Imposter syndrome will have you questioning your place in the spaces that you dreamed about being in. 💭⠀ •⠀ It’s a lie. 🙉⠀ •⠀ You are capable. ⠀ You’re allowed to learn.⠀ You belong. ⠀ 🙌🏻👊🏻👍🏻🤙🏻⠀ •⠀ Also - you should be at #TAPwcs because it’s f💣ing epic that’s why. Book it nao. 👇🏻 • Also, also. This is from #TAP2017. Look at that baby sleeve. 👶🏻
Together is our favorite place to be. 🥰 Of all the things I’ve held, the best is by far you. But there is just so much to be thankful for, so so much. There isn’t much I can’t find words for, but summarizing our gratitude for this amazing life we have is one of them I struggle with, but I’ll do my best.. 🤞🏻 • We are deeply thankful and incredibly blessed to be surrounded by such a caring community of dancers. 💞👨👩👧👧💞 I think Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday to come before #theopen, the most prestigious Swing dance competitions of the year. Why? Because it forces us out of tunnel of focus, off of the emotional roller coasters and away from the anxiety attacks. 🧐🎢😖All by reminding us that we’ve already made it. We made it the second we said yes to dance. The moment we decided to share an intimate part of ourselves with the world through this incredible art. The day we decided to be a part of a family of dancers. 🤝 • No matter what happens this weekend we are already grateful just for sharing this experience with you. At the end of the weekend, it comes down to the blessings you found along the way not the trophies at the end. Thank you, yes you, for being one of those blessings. ❤️ • 📸 by @tatyana_kizeeva
Cut the jealousy crap. ✂️💩 It’s okay to congratulate someone on the dope stuff they’re doing. You won’t lose your spot in line. It’s okay to admit someone is doing it better than you. You won’t be surrendering the battle. Use their awesomeness as fuel to hustle harder and beat yourself next time. • By encouraging someone’s journey rather than undermining their effort you may just secure a support you never knew you needed. 🙌🏻 But some haters will always be hating’, so then take the Hugo approach and crop dust them as you leave the elevator. 😂🤫💨😵
Honestly, I spent today missing you.. and that’s probably how I’ll spend tomorrow, and the day after that, and all the days after that too. I can’t believe it’s already been 4 months without you. 💔 I find myself running down memory lane any chance I get because I know that’s where I will find you. 🏃🏻♀️🛣 • Today we pulled your winter sweaters out of the closet. 🧣🐕 Your sister (my moms ChiChi, not actually her sister) needed something warm and I knew you wouldn’t mind her wearing your favorite one. Every time I see her in it I think about all the times we used to zip you up inside our jackets to keep you from shivering. I think about all the nights you would snuggle me close to keep me from shivering. ❄️🌙 • Anyone who has lost a loved one knows that you don’t recover. Call me silly, it’s just a dog, I don’t really care what you think.. she was my baby for 14 years. So instead of recovering, one day I’ll learn to incorporate her absence and memories into my life and channel my emotional energy toward loving another dog. And eventually, that grief will walk beside me instead of consuming me. As for today - today I’ll be one with the overwhelming grief because it’s the closest I can get to being with you.
