Mental Performance and Mindset Educator, MEd, BA, ESFCC.
As a human, you can train three things: your mind, your body, and your craft. Lauren Ritchie has been studying, researching, and educating dancers and teachers on the physical, emotional and mental intricacies of dance. Recognizing the lack of mental skills training in dance, Lauren has created programs and exercises dedicated to educating and empowering both dancers’ and educators’ mental health and mindset to optimize physical and artistic training. From her MEd in Coaching Studies to a BA in Professional Communications, to multiple Yoga certifications and an accredited Art & Science of Coaching Certification, Lauren has a unique blend of education and resources that offer a holistic training approach for dancers.
An established educator, facilitator and speaker, Lauren has delivered workshops to prestigious schools and programs like Harbour Dance Centre, the Alberta Ballet School, the Dancer Transition Resource Centre, Capilano University and The Bridge Program with The Protege Movement. She is the co-founder of the Dance Teacher reTREAT, the creator of Mental Skills Training Teacher Training program and has been a keynote speaker for the Women In Sport Speaker Series, Dance Studio Owners Association, House of Jazz (London), and the Dance Teacher Expo.
Lauren has firsthand knowledge of the attributes required to achieve and sustain peak performance. She was a highly competitive and decorated dancer having classically trained in ballet, jazz, tap and lyrical. After completing her A.R.A.D, Lauren knew she “wanted to dance” but had little guidance and awareness of the true process of transitioning into a professional dance career. This is why Lauren has created and hosts The Dance Podcast; an invaluable resource dedicated to inspire and educate dancers, teachers, and parents through candid conversations with industry professionals.
Lauren’s engaging and encouraging teaching style has inspired dance teachers and students across the country to be their best – mind, body, and craft.
Julie McDonald is co-owner of McDonald Selznick Associates (MSA). She is the pioneer in the field of dance and choreography representation, having formed the first talent agency in 1985 devoted exclusively to dance. While breaking ground by representing her clients across all mediums of entertainment, she became an advocate for better terms and working conditions for dancers and choreographers and devoted herself to raising the visibility of the art and craft of commercial dance and especially choreography. In 2000 she and Tony Selznick formed McDonald Selznick Associates. (MSA). Their clients represent a who’s who in the world of dance and have been nominated for or have won numerous Emmy, Tony, and MTV awards. MSA clients have directed and/or choreographed Las Vegas spectacles, Broadway productions, television prime time dramas and sitcoms, awards shows including the Emmys, Grammys, and Oscars, and numerous films spanning the past three decades. Ms. McDonald co-created the American Choreography Awards (1994-2004), an event honoring choreography achievement in media. She was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Choreographers Carnival and Dance under the Stars Choreography Festival for pioneering the representation of dancers and choreographers. She is on the Board of American Dance Movement a funding organization that builds healthy communities by expanding access to dance and movement. She is also on the Boards of Center Dance Association at the Music Center, and Dance Magazine.
Erin is an online business coach for dance educators and host of the Dance Boss Podcast. She is a Jersey girl all the way, graduated from Montclair State University with a B.F.A. in Dance and received her Masters in Dance Education from New York University. Erin helps dance educators niche down, build an online business, and bring in additional revenue for them and their families. Erin began her coaching journey as a dance education coach, providing resources and training to help dance educators run more successful classrooms. Now Erin helps her fellow dance educators pursue their dreams and start an online business that impacts the masses. To learn more about Erin visit erindpride.com, and you can hang out with Erin on Instagram and Facebook.
Rosalynn Miller graduated from Point Park University, Conservatory of Performing Arts, with two dance degrees in 2008. With a duel concentration in jazz dance and dance pedagogy (the art of teaching dance), Rosalynn, affectionately referred to as Roz by her students and peers, quickly landed teaching jobs at various prestigious dance establishments in the Pittsburgh area. While in college she was Vice President to the student hip hop dance group “Impulse”, first Hispanic President to the United Student Government at Point Park and maintained an apprenticeship through the COPA department all four years of her education. She fulfilled her apprenticeship working as a hip hop teacher for an after school dance program at McKees Rocks Middle School.
