Welcome to episode 156 of the DanceSpeak podcast with special guest Taja Riley (Janet Jackson, Bruno Mars, Beyonce, Justin Bieber, the list goes ON). Taja, a dance prodigy, has been working professionally for years and is now using her platform to stand UP for dancer’s rights by breaking the myth of the “replaceable dancer”. This is a must-listen episode for dancers and I would say for anyone who appreciates dance too.
Taja bravely shares some of her personal experiences on the job, including on-set treatment of the dance artists that was not up to par. We also discuss how gratitude is not an invitation to be any less respected, navigatong how to get needs met on set, injury talk, mental health in the audition space, MONEY, and what we can do as members of the dance community to break the viscous cycle of low pay and mistreatment.
Listen, subscribe, share, let's grow!
Podcast 155 - Dance Therapist Erica Hornthal on how to foster mental health w/ the demands of dance; feat. special co-host Codie Wiggins
Welcome to Episode 155 of the DanceSpeak podcast with Erica Hornthal (dance/movement therapist and counselor). I originally met Erica as a colleague on Doctors for Dancers. She impressed me with the way she approaches well-being and her understanding of dancers' needs from her own background in dance.
I knew that I wanted to unpack some of the longer-term impacts of the demands of dance, especially in the professional world. In order to bring more than just my own lens, Codie Wiggins, who has a major list of professional accomplishments, joined in to ask questions and discuss.
Some of the major topics we discuss and ask Erica about include how to deal with the constant comparisons of dance (and social and life), how to navigate going in and out of burnout (or in and never leaving?!), and ultimately learning to listen to yourself.
Listen, enjoy, share, subscribe!
Welcome to Episode 154 of the DanceSpeak podcast with repeat guest Codie Wiggins (first episode was ep... 6?!). Codie's credits are plentiful including Justin Timberlake, Usher, Pitch Perfect, Get On Up... the film! To be real, when I read the resume I blushed, but what REALLY gets me about Codie is his humanity.
Striking the balance between unparalleled focus and humor galore, Codie is a joy to sit on the DanceSpeak couch with as he shares about finding love while on tour for Justin Timberlake and walking us through the journey to... mmmmm... we won't give it away! Codie also opens up about his journey from Los Angeles to living in 4 separate countries/5 different cities all while continuing to propel his career.
Listen, enjoy, subscribe, and let us know your favorite part (that's what IG is for right?).
Welcome to episode 153 of the DanceSpeak podcast with Yani Marin (The Beyoncé Experience, Broadway's Westside Story, Empire, Jack Ryan and more). From starting ballet as a child at one of the most competitive ballet schools in New York (School of American Ballet) to making her debut as an actress on television with Empire, Yani knows the entertainment industry and what it takes to pivot.
This episode looks at choosing between New York and Los Angeles for work while navigating longevity in the entertainment industry regardless of what you're told you 'should' do. Yani is a powerhouse who shares about being fearless when it's time to take a break, proving herself multiple times for every career change she has made and what the different iterations of her career have taught her over the years. We also get into love advice... when it comes to finding romantic partnership with an artist and why you shouldn't let life 'should' on you (get it?!).
Enjoy this episode, share, subscribe, and remember: you do not need permission to pursue YOUR journey.
Welcome to Episode 152 of the DanceSpeak podcast with Gordon Watkins (Prince, Kendrick Lamar, Ariana Grande, The Weeknd at Super Bowl LV and moreee). Gordon originally appeared on the podcast early on as one of our youngest guests at the time. The general public might know Gordon best at the moment for his presence on social media, but what is behind it is years of experience in Los Angeles and a work ethic that we get to learn more about in this episode.
Personally, as a Millennial, my views of social media are mixed. I came into this interview with loads of curiosity as Gordon has learned how to propel his own brand and also my general fear of losing myself in social media and ‘trying to make it.’ What I walked away with after speaking with Gordon is an expanded sense of what can be done right with social media and also how it can ultimately benefit the dancer and dance world.
