Profession: Store Manager
Age: 34
Started Dancing at 27

A few years ago, I had a desire to book gigs with Corporate Party Bands. I had great interest in becoming a performer and wanted to further my education. It was suggested I take dance classes because it could increase performance opportunities for me. When I found Dance 101, I immediately began taking classes. I had never studied dance prior to 101 and never really thought I would be interested in dancing. I occasionally had picked up a book here and there on ballroom, but never really gave it much thought. Which, looking back now, seems really remarkable to me.

When I started taking classes at 101, dance drew me in and gradually took over my life. I’d go straight to the studio after work and take every class offered on the hour (that’s like 3-4 classes every night and on the weekends sometimes 5). I’d literally go home and crash and get up and do it again the next day. And the next. I couldn’t wait to get to my classes and I took everything. Honestly, at this point I don’t think there’s a class or teacher at dance 101 that I haven’t taken. The studio became a second home to me. I’d walk in and the studio pup Coqui, a 13lb Yorkie mix, would greet me with lots of excitement! Even if I’m running late to class, I always stop to give Coqui some love. If I forget, she will follow me around until I notice her. Funny enough, in late 2019, Atlanta Pet Life wrote a feature story on Pets at Work at dance 101 called: All that Jazz and I’m pictured in the story in class with Coqui sitting on my chest!

I worked very hard in my classes and around a year into my dance studies, I started booking small gigs for Corporate Bands. Over time, I booked more and more gigs and actually broke into doing theater. This journey is incredible and has opened many doors for me. I still wake up excited to get into the studio and train knowing that day by day, class by class, I am improving. I am growing. And at any given moment a show is just around the corner. Some people come to dance 101 for exercise, but for someone like me who is interested in the performing side of dance, this is a studio that champions this by offering many opportunities to step out of my comfort zone and try new things. I am a more diverse dancer because of it. I can now walk into another studio, an advanced Ballet class or into an audition with the confidence and knowledge that I am prepared. Some people at the studio think I’ve been dancing most of my life. At the rate I’m going, someday I will be able to say “Yes, I have!”