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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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.


26

The Girl With the Tree Tattoo - Katie Flashner

Samantha Stout | October 14, 2020

Katie Flashner discusses her experiences as a Pro-Am Smooth competitor and her blog, "The Girl with the Tree Tattoo". Katie and Samantha discuss the difficulties in navigating the teacher-student relationship, the perception of dancing tattooed, the benefits of solo practice, and how to find motivation at the finish line.

Katie Flashner is the author behind "The Girl with the Tree Tattoo" blog, as well at the "Dance Diaries" and "The Solo Practice Guide for Ballroom Dancing". She also has won numerous awards as a Pro-Am competitor in American Smooth.


25

Preventing Dance Injuries - Maria Hansen

Samantha Stout | October 07, 2020

Maria Hansen and Samantha discuss the importance of understanding movement and alignment for ballroom dancers and dance instructors. Maria explains how her training through the CHEK Institute and the Baricchi Institute inform her coaching style, and they discuss the difference between external and internal awareness. Maria also breaks down her winning showdance routine, the infamous "Toilet Paper Dance".

Maria Hansen is a 7-time US National Professional Ballroom Finalist, Ohio Star Ball Showdance Champion, current NDCA adjudicator and judge, a certified Postural, Correction, and Movement Specialist through the CHEK Institute, and a co-organizer of the Vegas Open.


24

More Than Just Shoes - Ilia Kolosov

Samantha Stout | September 30, 2020

Ilia Kolosov is the major distributor for the Aida Dancewear Brand in the United States. He discusses how he became "the shoe guy", what sets Aida apart from other shoe brands, and why its so much more than just the sale that keeps him going. Ilia and Samantha chat about the challenge of authentically connecting with ballroom dancers at events and what pushed him to become a life coach.


23

NBC Dance - Nick Bloxsom-Carter

Samantha Stout | September 23, 2020

Nick discusses his dance experience from Cotillion to SYTYCD. Nick breaks down the behind the scenes differences between the production of the different commercial dance TV shows he has been a part of, his experience dancing for UVU, why cross-training has been so important to his dance education and why the ballroom team wasn't for him.

Nick Bloxsom-Carter has been dancing and teaching for over 15 years. He is a graduate of Utah Valley University with a bachelor's in dance and business, and has performed with many local dance companies including The Vibe Touring Company and Utah Metropolitan Ballet. He is most well know for his performances on Dancing with the Stars, making the finals on Live To Dance and making the top 20 on So You Think You Can Dance Season 9.