Too often we judge ourselves rather than acknowledging our accomplishments and quirks. 👩🏻⚖️🏅 When I used to watch my videos I was constantly criticizing myself for what I “should” be doing and also judging myself for specific traits (such as being an active follower, a shy performer, ect.) Well, long story short — even though being a good competitor means being critical of yourself, acceptance of your own unique traits is important! 🥰 For example; a shy performer might not have that room controlling connection with the audience, but they will have an unbelievably trusting connection with their partner. Shifting our #perspective so that we can recognize the things that we HAVE accomplished rather than constantly comparing ourselves to others and letting go of the feeling that we “should” be doing more is crucial to your happiness in dance and life. . Remember, most of your stress comes from the way you respond, not the way life actually is. Adjust your perspective and all of the stress is gone. 👓 Rather than being frustrated with yourself for not being able to nail that turn sequence how about taking a moment to appreciate how the challenge will help you grow and learn faster in the future. 🌱 After all, It is just an illusion.. things that look difficult can turn out to be quite easy while simple things are often be quite hard.
Don’t “fake it till you make it”. 🚫 That’s garbage advice. 🗑 Face it till you make it. . Get up. Work hard. Fail. Stand back up. Face it again. Do a little better. Fail again. Get back up. Repeat. 🔁 . ...Or don’t get back up. 😂 But whatever happens, don’t forget to laugh it off and enjoy the journey. No goal is worth it if the journey there is miserable. . Thanks @tashina.dance for always making the journey a total blast. Next time I’ll help you up, I swear. 😂🤪
The best way to deal with your fears is facing them so you can blind them with your highlighter 💎 and while they’re blind you might as well cut them with your contour. 🔪 . 😂 For real though. Fear is the worst. Silence that annoying voice in your head telling you your too old for a Pro-Am routine, too out of shape to win, too shy to perform...Stop running from it because you can’t defeat what you’re running from. Turn your cute little self right around and rise up like the boss you are and high kick some b****es. Then, take out your earrings and deal with what’s been haunting you. Like seriously, deal with some stuff.. Stuffing only makes you look ridiculous, and you are not a piñata! . You’re welcome. 😝 Anytime you need a pep talk to get your life together you know where to find us. Just over here being the straightforward-but-with-love coaches you’ve always wanted 😘💋 . Thanks Jesse for being a shining example of how to rise to the occasion and face the stage lights with impenetrable courage and confidence. You are an inspiration to us all! Looking forward to many more velvety-smooth dances together!!
My dearest Hugo...❤️ Thank you for choosing to share this life with me. I know that day after day we have to make a conscious decision to continue loving each other to the best of our ability and you never fail to show that love to me. From the days when I’m exploding with things to say to the days when I’m processing so much I can’t find my words. Regardless of the hustle and bustle, the hardships, the pasts left over guilt and grudges you always find a way to hold my hand (even when I don’t want to 😜) and let me know we’re doing this thing together. . Some days I wish I could go back to the beginning knowing now something I didn’t fully know then... ✍🏻 The most beautiful aspects of a relationship aren’t often the pretty ones. . The most beautiful ones are when we fall asleep holding hands after the longest day of lessons or when we hold each other when we are crying. The days when we are “board” at the house and the days we find new grey hairs together! The moments when we look at each other and without saying a word instantly know the entire dialog. The most glorious part of our relationship is what we’ve become while standing next to someone who never doubted our strength.💪🏻👫 . To the courageous lovers out there, never underestimate how powerful your presence is in the journey of your beloved. ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜
There is never a good time to say goodbye to your fur babies, but this goodbye came entirely unexpected. It brings me an incredible amount of pain to announce Chloie Cloud passed away last Wednesday (7/31) afternoon in the comforts of her bag all snuggled up waiting for us to come home from lessons. She lived an incredible 13 years full of adventures, dances and so much love thanks to people like yourself. When I was 14 years old and had my first chunk of hard earned money I told my mom, Teri, I wanted to get my very own puppy! Since I was young we always had a house full of animals but I never felt like any of them were truly my responsibility. Somehow I convinced my parents to let us get yet another dog and off I went searching for the perfect Chihuahua. I found a family who had one liter of puppies who were being raised in their home with lots of love. When I sat with the liter of 5 and put them all on my lap there was only one who snuggled up between my legs and stayed for nearly an hour while we spoke with the family and that was how my Chloie Cloud chose me. This one 8 pound creature was full of more love and empathy than a lot of humans on earth. She would always greet everyone in classes and lick your hand raw saying hello. Always letting you know she was a part of your lessons by moseying through your review video. She was my shadow, and was only truly happy when she was between Hugo and I. She didn’t have a care in the world as long as she knew she was with her pack. Hugo, she was so lucky to have you. Even though you were only there for 8 years of her life you two created a bond that was unbreakable. I’ll never forget the first night you slept over she chose to snuggle you instead of me! She wasn’t your dog, but you always loved her like she had been forever. Her life was so much more full because you were a part of it. It hurts so much knowing we will never get to fight over whose night it is to snuggle The Chlois. She’s the only thing that could lay between us ❤️ I can’t say thank you enough to every single one of you who helped me show her a spectacular life. I mean this ChiChi did it ALL, more than many people do in their lifetime!
