All Things Dance Vision - Wayne Eng

Ballroom Chat: Episode #35January 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.

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Episode Transcript

Our transcripts are automatically generated from our audio podcast with only small modifications for readability. Since the transcripts are automatically generated from our podcast conversation, they will contain errors.

Samantha: Welcome back to another episode of Ballroom Chat. I'm your host, Samantha with Love Live Dance. Welcome to season two of the podcast. We made it to 2021. I am so excited to share a whole season's worth of new guests some returning guests and have more wonderful conversations about the dance journey.

So let's go ahead and launch into our first conversation of season two.

Our guest was a professional Latin finalist with his wife. In 1992, the couple founded Dance Vision. And then in 2001, they launched the DVIDA syllabus. He's also the executive VP of the American Ballroom Company, the competition director of USDC and the co-organizer of Emerald Ball. If you haven't figured out already, our first guest of season two is the one and only Wayne Eng.

Well, thank you so much, Wayne, for being a guest on today's podcast.

Wayne: Thank you. It's a pleasure to be here.

Samantha: So obviously if folks are tuning into Ballroom Chat, they are probably well and truly familiar with who you are. But for some folks that maybe aren't as familiar with how you got into the dance industry and how you became the founder of Dance Vision and DVIDA. Can you walk us through a little bit about your personal ballroom dance journey?

Wayne: Yes. It started in the 1980s Saturday night fever, John Travolta. That movie came out and obviously I said, I want to dance like him and go to all the nightclubs and meet the girls. So, in, I walk into a Fred Astaire dance studio, at a guest party, sign up on it, introduction program, started learning the disco hustle, before you, before I knew I was I was at a Fred Astaire studio for over a year, one of the best time of my life dancing, going out to nightclubs meeting girls. And then they asked if I wanted to become a teacher. So, I sign up on a program. They trained me to be a teacher. So, I was a teacher, Fred Astaire studio, in South Bay, California for about two years, then I ventured off on my own

Samantha: okay. And can we talk a little bit about the decision to go from student to instructor to independent?

So. Obviously you walked through the door, you're like, yes, I want to dance like John Travolta, the dancing bug bit. You, what was the decision or the decision point for you to say, I want to go from student to making this potentially career.

Wayne: I believe I was at 19 years old or maybe 20. I was working, helping my dad run his restaurant. I was in the real estate business and I knew college wasn't for me. I went for two weeks and dropped out. That was a quick decision. But when I started at dancing it was fun. It was joyful. I was happy. I looked forward to the parties, to the competitions, to the lessons, to that whole environment.

That entire environment was just energetic, and I was at a happy place. So that's how I made a decision to why not become a dance teacher and see if I can make this a career for me.

Samantha: Of course. Were you teaching and competing at the time that you decided to leave Fred Astaire and go independent? Or were you only competing at that time?

Wayne: I was teaching and competing, so I was a student for a year and a half then became a teacher for, I think a year and a half at Fred Astaire studio. At the Fred Astaire studio is where I met my wife, Donna. That's how we became partners and started dancing in the Latin America. And during that time, it's when we also decided to go open our own studio.

Samantha: Nice.

Wayne: And that was in Torrance, California. And we had that studio for, I would say 12 years. When I first started at that studio, it was independent. I used the name Carol Montez, Ron Montez's first partner If people remember that, that was ages ago, I called it the Carol Montez dance studio, then I changed it to Ballroom Express, then I changed it to Club 2005 dance studio. So that was during that 12-year period.

Samantha: Okay. What was the biggest learning experience or the biggest challenge that you found moving from being part of the franchise studio to going ahead and opening up your own independent space?

Wayne: you though at that time it was good that I didn't have a long knowledge. I just have a lot desire. And I just wanted to do things and so I did not know the difference. I mean, I learned a lot from Fred Astaire. I learned a lot of the way the studio is run, how teachers teach, the whole atmosphere and everything. But when I went independent on my own, it was just pure because I had the desire.

I wanted to own my business. I was always an entrepreneur growing up. So, it wasn't a difficult change for me, it was should I just dove in the deep end? And I was very fortunate and became very successful with the studio.

Samantha: And then obviously that same entrepreneurial spirit led you to Dance Vision and DVIDA.