With a crossover between the dance industry and social media insta-verse this episode gets into the nitty gritty of growing your presence on social media without needing to sacrifice your essence. Gordon is open about staying on track without needing to get it perfect.
This episode is a behind the scenes look at an influencer who sees a bigger picture and how each one of us can create our own path in a beautiful and new way.
Enjoy, listen, share, subscribe and DO YOU!!!
Podcast 151 - Finding purpose without having to choose 1 thing and affecting change in the dance world w/ Arnel Calvario
Welcome to episode 151 of the DanceSpeak podcast with Dr. Arnel Calvario (Culture Shock LA, Beat Freaks, Kinjaz, Fanny Pack, Kabba Modern, and MORE!). Arnel is an Occupational Therapist who simultaneously maintains his purpose and distinguished role in the dance world.
This episode explores who to make room for the things you love. Arnel's journey teaches us that you don't have to choose or be just one thing. Things we explore include the difference between the LA dance scene in the 90's/early 2000's and now, how to affect major change in large dance organizations, pacing yourself during the busy season, ways to give back to the dance world, and so much more!
Enjoy, share with a friend and subscribe!
Welcome to Episode 150 of the DanceSpeak podcast where we lift the veil of podcasting and SHARE SHARE SHARE. Jojo Diggs (previous guest episodes 15 and 91), who is known in the dance world as a community leader and educator, is starting work on her own podcast: "Healing Shame." Jojo asks me to go in-depth on how I started DanceSpeak, the creative choices I have navigated, pitfalls, and wins.
Beneath it all, this episode is about making a new pathway in your life, career, and journey. Listen, enjoy, share, and subscribe!
Podcast 149 - Happy Hour - Polyamory v. Monogamy, Queer identity in romance, Gasms, and Gal talk w/ Jasmine Raphael and Alyssa Stamp
Welcome to episode 149 of the DanceSpeak podcast where we talk about love, s*x, romance, our own experiences and do not hold back. Dare I say more?
Jasmine Raphael and Alyssa Stamp sit down with me for a roundtable where we get into different types of relationship styles, benefits and drawbacks, our own identify, and things no one seems to talk about that go down in the bedroom.
This episode is an expansion of a conversation we had a little over two years on episode 104 where Jasmine, Alyssa, and Amy Morgan discussed experiences being fem. and queer in the dance world.
In the space of 2021 Jasmine and Alyssa share about what they've learned over these years and open up about navigating their own journeys in love, romance, and personal growth.
Welcome to a re-release of April 2018's episode 74 of DanceSpeak with Fresh Redding!! (Credits Include: Kendrick Lamar, Pharell, Justin Bieber, Will.I.Am, Busta Rhymes, America's Best Dance Crew, Nike, DWTS, Kia and more...) Fresh has proven himself to be an accomplished dancer, choreographer, and a true entrepreneur. With a clothing brand, event company, and management company, Fresh epitomizes what it can look like to do it all and be an artist.
Topics we explore include: What Fresh has learned from working with Kendrick Lamar, giving yourself a 'grace' period while preparing for a career in entertainment (and learning as much as possible in the process), when to work without monetary compensation, the many hats he wears and how he does it all, the significance of leaving his home environment to go to college, dealing with the loss of peers, branding for himself and others, his first experience working for Will.I.Am, what motivates Fresh, and much much more! We also have a segment where I ask fresh to give impromptu coaching to one of our team members in the room and it is AWESOME!
Welcome to episode 147 of the DanceSpeak podcast with Ray Basa. Ray is one of those unbelievably fly dancers who is equally as warm as he is talented. To keep it so real, this episode does one of the best jobs we've done so far at keeping the conversations as real AS IF it wasn't even being recorded. And that's what I LOVE.
We talk about everything from freeing up your freestyle, to choreographing on the spot, to finding love, our thoughts on cussing, finding fashion without having to buy new, and more and more. I feel strongly that this episode can apply to all creatives and beyond!
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.