It’s time for some #realtalk, there are going to be haters. Little ones that act big. Ones that twist the lipstick tube with the lid still on. 💄🤦🏻♀️ Ones that purposefully step on your foot so you die in lineup of a toe amputation, but they swear it was an accident. 🤬 Those haters - they will always be around because they feel powerless without you. They get their power from making you believe you don’t belong and you’ll never live up to the expectation. In reality, they are simply reflecting their own short falls on you. So put on your shade blockers and show up like the absolutely unstoppable queen you are knowing your attention is focused on moving forward!👸🏻Yes, I’m looking at you too boys. We are all queens here whether you admit it or not. • So keep slaying queen! Know that you are influencing and inspiring greatness in others. No matter the hater, kindness always wins. Slay today my queens. 👑
At some point in life we all feel this great uselessness. 🥀 After all, we are just human beings and the world is so big, so overwhelming and untouchable. All we really want is to be a part of something..something we can make and mold. 🤲🏻🌎⠀ • So I’ll let my hair down, take your hand and walk out to the middle of the dance floor with you. We’ll stay in closed position, eyes closed, until every outside distraction melts away and we’ve stepped into a whole new world together. There might be 1,000 other dancers on that floor, but in those three and a half minutes it’s just about you, me and this beautiful “something” that we are molding together. 👉🏻✨👈🏻 • You are a part of something right now. Whether you’re just dancing in your room, building a local community, coordinating events, or traveling our expansive competitive circuit across the seven seas.🌊 So start looking toward yourself to feel the way you want to feel and stop relying too much on others to make you feel the way you want to feel. 👩❤️💋👩 Start contributing today, however small the shred of kindness. • Take the skeleton of our dance and use it to mold the world you desire. 🦴You CAN feel beautiful amongst the ugly parts of life! Just remember it’s not about manipulating the actors in your play to create the right scene.. it’s about improvising and getting in the right frame of mind regardless of how others are appearing on your stage. 🧠🎭 So get out there and ask someone to dance, anyone.. because they are going through some rough stuff too regardless of how they mask it. We are so much stronger when we stand in our own power and dance with what’s around us. 🥰💪🏻 • 📸 Thanks to @tatyana_kizeeva for inspiring me to let my hair down! 😘
Today was the day we became a #thing, more than 8 years ago. Still my best choice. 👍 • We were quite literally hypnotized by each other from first sight. Boarding that cruise ship we locked eyes, got ice cream together and the rest is history… 🚢 🍦💋 • A lot of people ask me how did you know he was the “one” so quickly? Just 3 months of long distance and one visit to Florida later and you knew?! My answer to you is - YOU DON’T KNOW! Future is something you absolutely can not predict. ❌ • But what you do know is that you smile like an idiot when they are happy and what hurts them makes you puff up like a Blowfish in defense. 🐡 You know that their silly habits annoy you so much yet you miss it when they are not around.You know that even when you both are busy doing your own stuff in the same room, the fact that they are just present around you makes you warm. 🔥 • No relationship is good or bad, right or wrong, perfect or imperfect. It’s just yours, however it might be. Something you can call your own. ❤️ • May I always sleep on you at the airport. ✈️ Insist on “doing my makeup” while you’re taking a shower just so you have to listen to my new favorite songs. 🎶 May I always steal your French fries, and kiss the air around your lips to not mess up my lipstick back stage. 😘 May you always find my hair clinging to your hairs like I cling to you when the turbulence hits. 😱 May we always make each other laugh till we can’t breathe about things no one else understands. May we always look back on anniversaries and realize we had way responsibilities and way less love. Happy 8 years baby! 🥂🎉 • 📸 Photo by @tatyana_kizeeva
When failure arrives, and it will. Take a deep breath and remember who the F💣 you are. For real though. Failure has this way of getting under your skin, it boils your blood and whispers that you are a fraud. You owe it to yourself to not listen. ❌👂🏻 • When Hugo and I first started dancing together about 5 years ago we failed. We failed over and over again. (And we still do, don’t let the IG Flex fool you) I’ll never forget what it felt like to place DEAD LAST in our first classic division of 26 couples. 😐 But do you know what we learned from that? That we weren’t working half as hard as we could have been. We learned that there are multiple factors that go into “winning”, not just how technical your dancing is. We realized that if we really wanted this life, we were going to have to fail over and over again and still smile about it. 😃 • Failing means you’re growing. It means you are prevailing! And that my friend is something to be proud of. So what if the blow was so hard it knocked you off your perfectly rhinestoned dance shoes.. brush em off, strap em back on and get back on the dance floor! 🎉💃🏻
Dance is so much more than just reaching the award podium, it’s about the people you meet along the way! 🤗🥰 We are so thankful to have connected with so many movement loving souls like yourself, and now our family is growing larger everyday! • So THANK YOU! 🙏🏻 Thank you for joining our journey on Instagram. Thank you for laughing at our stories and “real” moments. For believing in us even when we don’t believe in ourselves. Thank you for being just as excited about dance and the vast knowledge that is out there waiting to be discovered as we are. Thank you for your comments and for hugging us with your double taps. ❤️❤️ We appreciate you and we love you. Really. I wish we could have you all over for a little #floridavacay and get to know your dance dreams. Oh, and of course some training at @districtdanceacademy . 😜 But until then.. thanks for meeting me here everyday and supporting our journey.