How did Dance Vision originally start? What was the, what was the idea? What was the goal? What was the place in the market space that you felt, I can go ahead and create a product that's really important to fit this gap that I'm seeing?

Wayne: I remember that day, it was in 1992. There was a magazine called dance, I think dance USA magazine. And on the magazine. There was an ad for video instruction tapes. And that ad was in the magazine every month for two years. So, it occurred to me. You don't advertise for two years unless you have some type of success.

And so that's when it triggered me, I'm running the stand studio. What better way to leverage it to videos? As a supplement and try it. So that was the beginning. I had Ron Montez, Chris Morris, Chuck Bannister, Buddy Schwimmer. That was the beginning. My first video production was for 26 videos. And that's when Dance Vision was born.

And in regard to DVIDA, the DVIDA syllabus, that wasn't, what was it? 2001 that you mentioned.

Samantha: That's when it's credited with at least,

Wayne: Well, so I think, yeah, it was probably the year, 2000 at the airport. I was sitting, waiting for my flight and I have Brian and Susan Puttock flight with me and Brian, just, you know what, with Dance Vision and you, you should create a syllabus.

We could use a good syllabus out there and that's how the syllabus was created.

Samantha: Was obviously I've seen at least two iterations, in in my time as being a professional dancer of the Dance Vision syllabus was the initial DVIDA syllabus or Dance Vision syllabus. Was that a product of the instructors?

Are the dancers that you brought on or were you really the mind behind putting the PA putting the names to patterns, putting the, the step list together, putting everything into that first package?

Wayne: I wish I can take all the credit, but it were the instructors. And I also had Diane Jarmolow. Who was a great assistant in creating the manuals and putting everything together to make sense. Lot of people think I know all the steps, think I know a lot of the manuals. Trust me. My staff knows it better than me.

Samantha: You were competing in Latin at the time. I, I feel like DaVita, at least in the U S is really known for their strong American nine dance syllabus and creating a step list that independent instructors can really dive into for American. Great international syllabus as well, but I feel like the namesake is really for the American syllabus.

What was the decision for you to switch from the style that you were competing in to opening up this kind of American dance? Were you teaching everything at the time or did you just kind of see this open market in American where ISTD was kind of playing around in, but it wasn't, it wasn't a strong suit.

Wayne: Well, the ballroom syllabus has been around for many, many years. There were not too many changes you can make to it. So why, why try to change it? You know, the whole planet is using odd those figures, but with the American smooth and Rhythm is still it's still work in progress, I feel like. And it was a great opportunity for Dance Vision to work on the Smooth and Rhythm syllabus and simplify it. So, the whole world understand our figures and everything.

As a matter of fact, right now, it's for speaking during this pandemic, we have been working very hard on the new update for the smooth and rhythm syllabus, which we hope to bring to you in the summer of 2021. We're very excited and we have put a lot of work and effort with the whole Dance Vision team behind this.

So, we're very excited and we know that when we showed this to the rest of the world, That it will be a very clear, precise, updated syllabus. As you know, the smooth is taking off globally. Everyone is embracing the smooth style. Dance Vision has already started promoting in countries, in Russia, Ukraine. We've been in Trinidad, Greece, and Canada for many years, but we're now just going into Poland, Italy Australia, New Zealand. So, we're very, very excited, but just smooth. So, with the Dance Vision Smooth syllabus on global,

Samantha: yeah. I was actually going to ask you about that. So, I am a huge fan of the, the latest release of the Smooth syllabus. I can't wait to see what comes out in the summer of next year or this year at time of all of you wonderful people listening to the podcast. A lot of what I saw between the old iteration of the American Smooth, and then the latest iteration with Toni and Michael was a very clear connection between the international style and how to break hold to create an open or an open feel in American that still is grounded in that foundation and the technique that makes standard ballroom so wonderful. With the Rhythm syllabus, is there going to be more of a connection to Latin or are you taking, getting an opportunity with the newer Rhythm syllabus to really make a clear distinction between the Latin style and the American rhythm style?