If some students are unresponsive, maybe you can’t teach them yet... But you can love them. And if you love them today, maybe you can teach them tomorrow. ❣️❣️❣️❣️❣️❣️ In memory of the one student we wish we could teach tomorrow. Carmen you were always ready to be taught, but we’ll never feel like we got enough time loving you.
Life is way to short for you to waste one second worrying about what people might think of you. ⏰🙅🏻♀️No matter what you do, someone will always have an insecurity that will cause them to feel upset by you. It’s okay, just love them anyway. ❤️ You’re not going to fail because someone has a negative thought about your life, your dancing, you fashion.. or whatever else they may talk about. The real question is, what are you thinking about yourself? . Your purpose needs you to stay fully engaged with remembering the truth about who you are and why you chose dance. You’ve got no time to waste wondering what people might think. Just get out on the floor and be you! ✨👊🏻
💬 “He's part hippie and part drill sergeant. Both of these energies play a big role in the space he builds in a classroom, where teaching is seen as a creative practice and mutual respect and positive mindsets are central.” . Creative practice and a positive mindset..you can’t have one without the other. Who cares if your creation is weird, awkward or heaven forbid not good enough.. just do it. Don’t judge it, just let it flow. (That’s the hippie speaking ✌🏻☮️) Dance improv in your kitchen, make up a car-jam routine in traffic, make a video dancing with your friend. And then do it again, and again.. and then again. Don’t stop. Don’t take a moment to listen to that inner voice nagging at you that you’re wasting your time. Just keep moving your body to the music. (That’s the drill sergeant 💪🏻) My best best routines and Jack & Jills always come from a place of no stress, no pressure, completely warm and self loving places. How can you love your art more? . Check out more about me and my adventure from the perspective of Dana Ray! A beautiful writer, community builder and event director. Every now and again. After a long stretch of dance weekends that may have been overall great, but something about them just didn’t have that spark that touches your soul, or the fullness you get after really building new friendships and lasting memories. Then comes along this little event called #CampWestie.. I’d never even heard of such an event before, but I’ll tell you it rocked me in ways I wasn’t ready for. If you’re looking for a laid back weekend full of bonding experiences with other dancers, delicious food, wilderness and learning you’ve got to be there next year. . 👕 Clothing by @lululemon https://campwestie.com/blog/hugo
Okay, let’s talk about what no performer wants to talk about. That mind numbing, body crippling sensation we call FEAR. It’s a song with only one note - STOP 🛑 No variety to it, no depth, no substance, no texture..just a non-stop loop of STOP, STOP, STOP! But how do you get that annoying song out of your head and become present in the moment with your partner in JnJ? . I’ll tell you, the most common question we get asked is do you still get nervous? And every time I chuckle and say “Abso-freakin-lutely!” Seriously though, you never stop getting nervous.. except those super alien-beings who were never programmed with stage freight. It’s all about learning to manage your fear. It might sound crazy, but you have to make space for your fear to co-exist with your creativity. You see, creativity and fear are like conjoined twins - creativity cannot take a single step forward without fear marching right along side. This is why we have to be careful how we handle our fear, because when people try to kill off their fear, they often end up inadvertently murdering their creativity in the process. So don’t start a war with your fear, make space for it. Plenty of space...If you can relax, fear can relax too. 🔪 🌈 . Fear to me is a lot like Roberts blindfold in this dance. He knew this challenge was coming and he could have dwelled on the discomfort and allowed his inner voice to rant on about all the negative outcomes that it could cause. Instead, he sat down, took deep breath (literally) and let his fear stretch its prickly legs and get cozy. That space he created for his fear of the unknown created an equal amount of space for his creativity to cultivate a dance that was just as spectacular (possibly even a dash more so) than if he hadn’t been wearing the blindfold at all. . It isn’t always comfortable or easy carrying your fear around with you - but it’s always worth it, because if you can’t learn to travel comfortable alongside your fear, then you’ll never be able to fulfill those magnificent dreams of yours. And that would be a pity because you have treasures hidden within you - extraordinary treasures - and so do I and so does everyone around us. (Continue in comments)
