my tree tattoo, and of course, my ballroom dancing.