Wayne: We are working to make a clear difference between Latin America like ballroom and Smooth. And Nazar and Irina have been working since summer of this year (2020) . Revising the bronze, silver, and gold rhythm syllabus. She just had a gorgeous baby girl, just a few weeks ago. I'm hoping to get them and here in March of next year (2021) to film the entire new, Rhythm syllabus.

But I think everyone will be very pleased with it. I shared this syllabus with some of the Rhythm dancers and studio owners and they all loved the direction we're going to.

Samantha: Wonderful. You mentioned the fact that DVIDA has really gone global. When I had I believe it was Max and then also with Marzena and Slawek, they mentioned the partnership with SRDS?

Wayne: Yes, SRDS In Moscow. Yes.

Samantha: Can you talk a little bit about that, that project?

Wayne: Yes. I met them Olga and Eldar at, in Dubai in 20. What year are we? 2020, 2019 2018. Two years in Dubai. And that's how the relationship started. DVIDA, Dance Vision has worked out an exclusive agreement with them where they promote the Dance Vision syllabus. In Russia. And we have created a website for them, dvida.ru, we have created professional certifications in Russia.

So we're very excited with that partnership because SRDS is very passionate about the American Smooth, they are one of the major sponsors of a lot of Smooth competitions in the European region. And Their ultimate goal is to make the smooth, the biggest style in Europe. That's their personal goal. And I'm so happy to be working with them on this.

Samantha: Yeah. Obviously historically we think of European countries, especially Eastern European countries as being more set in 10 dance specifically. And especially with their youth programs, pushing 10 dance. Was there, or a moment where that changed or do you think it's just been in a small growing process over many years to gain the popularity that we're now seeing with the smooth dances in Russia and Poland specifically?

Wayne: I think one of the turning points for the smooth in Europe was to and I'll give credit to Jonathan Roberts for working bringing to smooth dancers to Blackpool for demonstration. That was five years ago, I believe that was the beginning of it. And then that started to trickle in to different countries and when the European judges and competitors come to America and watched the American smooth they they'd have to fall in love with it. They love it. They love it's the best of both worlds. I mean, if I was to dance again, I would definitely take Smooth. That's my choice of dance for me. Last few years with the internet we're able, and the social media, we're able to share videos of smooth. And so everyone's been watching it. And so I feel this momentum is growing, growing, growing, and in the next two years, I think it will explode.

Samantha: Absolutely. Yeah, with the, with the growth of the internet, especially with YouTube, the ability to share videos and see videos instantaneously across countries obviously our ability to access dance knowledge has grown exponentially over the last couple of years. Something that I'm very excited about and have very much appreciated both as a dancer and as a professional is the DVIDA app. So obviously we started off Dance Vision with creating DVDs and, and being able to sell the syllabus and dance patterns through DVDs.

Why make the decision to create the app? I mean, I kind of know the answer to that, but I want to hear it from you. And then where do you see the future of that app or emerging technologies tying into ballroom dance instruction?

Wayne: You're right. We started with VHS video to DVD, to video on demand, now to streaming. It's been quite a process and not just ballroom dance, are the forms of you know, sporting everything, everybody going into subscription service membership, apps and everything. the app is not the answer to everything.

App is just an extension of Dance Vision for people to be able to watch the videos on different device, we still have, believe it or not people that still want to purchase our DVDs. Getting back to our Dance Vision, where we gone with the future. We want to provide access to people, to computers, for any device to watch our videos, anytime, anywhere, and to access it easily.

We believe when we produce the video it's from day one, it was never to replace your learning. Dancing, you have to learn with someone live, you have to feel it. You have a teacher To get the benefits and enjoyment. Like if I walk into a Fred Astaire studio and learn from a video, I will not be here. I wouldn't get that benefits and enjoyment, but what a video will do, if you can kind of walk through the figure on a video, you didn't save a lot of time and not, and you also get to watch a lot of technique videos from teachers. You may not be able to be engaged in because you may be in Idaho. You may be in Oregon, in an area where those teachers do not visit a lot. So what we find with studios and teachers and students is our Dance Vision app has really supplemented and help them tremendously. Their learning curve, it helps them save money, save time, especially with the pandemic. When they bring that home, we know that our customers are really happy with our new videos, like in drills, something that you can practicing a small room for 10, 15 minutes, and that's been a big bit hit. And that's what I see Dance Vision going.

