Welcome to episode 99 of DanceSpeak with Dancer/Choreographer: Kaity Martinez. Kaity originally graced us with her presence in 2016 as episode 8 of DanceSpeak. At the time, she had clearly found her brand, her look, and was on a path to thrive in the dance world.
Fast forward to 2019 Kaity has worked with some of our favorite artists and you may have seen her on Lipsync Battle but that journey was not without unexpected bumps in the road. Kaity speaks openly with us about a major scare she endured in 2016 when she injured her knee at the end of the year. This takes us into a conversation around how to ground yourself and re-create one's identity when your passion/career is on the line. We then go into how Kaity made a comeback after her injury and the mentality and steps it took for her to bring her dance dreams into fruition.
This episode is intended to inspire, while uncovering the realities that many dancers face in their journeys. We hope you enjoy!
Podcast 98 - But is it Hip-Hop? A no-holds-barred conversation on the appropriation of hip-hop with Jade 'Soul' Zuberi
Welcome to episode 98 of the DanceSpeak podcast with Jade 'Soul' Zuberi. The title basically says it all. This episode is dedicated to Hip-Hop. More specifically, to how the term 'hip-hop' is used in educational/studio spaces. The use and misuse of it. The 'why should we care' around it. This episode is truly a discussion between your DanceSpeak host (Galit, woot woot) and Jade. We even left in some of the parts we thought we'd need to edit out.
Hip-hop deserves to be talked about in a way that honors its heritage and we dare you to listen to this episode with open ears and heart. With love, we ask anyone who consumes hip-hop in any manner, to consider the conversation. Episode 98 here we go!
Podcast 97 - Im-Power-Meant Panel: Defining Happiness, What TF is Success, What Makes Good Art and More
Welcome to episode 97 of the DanceSpeak podcast where we deliver you a recording of a panel discussion from Jojo Diggs' Im-Power-Meant weekend in Los Angeles. The panel includes Jojo Diggs (Jabbawockeez/Diggs Deeper), Myself (DanceSpeak, WNBA), Luis Almario (Physical Therapist/Dancer), Pamela Health (The "Yes" Coach), Dana Wilson (La La Land) and Jade "Soul" Zuberi (Winner of Body Talk 2019).
The panel is really more of a cypher panel where we exchange ideas and address unanticipated questions. Topics include: the pressure of the pursuit of happiness, why certain people don't make it and others do, the question of what success looks and FEELS like, what makes good art, and a discussion around the success ceiling that the dance world can experience in comparison to other entertainment forms such as film.
Our discussion is raw, present, and intended to spark conversations. The "cypher panel" which you're hearing is part of a larger entity, creative soil (more info can be found on Instagram @creative_soil).
Jade "Soul" Zuberi
Podcast 96 - How A Dancer Took Over One Of The Greatest Studios In Los Angeles - Teresa Espinosa On Preserving the Debbie Reynolds Legacy
Holy Moly! We are up to episode 96 of the DanceSpeak Podcast and this time our episode 52 alum, Teresa Espinosa, is coming through for her second interview. She is on an unimaginable journey the world could've never expected to take place! Am I excited enough?
A little background... Teresa Espinosa is a veteran dancer and choreographer with credits that include Magic Mike, Britney Spears, Janet Freakin' Jackson, and... so many many more. So... yeah... Teresa is a big deal and yet she's very humble. Flash forward to 2018-2019, Teresa is now the owner of the widely respected Debbie Reynold's Studio now known as Debbie Reynolds Legacy. This is the studio where Michael Jackson rehearsed for Thriller, and decades of venerated dancers have learned and rehearsed.
At the end of 2018, the dance world gave a tearful goodbye to the physical Debbie Reynolds studio, as it was torn down for construction, in spite of the efforts of Teresa and the dance community. Here we are in 2019 and the Debbie Reynolds Legacy is being hosted in the space of Starwest Studios, Burbank, CA.
I have been beyond curious about Teresa's journey since we last spoke, and in this episode she sits down with DanceSpeak at the new space and shares with us openly, vulnerably, with inspiration brimming on the edges of her words!
Podcast 95 - From Broadway to LA, How to Show the Industry What You're Made of with Dominique Kelley
Welcome to episode 95 of DanceSpeak with Dominique Kelley. He's done Broadway, he's toured, he was in Disney's the Princess and the Frog, he's danced on film... and on your favorite TV shows, he's got wit for days, and will warm your heart. With over 25 years under his belt as a professional, Dominique is the epitome of a seasoned dancer.
Topics that we explore in this episode include: what some of the pillars of a successful career are, what Dominique would be doing if he wasn't a dancer, the choice to go to college as an artist, training as a young professional dancer, getting unstuck around inspiration, what a proper jazz dance education looks like, Dominique's rare love for auditions, audition advice for dancers, transitioning into becoming a choreographer, dance activism, negotiating on dance jobs, tips on getting specific around the work you want to book, advice on working with professional kids and teens, the gems that can come out of rejection, and more!
Welcome to episode 94 of the DanceSpeak podcast with Peter Pinnock: an influencer who aspires to inspire. Peter shares how he's made his career his own and the journey that has lead him to the opportunities he has today.
Peter is as open and conversational as one can be as we dive into topics that include overcoming injury, recommendations to those considering traveling as a dance teacher, views on what his generation wants for dance, his dreams as a dancer, booking work before having representation, and more.
Also, we talk about love, dating, and all that good stuff. After all, dancers are people too... right? Trust, we had fun on this episode and did not hold back one bit!
Episode 93 delivers a candid and poignant conversation with last week's guest, Amy Allen (Usher, Chris Brown, Britney Spears, Aaliyah, and more) and her mother, Betty Allen. As our interview with Amy was coming to an end, we found it impossible to ignore the fact that her mother, Betty, was in the room with morsels of insight to share.
The conversation starts with a simple question: "what would you like to acknowledge Amy for..." and flourishes into a talk around opinions, nature vs. nurture, and the darling dynamic that occurs between a parent and their child (which is now a grown woman, but still... we are all someone's child). Trust, it was informative and precious in such a way, that it demanded an episode of its own.
Following the episode is a motivational and personal segment from your host, Galit Friedlander
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.
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.