In an effort to continue her dance education, Roz attends an array of dance teacher conventions, seminars, workshops and classes to better serve her students and help strengthen the local dance community. The Dance Teacher Summit in New York, More Than Just Great Dancing with Misty Lown and Dance Masters of Pennsylvania are just some of the dance teacher functions she regularly attends throughout the year.
Roz is the owner and artistic dance director of Synergy Performing Arts Academy located in Canonsburg, Pa. Her students perform in local parades and community charity events. The Synergy Dance Company trains and competes at a competitive level. Roz’s choreography has received recognition at both regional and national levels and has received multiple award winning titles. Synergy just celebrated their 10th year anniversary.
Outside of teaching, Roz judges for local dance competitions and talent shows. She has judged for Showbiz National Talent Competition and On Stage America dance competition. She is proud to be one of the founding 15 members of More Than Just Great Dancing, “MTJGD”, with Misty Lown, the PA Charter member of MTJGD, and a MTJGD certified Coach . In 2014 Roz was accepted into Dance Masters of America (Pa chapter 10), Dance Educators of America (Pittsburgh chapter) in 2015, and in 2019 she was awarded “Dance Educator of the Year” by GROOVE dance competition at their Myrtle Beach Nationals. In July of 2019 she was honored to be on the faculty and present business seminars at the NYC Dance Teacher Summit. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and playing with her son, a cancer survivor, Cruz!
Known as one of “Tap’s Leading Ladies” and cover girl for Dance Spirit magazine’s Tap issue, Maud Arnold is a member of Syncopated Ladies and performed in their sold-out full-length concerts in Los Angeles, NYC, DC, and Dubai.
We dive deep into rejection and the mental skills needed for a long, healthy dance career. We pick apart topics like success, hustle and the impact of generosity and service. Maud tells us about the phone call that cleared her schedule and how she prioritizes sharing happiness - especially through her instagram show - Maudcast.
Maud has appeared on ABC's Good Morning America and at Essence Fest in New Orleans after their video covering Beyoncé’s Formation, went viral. Beyoncé shared the video on all of her social media and then hired the Syncopated Ladies to perform at her Ivy Park active wear clothing line launch at TopShop, London.
Maud has quickly become a sought after teacher, judge and performer worldwide. Mentored and trained by Debbie Allen, Maud has taught at Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles and Allen’s Dance Institute in Texas. Further to teaching in the USA, Maud has taught tap dancing and Afro-Funk in Dubai, Brazil, Japan, Spain, United Kingdom, Croatia, Ukraine and Russia.
Maud’s Television Credits Include: BET Experience: 106 and Park, The Late Late Show With James Corden, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, Switched at Birth, Secret Talents of the Stars as a featured dancer with Mya, The Today Show and Syncopated Ladies winning Season 11 of FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance: Dance Crew Battle. Maud can be seen in national commercials and print ads for Toyota, GAP and CANTU and has worked with Beyoncé on several commercials and music videos.
Maud is the co-director and producer of the critically acclaimed DC Tap Festival, pioneering new experiences for dancers and artists worldwide and with her sister Chloé Arnold they were recognized by the US House of Representatives as arts preservers and ambassadors.
Maud is also a female entrepreneur that holds a degree from Columbia University. Further to teaching, she oversees Chloe and Maud Productions and their many entities including their clothing lines: I LOVE TAP and UniLove as well as their tap dance workshops and after school programs.
Maud exudes her passion for tap dancing with her high energy, fun and action-packed dancing.
Lucie is a Chartered Psychologist and has published in peer reviewed articles, spoken at international conferences and worked with leading dance schools and companies across the world.