By the way to make the distinction between DVIDA and Dance Vision. DVIDA is a producer of all our videos of our syllabus, DVIDA is a teacher organization, like ISTD, IDTA. And our goal is to bring DVIDA global to be one of the largest teacher organizations on planet earth.

Samantha: Well, and I appreciate the fact that you took the second to clarify that because I feel like we use those two, those two terms, Dance Vision, and DVIDA, so interchangeably.

So from a business structure perspective, the DVIDA arm of Dance Vision is really the teacher certification process, medal exams for students, it's related and tied specifically to the syllabus. Where Dance Vision is the app, the drills, the live Dance Vision classes, the competition circuit. Is that the correct separation to be making, or is it a little bit more nuanced?

Wayne: You're right Samantha, you should be working for me. No, you hit it, you hit it right on, right. DVIDA is a teacher organization, an arm of Dance Vision. Dance Vision produces services and products such as all the video tapes, we sell accessories and we created a two years ago the Dance Vision circuit, which has become very big, not just in the USA, North America, but globally, we have over a hundred competitions worldwide that belonged to the circuit. And this was just started two years ago. So I believe that once we get back to the events that we'll pick up again and go globally.

Samantha: Yeah. For

Wayne: And we also have an app. We also have an app for that too.

Samantha: Yes. So the, the app, I, I have yet to be able to take students to a participating event, but I've definitely used the circuit app to check in on friends or colleagues and see their heat list and track their progress at events, which I absolutely love.

With, with the idea of competition circuits. I want to dive into that a little bit more. For Pro-Am students or newer instructors that are trying to prioritize where to spend their money when it comes to events, what events to travel to, what events are going to be the most return on investment, shall we say. What is the benefit to having a circuit and what is the benefit to competing in events over the course of a year in a given circuit?

Wayne: Samantha, as you know, there's more than one circuit out there. There's five or six circuits. I would say to a student who is getting into the competition, I would not choose a competition. on which circuit it belongs to. I think it's early stage, unless your teacher is pushing it because your teacher is in the top six of the leader board.

That would be the only reason for the student to support the teacher. I would feel that if you're a student and you're thinking about competitions first, get involved in the studio, the studio showcase, the studio team match, the studio medal system. Like we have a Dance Vision medal system that. Yeah, a lot of independent studios uses, you know, to recognize you moving from bronze, silver, gold level.

That's why I recommend a student get involve in, because one it will open up to see what type of dancing you like. It will, you will be nervous about it. You will go through the ups and downs and then afterwards you will be thrilled you did it. And so you just, once you start that, then you look at local competitions. If you want to travel to competitions, then that depends on your teacher. Because if your teacher is bringing four or five students, then you leverage into bringing your expenses down to keep your economics down. Also some students like to go to comps as destinations. Some people fly to LA because they may have their kids in LA.

So they get to see their kids, see the LA area. And also dance. So I believe each student, you know, you have to look at what works for you and if your budget is unlimited, then yes, you travel the world, enjoy it. But if your budget is limited, that starts more within local events, then grow into a bigger events. But in regards to the circuit, I wouldn't, as a new student, Pay too much attention to it yet.

Samantha: Okay. Fair enough. I want to pivot just a second. And then I'd like to dive a little bit deeper into some of the other projects that Dance Vision is working on. But one of the reasons why I wanted to make sure that you were my first guest of season two was to talk a little bit about the announcement for the amateur championships, moving to USDC this year.

The amateur titles, except for the formation challenge will be awarded at the September event of USDC in Orlando of 2021. With the intention of them returning to BYU in March of 2022. I wanted to kind of get your opinion as much as you'd be willing to share with the motivation to change that move and the prospect of it moving back to BYU in March of 2022.

Yeah. I'll, I'll open it up at that point

Wayne: Sure, you're not the first one that asked that question. So here we go. The reason we moved the US Amateur championship to you, to Orlando for 2021 because of the pandemic, we do not believe it will be run in March. Lee Wakefield was the one that initiated and say, we don't think it's going to happen. We don't want to cancel it.