There are ✌🏻 things you are in total control of in life are your attitude and your effort. 💯
Each dance event we attend creates it’s own little world that can never be replicated again. 🌎 A place of spiritual safety and growth. Filled with the warm greetings of old friends and the exuberance of new friendships. A world of new experiences and vast learning opportunities that might just shape you into a totally new you. 🌱☀️🌈 • @tapwcs is one of those events for us. From the second you walk through the hotel doors you feel a sense of home. 🏡 The day-to-day pressure of expectation is gone and you are free to be exactly who YOU want to be. No judgement, no glass ceiling just a family of movement lovers supporting each other in every way they can. 🙌🏻🥰 • I’m going to share something not everyone knows about us. We nearly quit dancing two years ago. Like completely cut the cord, getting 9-5 jobs kinda “quitting”. 🔌🚫 It was a tough time in our journey, but the week before #TAP we decided to throw ourselves into a different dance world as a last effort to reignite our fire. 🔥 • As you may have guessed, it worked! We learned so much, much more than can be conveyed in a paragraph but the #TAPFam could see it.. the glisten in our eye and the gears turning in our minds and they asked us to share it you! ✨⚙️🧠 We were nervous at first because solo dancing isn’t our forté, but the opportunity to move others the way the classes we attended had shaken us was an opportunity we couldn’t say no to. And guess what?? We are ecstatic to announce we will be doing it again this year at The After Party 2019! 🎉🥳 • So here’s to another incredible weekend where I know I’ll find myself swallowing the lump in my throat as I pull my suitcase down the hall for the final time. Every day that’s the last day of a dance event is so bittersweet. 💔 Good bye hotel, goodbye generous community, goodbye beautiful city...We finally get to go home, but before we do we must say farewell to a world that may not be the same when we return next year.
You can’t get to the result, if you’re afraid of the experiments. 🦠❓🧪 It sounds so simple, but seriously, take a moment and think about it... How many times have you been in class working on something and thought, 👉🏻“That doesn’t feel natural, it just feels weird” 👉🏻“That’s too tedious.” Or my personal favorite.. 👉🏻“Well so-and-so doesn’t do that and they win anyway so I’m not doing it either..” • These phrases are the ultimate face palm moments for your instructors. 🤦🏻♀️😱🤯 I’m going to let you in on a little secret here.. EVERYTHING feels weird the first time you do it. (There is a joke in there somewhere) • Move forward with your vision, expecting provision! Don’t allow the hard work and small set backs to make you step back. Despite how small your progress, it’s still progress. Focus on your focus, and create a fire that will fuel the upward battle. 🔥⏫👊🏻 • 📸 Thank you @tatyana_kizeeva for helping us experiement in our photo shoot! Working with you was like a dream, 30 stories above Ukraine. ❤️😍 I hope you guys are ready for all the amazing visuals she created!
Hey anxiety! Look at me now! 😎 . After 8 years of dancing West Coast Swing, teaching and running a studio I’ve finally taken some time to reflect on my journey and realize.. and I mean.. REALLY open my eyes and realize. My dance is so much more “me” when I take a deep breathe, reconfirm my trust in my bad-ass-ery (sshhh, it’s a word) and take that step out of my comfort zone. . In dance you can either choose to let your fears consume you, overwhelm you and control you - or you can take risks, trust in practice and go do the things you’ve always wanted. Whether that’s finally getting that routine on the floor, nailing that spotlight final dance or just finding the time to jam everyday...The dancer in you and everything else you’ve been dreaming of are waiting for you... just one step outside your comfort zone.