My soul is tied to yours, not because you are my anchor, but because you are my wings... 🦋 My sweet sweet darling, I adore you. ✨ . Costume by the one and only @hiwiredesigns 📸: @ariel.ariphotography
Game changer. 💡 . If you’re feeling stuck, gratitude. If you’re feeling frustrated, gratitude. If you are feeling lost, gratitude. . Since our mindset runs our life let’s feed it stuff we actually care about. Not how many events everyone is traveling to on Instagram. Not care worthy. Not the points we want so other people will validate us through our fleeting achievements. . What are the small things that really matter today that you take for granted? Notice them. Be mindful of them. Find the small things to savor in life... . Get out of bed and feed yourself free from an image that you’ve put on yourself. Gratitude sets you free because it brings truth to the forefront. Even though you are hustling for more, don’t forget to savor the bow. 🏆❤️ . 📸:@bradfordwhelanphotography
The dance is what's happening in my heart and my mind; I want to take people on a ride with me when I'm dancing. Be moved to tears or laughter or whatever because it connects you with your own experiences. That's the goal of a performance: to bring you with me. . Raise your hand if you’re one of those dancers who forgets what you had for breakfast, but can remember that cool move from 3 months ago? ✋🏻 That’s 110% me today. . I was sitting in the living room drinking my morning caffeine fix (Dr.Pepper of course) scrolling FB and was totally shocked to find myself there on my screen perfectly summed up in a blog, by Dana Ray. ❤️ A few months ago we spoke on the phone sharing dance visions for the upcoming weekend at Camp Westie and she asked if she could write about me for the attendees.. but MAN! I never ever expected this. You’ve truly out done yourself Dana and I feel so honored. Thank you for taking my passion, my story and aaaall my #extraness and displaying it in such a beautiful way! Read the blog: https://campwestie.com/blog/stacy . Don’t forget to check out #CampWestie in April! An intimate intensive weekend in the Forrest of State College, PA!
Bravery Amor - 7 whole years today we’ve been blessed with a life next to this warrior princess. 👑 Happy birthday to our #BabyBrave 🎂 She defines fearless with her fashion. Destroys boundaries with with her confidence and leaves an everlasting memory on those she meets through her tenderness. 💕 She will tuck you into bed when you’re not feeling well, sing you a song so you won’t forget her when she’s gone... oh, and says “No offense” when including you as one of those old people with denatures!😂🤦🏻♀️ #mannersfirst We are so proud of the young girl you’re turning into. A life full of unicorns, secret diaries, fart slime and short shorts... what are we in for this coming year?!
After 8 incredibly long months of negotiations, construction, and a ton of help from our community, we are ecstatic to announce District Dance Academy has cleared inspections and will be opening for business this Tuesday! 🎉😍🍾🥳 (Dec 18) • Our life-long dream is finally coming to fruition and we are thrilled to invite you through the doors of our new dance haven! District Dance Academy is a gorgeous 11,000sq ft studio with three separate ballrooms and two dedicated private lesson rooms waiting for you to fill them with the joy of dance! Our first party will be #WCSTuesday this week and also the TBWCSA dance on Friday. • A large part of the vision behind the creation of our studio was to design a schedule and a staff full of not only great dancers, but first and foremost INCREDIBLE instructors. DDA will not only offer a complete leveled track of West Coast Swing classes, but all the dances you could ever want to learn! We have 13 incredible instructors to bring you West Coast Swing, Shag, Ballroom, Lindy Hop, Salsa, Solo dancing, Zouk, Yoga, Fitness and Kids classes!! • We are overflowing with excitement for the opportunity to truly transform the Tampa dance community and put us on the map for top of the line training and of course the warmest, most encouraging community atmosphere there is! Check out our website (www.districtdanceacademy.com) and download our app to see our full schedule and enroll in your very first class! • Photos of the studio and plans of our grand opening party coming soon!
