Episode 114 of DanceSpeak is here. Hold on tight to those jazz slippers as we whisk you away to the origins of jazz dance. Not the ballet-based lyrical, not the thrash thrash to the Britney Spears, but the roots... the lesser known story.
You might have met Moncell on episode 103 as I interviewed him more broadly on his background as a professor of dance whos been on faculty at some of the top universities in the country. (Please know that he would probably cringe at my emphasizing his being a professor, he'd probably say something like "I'm just a person"). One of the ideas that we spoke about after was interviewing him on the origins of jazz dance.
I always wondered why I didn't learn jazz dance to jazz music. Where was there a disconnect? Did the two art forms happen to have the same name? These questions and more are answered here. In this episode we start digging into the past, honoring those who came before us... especially to my dancers, dance educators, and choreographers, let our appetites to learn who came before us be an insatiable one.
Podcast 113 - Lindsay Ducos - Training at an elite level. Finding your freedom. The 20's and the 30's.
Episode 113 - Lindsay Ducos (Chris Brown, P.Diddy, Beyonce, and more) is the second installment in a two-parter packed with knowledge, experience, things that might make you blush, and lessons that can be applied to any field.
Lindsay keeps it authentic as we talk about getting grown in the dance world (aka the transition from the 20's to the 30's), the box that women can be put into with professional work, balancing her dance career during her time as a student at UCLA, how to say no on the job, when and how to push yourself on the job, what training looks like for her at this point in her career, RECHARGING, navigating self-doubt, what P.Diddy taught his dancers about freedom, the creative process, and well... more!
Listen, rate, review, share with a frand. This episode is an intimate conversation between two people and we are happy to share it with the world, let us know what YOU got from the conversation and subscribe!
Podcast 112 - Lindsay Ducos PART I. Paris to Cali. Ice-skating to Dance. How to Stand Still In a Fast-Paced Scene.
We are surely starting off the year with a bang! Credits include a plethora of high-end work, including dancing with artists such as Chris Brown, Pharrell, Justin Bieber, Ciara, and so many more. She's a dancer's dancer, intellectual AF, and humble foreal foreal.
We had to do this as a two-parter as the content of our conversation was so rich and works through so many years of life. Part 1 covers Lindsay's multicultural background: moving from Paris to the U.S. and between NorCal and SoCal. Linsday opens up about her dynamic early years as an ice-skating, unstoppable child, and the choice she made to change focus as she entered her teen years.
Lindsay's confidence and vulnerability make her immediately easy to connect with. We talk about bullying, how to stay confident regardless of surrounding energies, how anxiety can have a silver lining, failing upwards, and a discussion around not shrinking yourself for others.
Listen, enjoy, rate, share. This podcast is intended to be an EXPERIENCE. Unfiltered, unapologetic, and loaded with LOVE.
Podcast 111 - Setting Your Rates. Breaking Through the 'Comparison Game'. Dealing w/ Insta-Bullying. Why Nicole the Pole says "age don't mean sh*t."
Nicole the Pole (Episode 105 guest and dancer for Cardi B., Bruno Mars, Snoop Dogg, and more...) and I sat down to share with you some real-time soulful conversations that put us both on the spot with the how we work through what can feel like the 'messier' side of life.
We created this one for you as the year was coming to its end and we wanted to give you (1) our truths of where we have struggled this year and (2) access to converting what can feel like a breakdown into a badass breakthrough.
Some of the areas we explore are the ways in which we compare ourselves and how to get out of demeaning oneself, letting go of needing to push 1000% all the time when you are tired, my own insecurities that I've dealt with around podcasting (yes, I just wrote that), setting our rates, where Nicole (who is also Nicole the 'Soul Coach') has made herself feel less than, confidence vs. arrogance, dealing with harsh communication on social media, and really truly getting to be your best self through it all.
Listen, soak it up, share with a frand, rate, review, and less us know what you got from this!
Kassy Francis, Texas West, Alexis Avila. Here are three dynamic dancers who have worked in the entertainment industry and also choose to give back using their artistry and leadership. We get into the depth of the WHY, as these women sit with me after a long-day of putting on an event for their organization Dream Complex.
We start by discussing Instagram feeds, authenticity in movement, community dance, a conversation on why dancers might not always speak up, professionalism, and then dive into who the women in the room are, balancing industry and non-profit, and motherhood (yes, THAT!).
Welcome to episode 109 of the DanceSpeak podcast with Taylor Thomas. Credits include Justin Timberlake, Pharell, Snoop Dogg, and more... way more.
Taylor sits down and opens the door to her experiences in the dance world as she discusses her 3 biggest breakthrough career moments so far, and one of the most heart-wrenching industry experiences that many go through but most don't discuss. It becomes immediately clear to me why Taylor thrives on and off the job and what keeps her working in this highly competitive field (once you listen, you'll understand).
