Episode 92 sits us down with Amy Allen: the savvy and inspired dance extraordinaire with credits that include: Jason Derulo, Chris Brown, Usher, Beyoncé, SNL, American Idol, Pitch Perfect, 2 VMA nominated videos for choreography and way way more. What adds a unique dimension to Amy is that she has worked closely with so many of the best of best within the dance world's top tier creatives, including: Fatima, Hi-Hat, Rich & Tone, Jamaica, and Aakomon.
Amy's warmth and openness lends itself to an interview with breadth and depth, as we explore topics that include: recommendations on staying fresh and recharging within a busy career, her path as an assistant to the best of the best, what Amy learned specifically from the most successful choreographers/leaders of the dance industry she has worked closely with, her unparalleled diversity in training, the injuries that she has had to overcome, empowering thoughts around aging in the industry, the recreations of self she has had throughout her career (and continues to have), toughest jobs she has been on, embarrassing stage moments, keeping your spirits up in a difficult industry, how to learn from choreographers who don't normally teach, and... well... more.
Enjoy and get ready to be inspired!
Welcome to episode 91 of the DanceSpeak podcast with our guest: Jojo Diggs. When Jojo gave us her first interview (episode 15) in 2016, she blew us away with her unique perspective and clarity + strength in the way she has made many a life-shifting decisions. Two year later, Jojo has moved from L.A. to Vegas, is a member of the esteemed Jabbawockeez cast on the Vegas strip, and has taken on a major focal change from dance dance dance to the psychology of movement, mental health, and coaching. So, naturally, I had to pick her brain.
The main points we covered in this dynamic interview include: an empowering view on taking non-dance jobs while pursuing one's career (I lurv this topic), working as dancer on Jabbawockeez and how Jojo (a veteran + seasoned dancer) pulled up for it, learning to enjoy frustration (whoa, chew on that), learning to move through not feeling 'good enough' for a job, choosing to leave Los Angeles, moving to Las Vegas, a conversation around mental health, procrastination, thoughts on people thinking she is intimidating (we love you Jojo), how she created her new health + wellness event, creating events in the dance world to affect change, why Twyla Tharp is awesome, and a whole lot of giggles.
Enjoy, take notes, don't take notes LOL, whatever floats your boat, be ready to dive into a fascinating and beautiful perspective!
Podcast 90 - Getting Unstuck And Re-inspired When Turning Your Passion Into A Career | A Coaching Call
Episode 90 of DanceSpeak brings you a unique delivery of the podcast as a recorded coaching call between professional Life Coach: Tania Friedlander, and Dancer/Choreographer: Bryant "B.True" Anderson.
During the coaching call between Tania and Bryant, common issues that come up when taking the leap to pursue a passion as career, quickly surface and are powerfully explored.
Within my 18 years in the dance world (also dabbling in acting) I have heard a plethora of conversations about where people get stuck, and it boils down to a handful of basic themes: struggling to pay the bills while investing time + energy + into working within your desired field, burning out, losing inspiration, fear of having to move back to wherever you came from, not feeling good enough, losing a sense of self while pleasing others, and...well...you get the idea. All of these topics are covered here and Bryant, who vulnerably shares what he is up against, gets empowered around navigating through his circumstances and creating a breakthrough around his career in dance.
Welcome to Episode 89 of the DanceSpeak podcast with the beautiful Jasmine Rafael. You may have seen Jasmine dancing with Ariana Grande on the recent VMA's or in her class videos from Millennium.
Of course, I had to geek out a little on Jasmine's teaching and ask her about how she prepares for her classes, etc, but, the heart of this episode lives in us having a REAL human-to-human conversation about the 'less glamorous' aspects that might be harder to discuss in an industry that praises perfection.
Jasmine shares about her focus on being a professional dancer in the midst of teaching success and her big move from Los Angeles to New York City, followed by a choice to move back to Los Angeles. This is a brave person right here who takes the reigns on her destiny!
We then explore topics that I hear a lot about in confidence, but I'm not sure they are discussed in the open. We talk about depression, addictive patterns, body image, relationships, and being 'in it.' AND, how we can still stay plugged into the world and seek help and not ignore our state of being, when we are going throw a low time.
Jasmine: I applaud you, I admire you, I respect you for sharing yourself so fully, in the belief that this conversation let's us all connect in a deeper and more meaningful way.
Podcast 88 - Melanie Mah - Creating A Breathtaking Career and Staying Zen During your Biggest Opportunities with Mel Mah
Welcome to episode 88 of the DanceSpeak podcast with Mel Mah. As a dancer, credits include Janet Jackson, Justin Bieber, Kanye West, Britney Spears, and more. As Mel has been pursuing directing, in addition to her own projects, she recently assisted the director on the film: The Hate U Give. That's a big deal y'all.
This episode covers stories and insights from Mel's experiences as a professional dancer, her passion for mindfulness as a yoga teacher, her journey as a film director, her business life with You Got This Girl, and, life lessons as a human being.
From Mel's dance life, she shares what she did to stay working and empowered during the 'slow seasons' as well as her choice to drastically change her look, even if it meant booking less work. We then explore Mel's choice to transition out of dance and into the film world, even if it meant turning down a potential second tour experience with Janet Jackson. Mel shares some of her favorite takeaways from touring with Janet Jackson for over a year (again, before diving completely into film).
Then, we get into the FILM journey and how she knew when/that it was time to transition into a new role. Beneath all of her stories in dance and film, Mel's path as a yoga teacher intersects and plays an important role in her success and staying grounded.