Teachers don’t expect perfection. ✨Teachers expect accountability. 📈 They expect you to go home after your lesson and drill until you can’t get it wrong. They expect you to take responsibility for your own journey, and stop making excuses about why you can’t.They are waiting for you to stop blaming the system, the rules, the youth, the clothing... they are betting that one day you’ll push through the thoughts that hold you back. 😤💭 Will today be that day or are you going to wait for tomorrow? 🤷🏻♀️ . The #USOpenSwingDance is only 10 weeks away! Even if you’re not a competitor this is the most exciting and inspirational time of the year for our sport! Find your drive, look forward to the challenge and embrace the struggle because it’s only temporary. Tag a friend who needs a little push today. 👊🏻😘
It’s been a little over a month now since you left for #rainbowbridge. 🌈🐕💔 Not a lot has changed since you’ve been gone and I won’t lie.. I’m still not really okay, but I’m looking forward to the days when your memory brings me warmth without heartache. . I had my first dream about you last week. You know, one of those semi-lucid dreams you used to have where you’d run with all fours, bark and even open your eyes! 😴🐾😂 Yeaaahh.. it was that good. I woke up swearing I could feel your velvety fur on my skin and I reached for you but you weren’t there.. . I think of you every time I walk past your leash hanging on the kitchen wall. I see you in the back seat of the car, on favorite pillow on the couch, sprawled out still half under the blanket on my bed long after we’ve gotten out of bed in the morning... . I see your favorite sunning spots while we are practicing and I crave the feeling of your sunshine- warm embraces when we take a break. ☀️ The worst though, is coming home from a long international trip so ready for the comforts of home, but then realizing I will no longer be greeted by your loving bug eyes. . I miss you casually strolling through our classes checking everyone’s footwork and making sure the follows out of rotation always had something to do. 😜 I miss having to push you off of my damn shower mat when I’m getting out of the shower. I miss carrying you to bed every night. I miss the way we would fight about who would get to snuggle you at night, pulling you from one side and back to the other, but you would just lay there like a wet towel so content with all our love. 💋❤️🥰 . One month ago I would immediately pick off any piece of your hair I would see on Hugo’s shirt, but now I cherish it. Sometimes I just stare at it imagining your still with us. Im truly dreading the day I can’t find those tiny hairs everywhere. I can’t bring myself to clean my car, I don’t want to wash our favorite snuggle blankets, I can’t move your food bowl.. I just hope you’ll come visit me again soon in my dreams. 🛌 💭
Dear dancers, here’s an important one. You👏🏻do👏🏻not👏🏻need👏🏻anybody’s👏🏻permission👏🏻to👏🏻dance. . Maybe you didn’t receive this kind of message when you were growing up. Maybe your family was terrified of dance in any form. Maybe you were afraid of what your friends would say. Maybe no one in your family had ever danced before..so why could you? Forget about it. 🧠🚫 . Some of the dances that people have created across the centuries are absolutely sublime, but a lot of it isn’t. A lot of it is just people messing around for the fun of it - making their dance a little smoother, creating smiles with friends, building a bigger community, or just twerking in the corner. And that’s fine too. 👍🏻😜 . We dance because we like dancing. So give yourself the permission to let loose today and groove babe ❤️✌🏻😎 . Thanks Jason for letting loose with me. I don’t know why we ALWAYS draw each other, but I’m not going to lie.. I like it! 🥰🙌🏻 Fresh News: Hugo and I will be back at Michigan Classic 2020!🎉
The higher you go up in life👆🏻 remember to be twice as grounded 🌎, twice as kind 🥰 and twice as willing to help someone else in their dance journey. 👣 Building a local community is about so much more than just sharing our passion for dance. Take a look at this check list and see if you’re doing everything you can to help build up your dancer friends! 👊🏻🙌🏻 1️⃣✔️ Be vulnerable and transparent. Mustaches and all! 👨🏻 We all look up to people we idolize and without realizing it, we are telling ourselves they are better than us. Be mindful of this around other people and the way they may perceive you; let them know that you are human and also have flaws and suddenly it feels possible for them to achieve as you have. 2️⃣✔️ Encourage resilience. Knock backs are inevitable for everyone. There is not a single person in this world who hasn’t failed at something. But words of encouragement will really help someone find the strength to give it another try. 3️⃣✔️ Help them break through tough barriers. Are you good at footwork variations? Do you know how to predict the phrase perfectly? Many people feel nervous when they aren’t good at something but with the right support they leap through the hurdles! 4️⃣✔️ Affirm their strengths! Who doesn’t love being complimented?! As humans we work so much better with positive reinforcement, yet it’s so easy to put ourselves down. When your #WestieBestie is doubting themselves, point out all the awesome qualities they are overlooking.
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! ✨👊🏻