The Dance Podcast

The Dance Podcast


Inspired by big dreams, big let downs and authentic conversations with some of North America's most successful dancers; the Dance Podcast is a series of interviews designed to inspire, share and connect dancers pursuing a career in the industry.


#054 Brittany Perry Russell. Dancer. Actress. Mentor.  

The Texas native is known as the "It Girl" of music videos and tours, she has appeared alongside chart-topping artists, including: Selena Gomez, Rihanna, Beyonce, Katy Perry, Chris Brown, Nick Jonas, Meghan Trainor, and many more. Brittany speaks powerfully on what happens when you get fired, how to treated your fellow dancers, and the most effect way to build your career. Perry-Russell has made an incredible transition from lead dancer to actress and can now be seen in Netflix hit 13 Reasons Why! Listen now!

#053 Taylor James. Commercial Dancer. Photographer. Advocate.  

It's been 1 year since our first interview together and now Taylor James helps us kick off Season 2. Taylor speaks candidly about Body Image, Dancer Advocacy, living in Purpose and how all of these have shaped him and how he has experienced this career.   

#052 Season 1 Finale with lessons learned and how to keep moving forward in both dance & life.  

What a year! It's been full of stories, authenticity, advice, lessons learned and a lot of laughter. Lauren shares some of her takeaways from season 1 and what to look forward to in Season 2! 

#050 Vancouver and London dancer, Andrea Dvorak talks about her devastating eating disorder and how she has kept dance in her life through recovery.  

Andrea Dvorak was deep into her Ballet training when she started to struggle with identity, self worth and relationship with food. When she could no longer walk, she knew she needed help. We talk about she was able to deepen her artistry and compassion as she recovered and share some tidbits of wisdom to anyone working through their emotions.... which is all of us, right?!

#049 Sharkcookie, or David Hofman, shares how he has become one of the most popular dance photographers and entrepreneurs!  

David Hofmann, better known as 'Sharkcookie', is a renowned dance photographer with over 600k follows on instagram alone! David shares how he took his career from the movie industry into the dance community, what he believes makes a great photo shoot, and how experimenting and failing is the best thing you can do for your craft.

#048 Dancer & Chiropractor, Scott Maybank, shares the keys to physical success and longevity.  

The best kind of reunion - old duet partners!! Scott Maybank had a late start in his training, but that didn't let him shy away from pursuing the top Ballet schools across Canada. Over his ten year career Scott worked for Ballet British Columbia, West Australian Ballet and the Queensland Ballet, eventually retiring in his hometown of Edmonton after dancing with Alberta Ballet. With the help of the Dancer Transition Resource Centre, Scott is now a Chiropractor committed to helping Dancers feel healthy & work efficiently. From the worst thing you can do to your body, to best physical & mental practices- Scott shares his how to create a successful career with a lot of laughter! 

#047 Jeff Mortensen covers it all Disney's The Descendants to Cirque to SYTYCD!  

Jeff Mortensen is a multi-talented dancer, gymnast, assistant choreographer, and performer. Jeff shares his unique journey through So You Think You Can Dance, to Cirque Du Soleil, to performing and assisting on renowned productions like Disney's The Descendants and Rocky Horror Picture Show. Jeff gives quick and applicable advice on what you can use as inspiration in your career and solid tips when on set!

#046 Casting agent Melissa Panton shares advice & best practices when pursuing & working with agencies!  

Headshots, Resumes, Reels, Agent introductions- we cover it all with Melissa Panton! Although a performer at heart, Melissa was always interested in the business side of entertainment. While building credits as a choreographer in Toronto, she began studying Arts Administration at Humber College, and gathering experience in production, casting, and stage management. Melissa is now the principal agent in Vancouver, BC and gives LOADS of advice about getting and working with an agent!

#045 Ballet Boy, Chris Scruggs, on perfection, finding yourself outside of the studio and why you don't want to be #58 at a Ballet Audition!  

Chris Scruggs is an Alberta Ballet Company member, who shares his love music, movement and people both in and outside the dance community! He started his training with the Maryland Youth Ballet, later attending summer programs with Washington Ballet, Boston Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Chris finished his training at Indiana University, graduating with a dual degree in Ballet Performance and Political Science. Chris opens up about his career obstacles, how to properly audition for a Ballet Company , and what he regrets most in his training. 

#044 Award-winning filmmaker, Tomer Heymann, introduces us to his latest Dance documentary MR. GAGA.  

What is is like to follow an internationally acclaimed choreographer for 8 years? Filmmaker Tomer Heymann shares his latest documentary capturing Ohad Naharin, one of the world's most influential choreographers who created his own "movement language", Gaga. When he was 22, Ohad was invited to perform with the prestigious Martha Graham dance company and attended Juilliard and the School of American Ballet simultaneously. But Ohad was not happy until he could do exactly what he wanted. Moving back to Israel, Naharin became the Artistic Director of the Batsheva Dance Company, developing Gaga within his own ensemble. Listen now as Tomer shares his insights, perspective, and love for both Ohad and the dance community! 

#043 From Selena Gomez, to Kylie Minogue, to Ricky Martin and Britney Spears, Liana Blackburn is a force in the commercial dance scene!  