We want to try to do something what's in the beginning there were talks about moving it to a separate event and creating about, or even Emerald ball. But I say, Emerald ball, can't take it. We're already running seven days. And I don't have time. I don't have the room space or time and felt perfect to go to USDC, especially we're moving our hotel from the Swan to the dolphin hotel. If you have been to Orlando, those two hotels are opposite each other. You can walk to each hotel within one minute. The fantastic news about this, the Dolphin hotel. It's a beautiful hotel, a ballroom even bigger is 35,000 square foot that we have. But here's the great news. I was able to get another ballroom, that's almost 12,000 square foot ballroom, right next to that 35,000 square foot ballroom for the amateur championships on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, I haven't worked out the schedule. So. Please don't call me because I won't get to that till later.

Probably not until after Emerald Ball. Right. So we're very excited to move to the Dolphin, we have the facility and we have the space to be safe for everybody. So that's, it's space and everything and you're question is where will it go back to 2022. We expect things could go back to be normal, but I guess what we learned from 2020 nothing is normal is it? And keep in mind the youth formation, the junior formation is staying in Utah for March, Lee will be running that. The adult formation will be at the Embassy bar just before USDC. So that will stay at Embassy ball.

Samantha: Switching gears, back to Dance Vision, or, or I should more specifically in this case say DVIDA Obviously Fred Astaire and Arthur Murray have their medal exams.

You can get certified through ISTD through Arthur Murray, through Fred Astaire. Now through DVIDA, as an instructor. What is the importance of as a, an organization, as an industry, really putting weight to those certifications, whether they be student exams or professional exams, what do you see the benefit and the importance of supporting these certifications and, and really seeking out certifications being?

Wayne: Less with the students. I feel that when a student's taking lessons in a studio, they have to have a certain goal achievement and they need to have someone to kind of like monitor them, like beginning Bronze, intermediate, full. So they see their ladder, how they climb to keep them motivated. And I think that's very important to have something.

If you do any type of exercise, fitness class, there's always a milestone you want to reach. If you take karate class or taekwondo, there's different belts. So I believe for the students, every independent studio should have a medal system program because I know Fred Astaire, Arthur Murray, Dance with Me, other franchise studios worldwide has a student system.

If you're independent studio, and I hate to say this, if you don't have a medal system, why are you in the studio business? I bet you, I can walk in there and you're probably struggling being challenged and, and, and not being successful. I hate to say it. It's like that's number one, you have no system. So you're just going day to day, waking up and hoping the best of it.

Moving to the professional certification. I feel we have a lot more to go in our, in our business. In the dance business to elevate our professional teachers, to make sure they're all qualified from beginning to all the way to the top, that they have a system to keep taking continue education, to be better, to be more diversified and to be master teachers.

And you look at other business, other industry, the yoga, the meditation financial planner, physical therapists, even when they go to four years, college, three years graduates one year residency. They don't stop. They still have more certification they can do. So why can't we implement that in the ballroom world.

And that's my goal with DVIDA, to create a path teacher, to create their own path where they want to be. If they want to reach, to be a PhD, to be the top of, we're going to create that path for them. And we've actually, we've been working very hard in our last year with revamping DVIDA. We are very grateful and happy to have Lori Woods, who’s been in the professional dance business for many years to be our senior advisor for DVIDA. And actually we're coming up with some new exams in two weeks time for DVIDA that, that we're very excited about.

Samantha: So, do you think the push, I fully support that and I'll go ahead and out myself. My goal during the pandemic was to go ahead and take my certifications for DVIDA. It's still my goal. I'm still hoping to be able to do it.

I just haven't scheduled it yet. But do you think the push to encourage instructors that are independent or, or require certifications of our professionals. Do you think that comes from the industry itself? Or do you think that comes from the marketplace of educating students that when they we're looking for a studio or an instructor that they should look or ask for the certifications in the same way that you would ask your PT, what, where they got their degree or you ask their plumber if they're certified or your general contractor or your doctor or a lawyer that you expect to see certifications and degrees, do you think that it's a marketplace or an industry or the two combined that need to make that push?