After tears to both of Lucie’s hips ended her dreams of a professional dance career, she redirected her curiosity and creativity towards a BSc Psychology from the University of Surrey. While there, Lucie quickly developed a new goal; to use her understanding of the science of behaviour to help dancers to navigate some of the challenges she herself had faced. After a year working in the neuroscience of dance, Lucie completed her Master’s and PhD in Dance Science at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. During this time, she lectured in psychology and research methods at a number of Higher Education institutions throughout the UK.
Now a Chartered Psychologist (British Psychological Society) and Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Chichester, Lucie continues to research the psychology of dance and leads the Wellbeing and Creativity in Performance Lab within the Institute of Education, Health and Social Sciences.
Lucie researches the psychosocial underpinnings of optimal performance, including the training environment and significant individuals (such as the teachers/parents) in nurturing healthy dance engagement. Some of her recent research focusses on creativity in the life of a dancer, understanding what it means to achieve not only technical excellence in dance but also to flourish creatively.
Since 2016 Lucie has been listed by One Dance UK, the UK’s body for dance, as a recommended Healthier Dancer Speaker, and has since worked freelance within world-leading dance institutions. Lucie uses her expertise gained as an academic researcher to develop evidence-based psychoeducational workshops and consultancy for performing artists.
This one will leave you wanting more! Dana Wilson is a bright and vivacious content creator, choreographer, and performer. She illuminates everything she crosses from the worlds biggest stages to smallest cell phone screens. She may be best known for performing along side Justin Timberlake (on three world tours and at last year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show), Dana’s feature in Dance Magazine declares her “Anything But A Backup Dancer”. Dana shares her expectations after high school, Justin TImberlake Tour experiences, relationship with her body and the stories around navigating “cool” and “sexy” in LA. She has created an incredible podcast, Words That Move Me, and after this convo - I have no doubt you will be seeking her and the Seaweed Sisters out!
More on Dana:
Most recently, Dana contributed choreography to the Film adaptation of In The Heights, and acted as the pre-production movement coach for Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming Elvis Biopic.
Dana also makes up one third of the wildly original and imaginative group “The Seaweed Sisters” (adored and admired by a wide range of audiences from toddlers and their parents to the screens of Dance Camera West, and the Cascadia International Women’s Film Festival).
Dana has been teaching for over thirteen years, and she is constantly experimenting with new technologies and techniques (like 360 degree video, VR and Drones). She draws inspiration from every corner of the dance world, from street styles to social dances, and Mime to Burlesque. Most distinguishable by her refined yet bizarre style always calling on a healthy sense of humor sure to leave a smile on every face.
Richard Elszy is passionately dedicated to training the next generation of dancers through his technical expertise, and inspiring them with inventive and picturesque choreography. We talk about starting late as a dancer, how he had to work through alignment and his body type that wasn’t technically ideal, the power of using imagery, the nerves that come with sharing his work on social media and online platforms, and Building Blocks of Dance!
“Building Blocks of Dance” is an online dance technique program for teachers. BBD provides strategies and tips on how to make complex concepts relatable to young dancers. This program has successfully inspired teachers throughout the US and across the globe. However these are not the only online tools he has to offer. Richard has become a teaching sensation, offering online Lyrical Dance Classes, which are featured on DancePlug.com and as well has his own “Dance Technique on the Edge” videos available to dancers around the world.
As a Los Angeles bases choreographer, Richard’s classes at the esteemed Edge Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles are a popular place for students to work toward formulating technique into artistry. He has presented numerous works of choreography at Club Jeté – LA’s Premier Dance Showcase, as well as coaching and choreographing dance concept videos featuring Nia Frazier of ‘Dance Moms’ titled “Young Love”, Chelsie Hill and the Rollettes “Be Boundless” and “We Can Together” campaigns and choreographing a TV pilot for TV star and Emmy nominated actress Shanti Lowry of ‘Family Time.’ Richard also travels throughout the US, Canada and Australia teaching master classes and choreography for studios and conventions such as “Immerse Artists Experience” “Movement Dance” “Dance Masters Of Michigan" “Chicago National Association of Dance Masters” and the “Rollettes Experience”. He was also recently awarded the “Believer Award” at the 2019 “Be Boundless Summit” for his choreography work with the” Rollettes”.
