From The Beginning
My mom, like so many other great moms, put me in dance class at 2 years old. I was instantly hooked. At 6 years old I knew I wanted to be a dance teacher and own a dance studio. At 8 my mom moved me to the dance studio around the corner and that is where I stayed for the next 10 years. The dance studio was in the garage of a house, it was one room with a very small lobby and a weak spot in the floor in the back left corner that we all knew to avoid! I had wonderful, inspiring teachers and some that were not so nice. I excelled in jazz and tap class and got kicked out of ballet class on a normal basis for having a “personality conflict” with the harsh Russian teacher.
I started assisting classes at 11 years old and began teaching my own classes at 13. After high-school, I briefly left dance and thought my path would lead to journalism. After earning some nice awards and college scholarships in journalism I realized I was missing a piece of myself. That missing piece was dance. I promptly changed my major to dance and transferred to San Jose State where I fell in love with dance all over again!
Searching For Balance
I purchased my current studio in 2002, when I was 7 months pregnant with my daughter. Great timing right? Since that time we have expanded twice, started a Ballet Company, Competition Team and non-competitive Performance Company, opened a retail store and many other crazy business adventures. I oversee all of our programs, develop curriculum, train and manage teachers and staff, plan studio events, develop and coordinate all the marketing and I still visit classes twice a month. By far the most important hats I wear, I am mom to Gabby, 17, Christopher, 8, and Frankie who is almost 4 and wife/teammate of almost 20 years to my very patient husband David.
There is a saying, “An entrepreneur will work 100 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week for someone else.” This is so true. I love my job, I can’t imagine doing anything else. Trying to balance all these things is my biggest challenge. I have to admit, I get a little obsessive about my work and sometimes have to force myself to step away and take some time off.
My Life’s Work
I never had the aspiration to be a professional dancer. I knew my calling was in the classroom. I love teaching, better yet, I love mentoring. Inspiring children to do better, to be better is my passion; teaching dance is just the vessel I use to do that. In the 30 years I have been teaching I have had the pleasure of teaching hundreds, maybe thousands of kids and the best moments are always when they grow up and fly the from the nest and I know I have made a difference.
The smartest thing I have ever done is surround myself with people who are smarter and more talented than I am and learn from them every day! I am going to continue doing just that. I have the best team of people next to me. I attribute all of our success to them!
I would like to expand the studio we need more space for dancers to do homework and for parents and siblings to go during classes and I would love to incorporate a coffee/smoothie bar. Wherever the path leads I know I want to offer and give MORE, more life lessons, more impact on our community and more opportunities for kids to achieve excellence! I am forever committed to More Than Just Great Dancing!