I almost feel like I'm writing a novel with this blurb... but we cover sooo much (and in a relatively short time)... there's also Mel's life as a business owner with You Got This Girl (YGTG). Mel shares about this important company, overcoming a split with her business partner, and how she ultimately had and continues to have it all work.
And...we talk about LOVE. I had to ask about it, as Mel does it all and also opens up about the positive influence her hubby has had on her professional life, and I feel this is something we need to hear and can be inspired by!
If you're still reading, you are awesome. This interview is a gem that I am excited to share.
Podcast 87 - Devin Solomon & Jimmy Weeden - Moving from Indianapolis to LA, Training Outside Of Class, How To Be Persistent In A Good Way
Welcome to episode 87 of DanceSpeak with Devin Solomon and Jimmy Weeden. Both originally from Indiana, these two friends bring a sense of calm in their demeanor, with a work ethic that is undeniable. I believe that this episode fulfills on the podcast's intention to have listeners feel closer to the guests they listen to and hopefully more connected to the sometimes-enigmatic dance world.
Devin and Jimmy discuss their experience of moving away from their hometowns and the cultural differences they noticed. We geek out on the dance styles of the Midwest, pay homage to YouTube and the doors it opened for them, discuss teaching as a passion that is also becoming a trend... We talk about what drives these talented men, their strengths, their weakness, making lemons out of lemonade (hayy), and their biggest lessons on 2018.
Podcast 86 - Lauren Ritchie - How to Be the Best Dance Educator Possible With Lauren Ritchie of The Dance Podcast
Welcome to episode 86 of DanceSpeak with Lauren Ritchie, the host and creator of the Dance Podcast. There is a relatively small number of dance podcast-ers out there, so I was not only geeked to 'meet' Lauren, but dumbfounded to find her to be such a passionate dance educator, with background in fitness (like me) AND a major care for self-development (like me!).
This interview will take you through a deep-dive on how to be a continuously growing dance educator, leader, and/or student in the dance world (and even outside if you apply it to other disciplines). We span topics from how to powerfully deal with unrest in the community, to discussing the concept of 'tribal shaming', and how to choose the right programs to 'grow' your knowledge and self.
Of course, I made sure to ask Lauren about her experiences as a dance podcast host, as well as lessons she has learned in this field. We touch on some genuine topics including, an exploration of how staring the mirror for so long (as dancers) can impact the way we view ourselves, and the question around entering a potentially saturated market as a dance teacher.
This episode is filled with uplift, honesty, care, and unabridged thought that comes from a lifetime in the dance community and industry. Please...enjoy!
The Dance Podcast!
Podcast 85 - Tim Milgram - The dance content genius opens up about making a career out of what the world Has Come To Love
Episode 85 with Tim Milgrim (T.Milly Creative) takes you on the journey with one of the most impactful creators behind some of the most popular dance content on your computer, phone, and t.v. screens. (Yes, I know this is a super bold/blanket statement, but it's true... look up Tim's work).
In this episode we cover:
- Tim quitting his computer programing career to pursue dance
- Tim’s transition from dancing professionally to filming
- Advice on choosing between dance and other passions
- Being from another country and moving around
- What Tim finds the most exceptional dancers have in common
- What it’s like working for Tim
- Growing his brand and from an individual into a company
- Tim’s secret dream
- How he developed his craft in filming dance
- Perspective on what it’s like to be the director on a job
- How Tim balances out professional life with personal
- The basic film knowledge Tim thinks all dancers should have for social media
- How Tim goes about combining the classroom experience with in-studio filing
- Tim starting and hosting its/his own classes
- New perspective as studio owner
- What’s next for the dance world
- What from his upbringing helped prepare him with his career
- Dealing with stress
- We get philosophical AF near the end, and it's AWESOME
Enjoy, take notes, let us know what you think! We love when you leave us a review on iTunes. Keep in touch with us on Insta @dancespeakpodcast!!!
Podcast 84 - Chuck Maldonado - High School Teaching to Choreographing for the Olympics, a re-release of Chuck Maldonado's 2016 Interview
Episode 84 of DanceSpeak proudly presents a re-release of our 2016 interview with Chuck Maldonado.
In this episode, you'll find Chuck Maldonado celebrating his 20th anniversary as a professional in the dance industry. Carrying a resume of over 28 feature films and work on hundreds of television shows, Chuck is clearly someone we can learn a lot from.
One of the first jaw-dropping facts I learned in my interview with Chuck, is that he began his career as a professional dancer at 29. With a strong sense of purpose, and unbeatable work ethic, Chuck shares what it took to train himself to the level of his peers and make his dreams tangible.
Some of the highlights of this episode include: what has changed in Los Angeles' dance industry in the last 15 years, tips on networking, how Chuck chooses his assistants, a choreographer's perspective on hiring friends, thoughts on having a back-up plan, advice for choreographers and dancers booking work in the industry, recommendations on how a dancer should prepare before moving to L.A. for dance, tips on head shots, Chuck's dance convention, and more.
Enjoy this episode! I recommend taking notes!
Welcome to episode 83 of the DanceSpeak podcast where we give you a POWERFUL DanceByte from our 2016 episode with Chuck Maldonado. In this conversation, Chuck shares his jaw-dropping testimony on how his dance career found him in the most unexpected of ways.
For more of Chuck's story, check out the full interview re-released as episode 84.
After 15 years of experience in the dance world, Galit has worked as Assistant Choreographer for Prince, danced in numerous music videos, including Pharrell Williams' "Happy", has been featured in two dance publications, and currently works as a dance instructor and conditioning specialist in Los Angeles and around the country.