Ballroom Chat Podcast

By Love.Live.Dance

Our podcast focuses on casual long-form interviews between Samantha from Love.Live.Dance, a Salt Lake City dance studio, and her weekly guests from the dance world.

Podcasts cover a number of topics, including the history of different dance styles, interviews with dancesport athletes, judges and coaches, general dance industry news, and even tips and tricks for both beginner and expert dancers. A great source of dance industry information for beginners and professionals alike.


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36

Clarity is Power - Izabella Lewandowski

Samantha Stout | January 20, 2021

Izabella Lewandowski sits down with Samantha to discuss why intention and mindset are so crucial to success in business and dancesport. She reflects on overcoming self-doubt, her love of the Latin dance style, and the importance of having a great support team.

Izabella Lewandowski is a former US National Professional Latin Finalist, US National Professional Showdance Champion, World Professional Latin Showdance Finalist. Along with her husband Thomas, she is now a Los Angeles Region Representative and owner of several Fred Astaire franchise studios. She is also a coach, judge, and choreographer.


35

All Things Dance Vision - Wayne Eng

Samantha Stout | January 13, 2021

In the first episode of Season 2 of Ballroom Chat, Samantha sits down with Dance Vision founder, Wayne Eng to discuss the growth and future of his company. Wayne talks about his personal dance journey from student, to instructor, to studio owner, and why he found the business side of dance more intriguing. Samantha and Wayne discuss the future of the Dance Vision syllabus with regards to the Smooth and Rhythm styles, the global expansion of the Smooth syllabus, and other projects currently in production. Also discussed as part of this episode; the Amateur Championships at USDC 2021, certifications for dance instructors, flooring, and a hybrid approach to Emerald Ball 2021.

Wayne Eng is a former Professional Latin Finalist. In 1992 he founded Dance Vision, and in 2001 he launched the Dance Vision syllabus (formerly referred to as the DVIDA syllabus). He is currently the Executive VP of the American Ballroom Company, the Competition Director of the United States Dance Championship (USDC), and a Co-organizer of the Emerald Ball.


34

Reflecting on 2020 - Amanda Wolf

Samantha Stout | December 30, 2020

Amanda Wolf returns to commiserate and reflect on the unexpected challenges the dance industry faced in 2020. She and Samantha discuss the potential rebound of the wedding sector, the tough decisions facing professionals right now, and the reasons why ballroom dance is an important part of everyone's lives.


33

Jesse Goodnight and Samantha catch-up and reflect on how their college ballroom career set them on the path to becoming Professional Ballroom Dancers. Jesse chats about his fond memories as a member of the Fairmont State Ballroom Team, and the challenges of adjusting to teaching as a career. He and Samantha compare notes on navigating student interactions, and Jesse discusses his behind the scenes experience of getting a dance competition ready.


32

Lead with Enthusiasm and Joy - Anna Shahbazyan

Samantha Stout | December 02, 2020

Anna Shahbazyan discusses how psychology and dance are intertwined and her philosophy for following joy. Anna and Samantha chat about working with children on the Autism spectrum, and why its important to look at every dancer and every partnership as unique. She provides insight into what catches her judges eye for Latin and Smooth dancers, and gives tips on how to navigate emotion in dancesport both on and off the floor.

Anna Shahbazyan is a Professional Smooth and Standard dancer. She was a Blackpool finalist in American Smooth, and a Rising Star vice-champion at Ohio Star Ball. Anna holds a Master's Degree in Psychology and is the owner of AS Dance for Autism. Her work teaching dance to children and teens with special needs earned her the 2016 NDCA Community Service Award. She is also the co-organizer of the City Lights Open in San Jose.


31

The Man behind the Ohio Star Ball - Sam Sodano

Samantha Stout | November 18, 2020

Sam Sodano discusses the origins of the Ohio Star Ball and the adjustments being made to keep it a safe event during the pandemic. Sam and Samantha delve into his own dance journey beginning at Arthur Murray, striving to put a focus on personal education and betterment, and the evolution of his understanding of the teacher-student relationship. He also provides insight on what he wishes more professional instructors would avoid doing with their dancesport students, and how it can't be all about the business in order to be successful.

Sam Sodano is a legendary figure in the US Ballroom Dance world. He is a former North American Latin Champion, the organizer of the Ohio Star Ball, an adjudicator, judge, and lecturer. He created the World Pro-Am Dancesport Series, the Fordney Foundation, the Best of the Best Dancesport Challenge, and is the co-organizer of such events as the Arnold Youth Dancesport Classic, Holiday Dance Classic, and the Atlanta Open.


30

Just have Fun - Jago Ayllon

Samantha Stout | November 11, 2020

Jago Ayllon is the man behind Utah Salsa and has been a member of the Salt Lake Salsa and Bachata community for over 15 years. Jago and Samantha discuss the intricacies of the Salsa style of dancing, how it differs in approach from ballroom dancing, and how its focus on fun and play make for an inclusive social dance experience.


29

When in Doubt, Focus Out - Marisa Hamamoto

Samantha Stout | November 04, 2020

Marisa Hamamoto shares her journey and the struggles she overcame, from being an Asian American ballet dancer, sexual assault and rape in her teens and early twenties, suffering a spinal stroke and facing paralysis, and facing harsh rejection from the ballroom dance community and dance entertainment business. She and Samantha discuss the important questions ballroom dancers and studio owner should be asking of themselves, and steps that we can all take toward a more diverse, inclusive, and equal dance world.

Marisa Hamamoto is the creator of Infinite Flow and Scoops of Inclusion. Infinite Flow is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit and professional dance company composed of dancers with and without disabilities, using dance to promote inclusion and innovation. Scoops of Inclusion is a short film and learning platform led by multi-racial dancers with and without disabilities, empowering kids to celebrate differences and take part in creating a world where we each feel we belong.


28

She's Got Rhythm - Ksenia Stavrica

Samantha Stout | October 28, 2020

Ksenia Stavrica is a current Professional Rhythm Finalist. She discusses her journey from dancing as a 10-dance Amateur in Russia to a Professional Rhythm competitor in the States. Ksenia and Samantha discuss the cultural differences in ballroom dance instruction between the two countries, and Ksenia's learning experiences as a teacher.


27

Finding Her Way Back to Dance - Donna Edelstein

Samantha Stout | October 21, 2020

Donna Edelstein discusses her journey from ballet to ballroom, and how she found success as an adult in the sport. Donna and Samantha also discuss the importance of putting your own stamp on your dance style, lessons she's learned as a ballroom commentator, and what sets her competition apart from the rest.

Donna Edelstein is a former Pro-Am Champion in Standard, Latin and Smooth. She went on to become a Champion Professional dancer in Smooth and Standard. Donna is currently a coach, judge, adjudicator, invigilator and commentator, as well as the owner of The Snow Ball Dancesport Competition.