She has worked for Talyor Swift, Nick Jonas, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Ricky Martin, Kylie Minogue, CeeLo, Michael Buble, Glee, Dancing with the Stars, The Voice, Fresh Beat Band, X Factor, Cirque Du Soleil and many more. Liana Blackburn has been seen dancing in films such as Behind the Candelabra, Footloose and Seventeen Again and performed with Ms.Britney Spears in her resident show “Piece of Me” at Planet Hollywood in Vegas. Liana shares her incredible story from audition surprises to asking for what you truly want. After a scary incident while touring, Liana had to get real about the food she was eating (you mean french fries isn't a food group?!) and start to use food as a source of healing. Liana has now founded The Daily Dancer Diet, an online journal of inspiration and education!


#042 Lukas McFarlane, or #onesock, opens up about winning a reality show, starting a new company and the UK commercial world.  

Originally from Canada, Lukas McFarlane chose to jump the pond and make a commercial dance career for himself in London! His life took a drastic turn when he won the reality show Got To Dance and became famously known as #onesock. So, he had money, fame, titles and opportunities - that should mean happiness and success, right? He opens up about his journey after the show, shares where his career is now blooming with how his company, Untitled, shapes his choices, dreams, and artistry. 

#041 Menina Fortunato is a full-out Dance Entrepreneur and creates events, training and experiences for others to do the same!  

Menina knows, "Talent is such a small percentage of a dancers success". Ms. Fortunato is a Portuguese and French Canadian, who has been killing it in California since 2001 with an Entrepreneurial spirit and taking every obstacle into an opportunity. She can be seen in several commercials for Pepsi with Britney Spears, and Lux Shampoo with Keira Knightly. She has extensive work behind the camera as well in production, choreography and casting on various projects including AMERICA's GOT TALENT, THE X FACTOR.  She is also the CEO of MENINA ENTERTAINMENT that produces music videos, instructional videos, and The Hollywood Summer Tour with the intention to educate, prepare and inspire serious dancers wishing to pursue a career in the commercial dance industry.

#040 Kristina shares how an early diagnosis shaped her dance career and the power of dance in the Public Education system.  

Kristina Eustace was a competitive dancer with dreams of taking her training into a professional career, but a medical diagnosis quickly changed her options. Now, Kristina runs a public education Dance Program and has changed the lives of hundreds of dancers and "non-dancers". We talk about how physical health can change your journey, how politics are a part of dance and schools, and how we can advocate for Dance and grow its value within communities. 

#039 Michelle Dawley talks career visas, job expectations, and how gratitude builds your career.  

You may recognize her name from SYTYCD Next Generation as she choreographed Tate McCrae's audition solo, but that is just one of the credits on Michelle Dawley's list of achievements. Michelle has danced in Sonya Tayeh's company, worked on Glee, tours with Empire of the Sun and has danced with Selena Gomez,  Pitbull, Kesha, Janelle Monae and more! Michelle talks about her visa process, making a long distance relationship work, and how gratitude can build the best career you could dream of!

#038 Pilates trainer, Sharmila Mitra shares her insights from working with some of Americas most recognizable dancers and instructors in Southern California.  
Sharmila Mitra has spent decades working with dancers in both Dance and Pilates studios. Her first Pilates certification was under the instruction of the late Romana Kryzanowska, a protégé of Joseph Pilates, through the New York Pilates Guild.

In 2014, she completed a certification for dance medicine from the Westside Dance Physical Therapy in New York, where she studied with physical therapists who oversee the health of the New York City Ballet and other prominent professional dance companies. She earned a master’s degree in spiritual psychology from the University of Santa Monica, emphasizing in consciousness, health and healing; and dual bachelor degrees in dance and communications from California State University, Fullerton. We talk about how to train like an elite dancer, what cross function training can do to build healthier bodies and what we can do to build an even stronger community of dancers and artists!!!

#037 Currently on tour with Cirque du Soleil, Kevin Mylrea has danced and trained with today's biggest names.  

First introduced to Canada on SYTYCD Season 1, Kevin has danced with today's biggest names like Meghan Trainor, Paul McCartney, and Rasta Thomas. Kevin shares how his dance journey has taken him from Cruise Ships, to Broadway, to World Tours with Cirque Du Soleil. 

#036 The Power of Stories with Lauren  

Whether it is in your training or personal life - the stories we tell about ourselves can launch you forward, or pull you back. So, what's your story? Lauren talks about her own experience with stories and sparks some self-reflection moments to get you closer to your truest, boldest, most awesome self. 

#035 Tyce Diorio is an Emmy award-winning choreographer and director best known for his work on So You Think You Can Dance.  

EMMY Award Winner Tyce Diorio has been a powerful force in the entertainment industry since he was a teenager. Originally from Brooklyn, Diorio moved to Los Angeles to dance with legends like Paula Abdul, Janet Jackson, Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Mya, *NSYNC, Kelly Osbourne, Céline Dion and Toni Braxton. In addition to performing on numerous TV shows and films, Diorio also starred in the Tony Award winning Broadway hits Fosse and Chicago. We talk all about finding you VOICE as a dancer, how to have longevity and how to become a master of rejection!

#034 Gia Martello, best known for the hit TV show, Dance Moms - talks choreography, confidence, and dishes on the work behind-the-scenes.  

Gia Martello is one of the most recognizable Dance Assistance out there. She stars on the hit show Dance Moms as Abby Lee's right-hand girl. Gia shares how her training with Abby differs from what Maddie, Nia and Kahlani are exposed to. Gia opens up about why she chose to go to Point Park University and not attend the dance porgram as well as what she wishes more people knew about the show and her career.

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