Richard’s choreography has earned several national awards, and other accreditations including the 2011 Rainbow Elite ‘Video of the Year’ for “Step Sisters” and nomination for Best Novelty/Character Musical Theater at the 2012 KARTV Dance Awards for “500 Miles.” Richard was recently awarded the Star Award in the Best Ballet/Open Category for his piece “Swim Good” at 2019 Industry Dance Awards in Hollywood. This was Richard’s second time receiving this honor as he was the 2014 winner for his piece “Tornado”. He also received a 2015 Industry Dance Award nomination for his work entitled, “All I Could Do.”
Richard combines his extensive understanding of technique with an innovative choreographic style to create a unique class and coaching experience for dancers of all levels across America and abroad. With his endless yearning for knowledge, Richard is eager to see what journeys he will embark on next, and is enthused by the opportunity to continue inspiring future generations of artists.
Expectations we put on our art and ourselves, how to cultivate our own self worth, embracing the growth and transitions as us as artists and, of course, failure. We cover it all this week with Christie Lee Manning!
Christie Lee Manning is one of the UK’s most versatile performers. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Christie has worked with such artists as Lenny Kravitz, Nelly Furtado, and Michael Buble. She played a lead role in the musical 'Sweet Mystery', and has performed and adjudicated in Brazil for the XXI International Dance Seminar alongside Chan Goh, Monica Proenca, and Karah Abiog. Other credits include the sitcom Package Deal (TV), sci-fi series Warehouse 13 (TV), and Sky 1's 'Got To Dance' Season 5, mentored by Adam Garcia.
Christie has taught all over the world, from New York to Australia, choreographed for the National Lacrosse League, and is also the Creator of Industry Dance Magazine, a Canadian online website for dancers and choreographers alike. She is a member of Lukas McFarlane's contemporary company, UnTitled, and is the artistic director of BODY Jazz Theatre UK.
Stacey Tookey is back and sharing with us current industry conversions and plans, how she has become her own business, the true practice of self care and working through imposter syndrome. After connecting with pre-professionals and professional dancers feeling lost and disconnected, Stacey has created a virtual program called The Bridge where dancers from around the world receive unparalleled training, mind, body and artistry.
Emmy-nominated choreographer Stacey Tookey is a multitalented, Canadian-born director, choreographer and dancer who has worked with legendary musical artists such as Celine Dion, Bette Midler, Justin Timberlake, and Michael Bublé.
Stacey performed as a member of Mia Michaels’ cutting edge dance company R.A.W., New York’s Parsons Dance Project, Ballet British Columbia, ChuThis, and the Houston Grand Opera’s Carmen. She also earned the coveted role as Assistant Choreographer for Broadway’s A Few Good Men Dancin’ and was an original cast member for the entire five-year run of Celine Dion’s record-breaking show, A New Day at Caesars Palace.
Stacey’s passionate pieces on So You Think You Can Dance have earned her three consecutive Emmy nominations from 2010-12. She has also choreographed for Dancing With The Stars in the featured Macy’s Stars of Dance opening number. She choreographed the video for Atlantic Records recording artist Christina Perri’s chart-topping hit Jar of Hearts, as well as Vienne’s She Breaks, and John Torres Ocean music videos.
We talk about body-positive teaching, the impact of conscious educators and the impact of mindfulness within dance.
She trained in the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) syllabus, and has completed their Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies (CBTS). She also trained at the San Francisco Conservatory of dance and performed professionally with Brisas de Espana, a Flamenco and Spanish dance company.
