i. I work as a:
Choreographer / Dance Instructor specializing in Latin dance styles such as Salsa, Bachata, and other international infusions. Teaching to old and young, in schools for teenagers, couples getting married, as well as ongoing weekly classes.
ii. I do this creative work because:
I love to connect, create, explore, educate, and find healing through movement and music with my clients. Seeing their journey grow as artists who feel inspired through music and movement is the greatest reward I feel my work can give.
iii. Personal qualities that help me in my work are:
Being able to stay flexible, (and I don’t mean just physically), open-minded and adapting to people as they illustrate their vision of how they would like their event to come to life. Also thinking outside the box, experimenting with movement by listening to each instrument in the music, and letting choreography flow through the body.
iv. The greatest challenges around doing this work are:
Being an artist, your schedule / personal life is all across the board. Learning how to manage your time, and not become a workaholic. Balancing many projects and serving many people can get tricky at times, especially when you love what you do. Being mindful of taking time for yourself, not spreading yourself too thin, and enjoying the simple things with the ones you love are crucial when keeping balance.
v. Creative childhood hobbies:
Dancing in the rain, on a mountain, by the beach: anything with nature, music and movement, I was all in! Learning how to read music, play the piano, flute, saxophone, percussion, taking voice lessons – these were all crucial in helping me to connect more deeply to music when becoming a choreographer. Taekwondo taught me discipline at a young age – to hold myself accountable in so many areas of my life and to stay grounded.
vi. Other creators who inspire you:
Celia Cruz, Celine Dion and Jennifer Lopez are three women I look up to as strong, successful, hard-working, talented women who have made such a positive impact in this world through their gifts and strengths. Karen & Ricardo, a couple who dance Salsa, blow my mind every time I see them perform on stage. Their dedication to the art is remarkable.
vii. Training that has helped me in this career:
Classical styles such as ballet, jazz and contemporary are the backbone of becoming a top notch dancer. Learning about the culture and rhythm of Afrobeats, hip-hop, Latin styles, Middle-Eastern, and other international sounds from local studios, mentors, and workshops around the world have helped me to become a better artist. Can’t deny it: Oprah, Ellen and Mrs. Lowes (my Grade Five teacher) have helped in teaching me the importance of self-development and with their life long lessons around becoming an artist and entrepreneur.
viii. A common trap that can hurt people in this career:
Never think you have reached your peak and are good enough to stop training. As dancers, media and social influence on what we hear and see can grow our egos exponentially. Always stay humble, know your worth, but always be ready to grow no matter how much life experience you may have.
ix. Some proud career moments:
To have the opportunity to perform with incredible talent across the board, both locally and internationally.
x. If you want to work in my field, I suggest that you:
Begin by taking a dance class with an instructor you love and who inspires you. Stay consistent with your weekly training and train hard in the styles you love. Make friends in your studios and dance centres to stay motivated and to hold each other accountable in your learning. Join a performance team to gain confidence in showcasing your talent to the world. Then start teaching your own class and blow them away.
xi. A professional goal I have for the future:
Create an online dance and health platform for dancers who are looking for resources to help them get stronger in mind, body and soul. Learn how to stay toned and eat clean as a dancer. To perform your best, you need to feel your best, inside and out.
xii. If you want to see my work, go to:
Or come to a class!
Header + Final Photo:
Photography: Michelle Koebke
Photography: Michelle Koebke