It’s officially here, the sale of the year! Avoid those crazy crowds and long lines and order your Instructional Digital DVD Download! But hurry! This crazy deal expires Monday (11/26) at midnight! Follow the link to shop at our online store! 🎁 Use Coupon Code: BOGO50 http://www.shop.hugoandstacy.dance
You’re dearer to me than all the bats in all the caves in the world. 🦇🦇When we’re together, darling, every night is Halloween. 🖤🖤
🚨@DistrictDanceAcademy UPDATE🚨 We can not thank you all enough for all your support! It has only been 23 days since we started our Go Fund Me campaign for #BuildTheDistrict, and we are ecstatic to announce we have ALMOST reached our goal! We need just $220 more and Laura (all the way from Seattle!) has said she would like to donate the final $2,000 to meet our goal! 😱🎉😍 Will you be the one to help kick us over the line?! We are offering exclusive District Dance Academy t-shirts, bags and water bottles as a gift for your donations! ▪️ We are so so close to getting the doors open; the classes, the syllabus and the instructors are all geared up and ready to get this dream machine running! We hired a new general contractor on Monday, and he has already helped us pass 2 of the 5 inspections needed to start business! Thanks to him we should be able to get the final 3 inspections by the end of next week and could be ready to open as soon as November 12th (but we won’t know for sure until the inspections are passed). We are confident this contractor will be reliable and speedy in his delivery and we are so thrilled to be seeing real progress. We are just itching to get all of our new classes open and throw a HUGE grand opening party in early 2019! ▪️ Truly, our hearts go out to every single one of you who have helped us in this journey, even if you couldn’t donate or join us for a painting party... all of your words of advice, hugs, phrases of encouragement and overall positivity have helped us endure this roller coaster journey! We are so grateful for this beautiful community we are a part of.. thank you! ❤️❤️❤️ ▪️ Donate and Share! https://www.gofundme.com/build-district-dance-academy
🚨Dance Family, we are calling for your help!🚨 Building up our local dance community has always been a priority for Hugo and I.. there is truly nothing more rewarding than bringing people together to free them from their daily worries, build their confidence and give them a skill most thought they could never do. Traveling the world and teaching international is absolutely wonderful, but it pales in comparison to being a part of a dancers journey from their first triple step, through the ups and downs of success and failure and finally to reaching their goals. . For years now we have dreamed of creating an academy that could shape anyone into the dancer they’ve always wanted to be. A safe atmosphere where you can be who you want to be, with world class instructors who are dedicated to helping you reach your goals and push you past the limits you thought you had. We always thought we would start making this dream a reality a little later in life, but our community has grown so much over the past 3 years (YAY!🎉) we’ve grown out all the available spaces for hourly rent in town. Which FANTASTIC, but it meant we either have to stop growing our community or we had to find our own space! . Low and behold, we found the perfect warehouse space just down the road from our current location! We had several months of rent saved up, and were fortunate enough to gain several loans to help with the buildout and renovations. Everything was going perfect, but of course new adventures don’t come without a few rocky paths! We were warned that this would not be an easy task, but nothing could have prepared us for what was to come before we were even open for classes. 😬 . We were told the buildout and permits should take no more than 8 weeks to come, but here we are almost 6 months in and we still aren’t able to open. Over the past 5 months of building, working on permits and clearing inspections our general contractor has taken our money and lied to us about materials that should have been delivered that never were, missed countless deadlines and finally the big whammy... When we were checking with the city about our permits because the ... (rest of text in first comment)
Why is it so hard for us to all grow together? This quote might be a little crude, but it’s time for some #realtalk. 💩 Can you imagine all that we could be if we didn’t see each other as only competition? We all have different backgrounds, skills, and platforms of gaining information.. what if for once we all combined knowledge and inspiration?! We’d make a SUPER DANCER! 😂😜 Okay, maybe not.. but the point is if you help someone else up, it lifts you up to! • Competition is not bad - as long as you don’t let it run your decisions, tamper with your journey and cloud your thoughts. There is enough room for us all to grow. It’s okay if you slip up, some times we have to check ourselves..SOMETIMES we need a friend to check us while we watch our divisions Finals!! (Tag your #WestieBestie if you’re with me 😂🙋🏻♀️😬) • Being passionate about your progression and feeling frustration from the uphill battle is normal! But next time you don’t make that final, next time you don’t make the workshop cut, next time you don’t place as well as you’d like... Check yourself for your own mistakes and hold yourself accountable to your own progress instead of cutting down your peers and their hard work. Kindness is free to give, and it feels just as good to give it and it does to receive it. • Be vulnerable for those who look up to you, encourage resilience, help each other break barriers and affirm one another’s strengths.