We gush over industry and teaching veterans, connect on a human level, and I believe once you listen to this you will feel like you have gotten a unique insight into Taylor's mind and journey. You may even find yourself... deeply inspired.
Listen, subscribe, share, and enjoy!
Podcast 108 - Brittny Sugarman - Running Multiple Businesses While Dancing on Film/TV... Make-Up Artistry and Co-Founding DANCEKIT
I've been running into Brittny Sugarman for the decade that we have both been in Los Angeles. I always knew Brittny was a 'booker' as she's worked on films such as Pitch Perfect 3, Ghostbusters, Footloose, and Nickelodeon's Fresh Beat Band to name a few.
What really caught my eye with Brittny (besides her unreal fulloutness and plié in second) was when I learned that in addition to being a legit dancer and makeup artist, Brittny started a brilliant business as the co-creator of Dancekit (basically it has the necessities for dancers who are training hard, auditioning tough, performing...). So, of course, I had to sit Brittny down on the DanceSpeak couch and learn about her whole life.
While the first 40 minutes of the interview go through thriving on camera, what makes the great choreographers consistent in their getting-hired, things you want to know when getting your make-up did, starting a f*ckin business and more... we also couldn't help but get human AF, do a shot, and talk about life, friendship, and expectations for the last portion of the episode.
This episode delivers on tactical information for the career and also appeals to human conversations about being a PERSON before career drone.
Enjoy, share, and subscribe!
In 2015 my career was building the momentum I had worked so hard for. Opportunities seemed to be flowing when I received one of the hardest pieces of information to digest. I learned I was sick with Lymes' disease; a condition that can be chronic and that the medical industry still has much to learn about. It was one of my biggest fears to be 'knocked out' from my dance career. At the same time I learned one of the greatest lessons, which I spoke about at Jojo Diggs' Im-Power-Meant Event: The Power Of Sitting On The Bench.
This episode covers the recording of the first time I shared so openly about my experience with the illness and the way it ultimately shifted my career for the better. The talk is followed by a Q and A where I answer questions around balance, energy maintenance, and my background as a personal trainer. I get vulnerable in this one, and after 3.5 years of having others open to me on the DanceSpeak sofa, I thought it was time to share this vital piece of my journey.
Other episodes to check out with this one are episode 97 (a panel from the Im-Power-Meant weekend), episode 91 (Jojo Diggs: Deepening Your Relationship with Self), and episode 15 (the original Jojo Diggs interview where she shares about her unbelievable journey with dance).
Original Im-Power-Meant Episode:
Podcast 106 - Flii Stylz - From Richmond CA to Conquering LA, Creative Directing for Chris Brown, and Thriving In the Long Term
With all of the topics that we covered, I really struggled to settle on a title for this episode. Flii Stylz is the man who has auditioned the people who dancers currently audition for. He spent years as the choreographer and creative director behind Chris Brown. He came to Los Angeles decades ago as a member of Housin Authority (who’s members also include Rich N Tone Taluega).
With credits that include Usher, Missy Elliot, J LO, Gloria Estefan, Michael Jackson, and more…way more… Flii knows the ins and outs of greatness. Although the dance world might know him primarily for his signature movement and artist credits, Flii is also an entrepreneur, recording artist, director, father and wears enough hats that it is straight up jaw-dropping.
Topics that we cover include Flii’s upbringing, what it was like move to Los Angeles in the 90’s, observations on the hardest working entertainers he has met, why his movement stays… FLY(II), how he wears so many hats, what fatherhood means to him, key ingredients to his success within dance, his process in choreographing for artists, mistakes (yes we go though), and… well… more, so just listen to the episode because it’s jam packed with gems.
Podcast 105 - Nicole 'The Pole' on Booking Cardi B, How to Get Your Money Together, and why NO Industry Is Oversaturated
Welcome to episode 105 of the DanceSpeak podcast with Nicole 'The Pole' Williams! Also known as Nicole 'The Soul Coach' Williams. Yup, not only is she is a renowned pole dancer who you may have seen dancing for Cardi B, Rihanna, Miguel, Snoop Dogg, Ludacris (and more), but she is also a certified life coach that will make you feel like you are listening to a TED talk.
Of the many topics we explore, Nicole extra wow'd me with her view on why she doesn't see any industry as oversaturated, in-depth talk about finances (I promise it's not boring), how TF she started her pole career at an age where many dancers think they need to retire (and she's STILL working), owning her own dance studio, how she manifests work, being body positive even if your body type isn't 'on trend' and MORE!
Listen up, share with a frand, open those ears, SUBSCRIBE, and enjoy!!
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.