She has been teaching for over 10 years, teaching at both for-profit and not for profit schools and serving a diverse community of dancers. Benicia Ballet School, Community Youth Center, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Sonoma Conservatory of Dance are just a few of the places that have been her dance homes.
She graduated with B.A. in Theater and Dance from CSUEB, where she had the opportunity to add to her training in modern, choreography, jazz and hip-hop from noted Bay Area directors/choreographers Nina Haft, Eric Kupers and Laura Elaine Ellis. Katrena has performed and taught across the United States and Canada including Vancouver, New Mexico, and New York.
She is back for round 2! Her first episode on the podcast, Episode 43, was a bomb of inspiration and love. Liana has worked with everyone from Britney Spears to Ricky Martin to Katy Perry. We loved her so much - we brought her back and this time to talk about her program, Body Language. Over the past few years, Liana has taken her love of dance and movement and brought back into an authentic experience - one that is centered around enjoying your how your body moves, how your heart grooves, and how community connects us all.
Emmy Nominated Choreographer, and International tap star Chloé Arnold was discovered at a young age in Washington, DC by the legendary Debbie Allen. A leading lady of tap, Chloé has performed on stages around the globe and her choreography has been featured in over 50 episodes of The Late Late Show With James Corden, including the hit Crosswalk The Musical, Aladdin with Will Smith, Mena Massoud, and Naomi Scott. Also on hit television shows such as So You Think You Can Dance, Good Morning America, HBO's Black Lady Sketch show, and national commercials/print campaigns for Special K, Macy’s, GAP, Aldo/Refinery 29, and Cantu.
Chloé’s is the Artistic Director & Founder of Syncopated Ladies, an all-female Tap company that are widely known for viral videos that have accumulated over 50 million views. The most successful being their tribute to Prince and their cover of Beyoncé’s Formation, which Beyoncé shared on all of her social media and then hired Chloé and the Syncopated Ladies to perform at her Ivy Park active wear clothing line launch at TopShop, London. Chloé along with her company performed live on ABC's Good Morning America and have had sold-out concerts in Los Angeles, Dubai, New York City and Washington, DC, receiving rave reviews in The New York Times and more.
Chloé is also a female entrepreneur that holds a degree from Columbia University. She and her sister co-founded Chloé and Maud Productions and DC Tap Festival, and co-produced the award-winning documentary TAP WORLD with Hollywood Executive Producer Dean Hargrove.
Other career highlights include winning So You Think You Can Dance: Dance Crew Battle (Season 11), HBO’s The Comeback, recurring role as an Onyx Girl on HBO's Boardwalk Empire, guest performing on America's Got Talent and Dancing With The Stars, a sold-out NY run of her One Woman show My Life. My Diary. My Dance. at La MaMa in New York City, Global Fusion Concert in Dubai, Jacob’s Pillow Dance, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids Easter Bonnet at The Minskoff Theatre, numerous musical productions with Debbie Allen including performing at a star-studded gala hosted by Diddy at the Howard Theatre in Washington, DC.
Let the inspiration flow! We are talking about goals and the complexity of goal setting, how to build confidence and the difference between performative success vs authentic love of the process and so much more. Justin Su’a is an Executive Coach for elite performers. He is currently with the Tampa Bay Rays (Previously Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Browns Organizations). He also travels the country speaking and training various organizations on how to optimize performance and create a culture of excellence. Justin’s clients perform in the NFL, Olympics, WWE, PGA, CrossFit, the U.S. Army and the MLB. He is the author of two books: "Parent Pep Talks: The 10 Must Have Mental Skills Your Child Must Have to Succeed in Sports, School, and Life" and, "Mentally Tough Teens: Developing the Winning Mindset". Justin is also the host of the daily, "Increase Your Impact" Podcast on iTunes.