Six months. Or six years. Time... It comes and it goes. I’m happy to feel it’s strangeness and joys with this human who reminds me to hold kindness to myself and ambition beyond my comfort level. ❤️⠀ ⠀ ⚫️⠀ ⠀ This is us after every single competition. Straight back to the room to recharge our introvert batteries and analyze our performances. We are each other biggest cheerleaders because we are our own worst critiques. Competition is a double edged sword...There is always room for improvement, but will you allow yourself to see your improvements while still holding yourself accountable to growth?? 💪🏻
This little snuggle bear is my home away from home. 🐻😍🏡 If you’ve ever been to one of our classes you’ve seen her just like this..She waits patiently, always watching us practice, always listening to us teach, silently reminding me to take time for MY needs. She is my reason to go enjoy the sun when it’s so easy to stay in the ballroom all day. ☀️ My recharge when I’m feeling emotional drained from sharing my passion day in and out. 😶 My reminder to stop and chase the squirrels every now and again.. 🐿 You’d think after years of traveling over 40 weekends a year that the homesick bug wouldn’t bother you much, but it somehow finds a way to creep in. Nothing could ever replace the absolute joy and fulfillment we feel from helping build so many communities around the world. It’s truly an honor to be a part of so many dancers journeys. 🙏🏻 I am just so thankful to have the best little fur-baby you could ever ask for to soften the heart ache of being away from our own hometown dance community. 💔🛫 What do you do to help you feel more at home during your long travels or multiple dance weekends?
As we head out to Sweden today for what is to bound to be an incredible weekend at SSSC with lots of soul feeding friend time and many hours of creating,learning and sharing this dance we all adore... I couldn’t help but realize we really do live in our own little fairy tale. ✨🍄🧚🏼♀️ And it’s certainly not because our life is perfect. It’s because we choose to see the blessings. The truth of who we are and what we have set out to share with the world. Who we are raising our students to be, how to love their bodies and feel confident enough to express without care. I choose to remember the sound of their laughs as they connect with someone on the social floor for the first time, the way their voice shook as they said, “Thank you, for giving me the inspiration to train my hardest”... I choose to memorize the way they smile when I tell them they’ve done it just right! We choose to live in each perfect moment.. and that’s how you create a fairytale. What small moments make your life feel like a dream come true? 📸 Thanks to @lecia_m 👚👜 Thanks to @lululemon @lululemonmen @lululemonfashion
Life has so many twists and turns, sometimes those curves come so fast you couldn’t even see it coming. The fact is, you never know how much time your promised so you’ve got to love hard, dance harder and dream like your going to live forever! Carmen was such an inspiration to everyone she met, such a jubilant soul and free spirit..it was impossible not to adore her. Our hearts ache as we sit in the memory of all that she fostered in the world. A beautiful family, a loving marriage, a growing dance community and all while striving to meet her own career and dance goals. Just a few months ago we were at MADJam working on ProAm routines, laughing till we cried, and she was shredding the competition floor!! It’s truly unfair how fast life can change, so as Carmen would always remind us; “You’re only living for today, so live it to the fullest!” She was never one for backing down to a challenge, all the way to the end she was a beautiful light gleaming with positivity and love for her life. We will never forget your spice and sass, and we will ALWAYS refer to you as the “Saucy-Saucedo”!! Forget resting in peace - Dance until the end of time Carmen! Your essence will live on in everyone you’ve touched along the way. Oh yeah and one more thing... DEEN DEEN DEENEENEEEEE NEEEEE 🎶🎶
It’s bittersweet to know that this is the FINAL 2 DAYS of a project we’ve been pouring our heart and soul into for the last five months. 😭💔 Truly it’s taken the help of a small army of amazing artists and friends to get us to the final round. But now we need YOUR HELP! Just 48 hours left to cast your vote! Will it be 🔴 or 🔵?! Its a tough choice, but you MUST VOTE!! #teamblue 😉 Link to full video and voting in BIO! ▪️ We are going to miss the adrenaline rush of opening our music for each round, running through story ideas like a flip book, contemplating if this idea will read better than that idea, and most of all we will miss the opportunity to make you experience something through our movement. Competition is fantastic, but having a place to create and showcase your art has truly been a dream come true, thanks Douglas! If you want to see Season 2 of the Global Online Open - WCS Routine Tournament be sure to make a donation on the website - it’s a non-profit organization! ▪️ How about we make a deal?! I know you want a tie, but that’s not the way competitions work. So..you go vote, like right now...and John & Ariel and Hugo & I will create a dance short story with both couples!! How’s that for a consolation prize! 🎉😆🎁 (Accepting songs now!) ▪️ From the bottom of our heart, thank you to our brilliant videographers! Somehow you managed to understand our crazy rants, scribbles for scenes and insanely long FB messages. Without you our visions would have never come to life! ❤️✨ @markpenu, @johnmarkpenu, @elias.travers, Mike Sheehan, and Jay Eldridge ▪️ And let’s not forget the incredible artists whom we found inspiration from to dive into cinematic dance videos and story telling.. @keonemadrid @_marimadrid @immaspace @janelleginestra @wildabeast__