Wayne: I believe it's combined. It's interesting. When you go see an attorney, you really don't ask more than you see it on their wall their certificates and everything. I think every studio needs to have a certificate of every teacher. That adds credibility. I think in the marketplace, it will eventually be that students will be smarter because I think the consumer nowadays are becoming smarter and savvier.

So when they go in and shop for taking lessons, they're going to maybe start looking are they going to be certified because moving forward we're going to want when people look for lessons at Dance Vision or pro DVIDA teachers, we're going to promote, are they certified? That's the first thing every, every customer should ask, are you certified and what are you certified in, how long you've been teaching and when was the last time you've been certified. So I believe it's the marketplace. And also for us as matching the National Dance Council of America, which DVIDA belongs to, they are making a big push that we all should be educated including the judges need to continue education. All successful people study every day. They read everyday they listen everyday to a podcast. They spend 30 minutes. Why should we be different as dance teachers, as studio owners, not study 30 minutes a day to improve ourselves so we can be better for our business.

Samantha: Absolutely agreed. Absolutely agreed. With. Dance Vision, a product of the pandemic was, as you mentioned earlier exercise classes, drill classes extra technique videos. Do you see that continuing into 2021 and 2022? Do you see dance vision not just creating syllabus and technique classes, but also lessons for students that go hand in hand with their private lessons.

Wayne: absolutely. Yes. As a matter of fact, we already have a few hundred videos that you haven't seen yet that we produced in the last two months here that we're waiting for next year. We plan to continue to produce more videos in 21, And 22. So we have big plans for that hundreds and hundreds of videos are coming.

Samantha: Excellent.

Wayne: You will here it every day. You will hear us coming out with new videos so much that you may not want to hear it anymore, but that's the direction we're going. With it.

Samantha: That's exciting. That's really exciting. I love seeing the fact that you are growing the, the base of instructors that you're bringing in. There's a lot of new faces that came out of this last year. And I'm sure there are more that we haven't seen yet. I think, especially from an instructor perspective,

I really appreciate the fact that I can log onto the dance vision app and hear Sveta talk about Cuban action and just listen to how she explains it on the video and take what I like or what I don't like. Just learn from her in how she's presenting the information or Hope Jackson doing exercise series. Thinking about how she's talking about engaging certain muscles or just refreshing my memory that I should probably talk to my students about stretching them in a certain way. So I really appreciate the fact that it's not just about the syllabus anymore.

It's about the whole dance process, which I really love. There are other products of Dance Vision that we haven't talked about. Something that came up in our first series in season one was the importance of dancing on a quality floor and how dancing repeatedly on a bad floor can have negative effects on both the instructor and the students.

Would you be willing to talk a little bit about the floors that Dance Vision installs?

Wayne: Absolutely. I should, this last eight weeks we have, I can't keep track five, seven floors. We install anywhere from 2000 square foot to 4,000 square foot. We've been installing and selling dance floors since 1992. We've done about 15 seasons with Dancing with the Stars, laying the floor down for them.

I would say today we probably sold over 700 dance studios, the Dance Vision floor. And what makes it simply unique is that it's a removable floor helped by a clipping system that when you leave the studio, you can take it with you. The landlord can not keep it, it's considered equipment. When you nail the floor in that belongs to the landlord.

The minute you nail anything in you don't own the floor and the floor is one of your biggest investments. That's number one. Number two. If you want your teachers to teach eight, 10 hours a day every day, year in and year out, owner wouldn't it be smart that you invest in the best dance floor so they don't feel pain at the end of the night? Their feet, their back because if they do this after a month, after a year, that's permanent damage to your body.

That may be hard to fix and you don't want to be seeing a physical therapist when you're age 55 or 60 or get a hip replacement like I know so many teachers are doing. As a student, I'm sure that when you walk into the floor, you can feel the Dance Vision floor, it has the cushion. It's very flexible.

If you see, if you feel a floor that's hard, that means it's directly on cement. And that's really not good for your body whatsoever. And if you already have knee injury, bad hips, that will only aggravate it and bring it out. I'm not saying this to try to sell more dance floor, but that's the fact, that's the truth.

And that's in 1992, when I had my studio club 2005 in Torrance, I had plywood on cement for two years. It was bad. It was really bad. Then someone introduced me to this fabulous floor and that's how I discovered it and started selling it. Since 1992. Best dance floor out there. It's not a cheap floor, but it lasts forever.