Misty Lown is a dance powerhouse and entrepreneurial force. Misty Lown is the founder, president and energized force behind More Than Just Great Dancing™ - A licensed dance studio affiliation program that has a positive impact on over 60,000 dance students around the globe each week. She is also the founder of MoreThanDancers.com, an online lifestyle magazine for young people that has over 35,000 visitors each month.
Her dance studio, Misty’s Dance Unlimited, founded in 1998 and named a “Top 50 Studios in the Nation” by Dance Spirit Magazine has provided $225,000 in scholarship for dancers. Misty has been a speaker at the PULSE Teachers Convention, Hollywood Connection, Dance Teacher Web, Dance Teacher Summit, and the DanceLife Conference. She has also been the keynote speaker for the Australian Teachers of Dancing Convention. Misty is on the staff of Dance Revolution Convention, a faith based dance convention, and has authored over 40 industry articles.
She is a sought after speaker and recently shared her business methods as a guest blogger on SUCCESS.com and as a speaker at IF:Gathering Local and the US Army Garrison Woman’s Equality Day. She has been recognized as “Teacher of the Year” by Eclipse, "Outstanding Businesswoman of the Year" by the YWCA and awarded the “Pope John XXIII Award for Distinguished Service” by Viterbo University and the “Philanthropy Award” from the Red Cross.
Misty is an entrepreneur at heart. In addition to her dance studio and licensing program, she owns a dancewear store, a dance competition and a self-storage business. She is the author of One Small Yes and creator the One Small Yes podcast.
A Canadian native and original member of the pioneering dance group Streetscape, Bradley relocated to the U.S. after winning a Canadian Talent Search and top honors at The IMTA Awards in New York and L.A. Choreography honors include an Ovation Award, World Dance Award, and multiple NAACP Awards. Other credits include; La La Land, The Goofy Movie, and World of Dance. Bradley currently serves as Creative Director at Cantinas Arts, is happily married and has three beautiful children.
Bradley has a deep desire to share the spirit, freedom, and power behind street dance culture with the world. As the founder of The Groovaloos, Groove Theory, and Groove Mindset, he uses his dynamic life experiences and powerful analogies from the art form to break people free from self-doubt, anxiety, disconnectedness, and fear. Bradley believes it’s crucial for people to step into who they are designed to be and to bring that authenticity into the circle.
Initially from an academic background, Bradley dramatically switched gears and dove into twenty-five years of street dance culture. He pioneered a movement in Los Angeles that ignited the community, launched countless artists, and positively impacted the landscape for hip hop and freestyle dance in culture and media. Bradley went on to perform and choreograph at the highest levels in the industry from L.A.’s commercial world to New York’s Broadway stages, orchestrating complex multi-layered theatre productions while creating a curriculum and teaching at universities and conferences internationally. His collaborations include the likes of the directors of Hamilton and Jesus Christ Superstar, to orchestrating the story of his crew in their own Off-Broadway show and leading them onto So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing With the Stars, Superstars of Dance, The Wayne Brady Show and Ellen.
From winning the world ballet competition Prix de Lausanne, to hitting the stages with ABT, Miami City Ballet, SYTYCD, and Broadway’s Newsies Alex Wong has crossed over from ballet companies to tv, film, and live theatre. Alex speaks about his resistance to dance at a young age because “only girls dance” to being instrumental in the Boys Dance Too viral movement. He shares how his teachers were the most critical part of his ballet success as well as the multiple, often public, injuries that shaped his career and defined how he moves through life as a person, dancer and artist.
Alex can be seen in multiple roles starting in 2011 including the TV series "Smash" directed by Steven Spielberg, "Glee," and as a semi-finalist on "American Idol." On Broadway, he portrayed Sniper in the original cast of "Newsies" and later in "The King and I." In 2014/2015 he landed roles in NBC's "Peter Pan Live!", "Ted 2" and "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" and a co-starring role in the Starz series "Flesh and Bone." Alex also continues to return every season as a reoccurring All-Star on "So You Think You Can Dance."