Samantha: Yeah. It's, it's an investment. And if, you know, if you're a studio owner and you know, you're going to be in the building for five 10, 15, 20 years. Why not make the investment early about putting in a decent floor? I was actually going to ask you about that. So, so you mentioned that you were dancing on a plywood floor and then found someone that introduced you to this, this concept of better flooring, shall we say?

It seems like again from the outside in that you very much have a, an entrepreneur mindset, but it's a very targeted mindset where you can take a step out of the industry and say, this is something that needs to be addressed, that isn't. I can improve this aspect of the industry. I can take a look at this and see where we're not doing things as efficiently or as effectively.

Where does that come from? Where. What in you leads you to kind of saying, I'm not just going to be a professional dancer or an instructor. I'm going to install dance floors. I'm going to provide videos. I'm going to reach out to instructors to provide content. I want to change the certification process.

I want to run my own event. What, what causes that?

Wayne: I'm really not sure, but that's a great question, Samantha. My coach actually asked me that question during one of my lessons with Donna, he stopped me in the middle of our lessons. Like, Wayne, do you like dancing or business better? I think when he, when he was watching me my mind or somewhere else or something, but getting to your point, I grew up.

Just enjoying being entrepreneur. When I was a child, I learned how to bargain. I learned how to lend my friends with money and get interest back or something else with it when they would pay me. May so that be I, since I was a kid, I started at working at age 10, mowing lawns. I would cut grass, do whatever I needed to do to make money.

What's a bus boy working in the restaurant since I was 11, dishwasher, waiter. Cook, cashier everything. So it was just in my nature and I enjoy being a business person. I enjoy that environment. And that may be the reason why Donna and I only dance about nine to 10 years. And that's when I decided that I do want to go into the business environment more.

Samantha: Is there an aspect of the industry that you can look at now and say, I know this is something that needs to be addressed, but I'm not necessarily the right person to address it.

Wayne: Are you alluring to something?

Samantha: No, I'm asking in general. Is there something that you've identified as something that can be improved, but it doesn't fit within the Dance Vision business mindset or the, the knowledge that you are currently working with is not the right avenue to address it, but you wish someone out there would.

Wayne: Yes. I would like ballroom dancing as a whole to grow, have more exposure, more marking as general, as a whole. Just like if you want to sell beef, then just promote meat, right. Someone's promoting hamburgers. Doesn't matter if you go to Burger King, McDonalds, Beyond Burger, Impossible, whatever, its there.

I think globally, if we could get behind and promote ballroom dancing, I think we can triple, triple the business or triple the engagement. Because we know what ballroom dancing, the benefits that it's given all of us. It's different for everybody. Some people dance, we dance for different reasons and all those different reasons are amazing.

We can go through each benefit, how it impacts our lives. And if we can share that with more people, then definitely our ballroom business will just grow by leaps and bounds. Maybe that will be the last thing on my buck, but it sure if it's not on my list now, because it's very challenging. It's, it's big.

Samantha: Absolutely. It's massive. And there are so many different avenues that that could be achieved. And I think at least in my mind, there are a lot of different organizations, there are a lot of different individuals that would need to come together to all make that push. Right. You could get into the school systems.

I know it's here in the school systems in Utah, but that's one state. There are so many countries that we could do that with. We could talk about. You know, the fact that it's has therapeutic benefits with the Alzheimer's studies that are coming out relating to Argentine tango, but that's one avenue, so connecting with therapists, we can talk about the sport and the competitive, the athletic.

So as you said, there so many different avenues, but I think it's bigger than one person or one business could, could make a difference in it's us all being advocates for our industry. Emerald ball 2021, fingers crossed? Intention to have it run? Wait and see what we look like closer to March and April?

Wayne: I do intend to run it in 2021 Emerald Ball. it will be prerecorded as you see some of the events are doing, and it will be a separate competition. Prerecorded competitors would be judged against each other. Then I will have a live event at the hotel that will be separate. As you know, it's been in Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Hilton hotel for over 30 years. I have a contract there. I have the space there, but here's the great news. I also have other locations ready. And if California decides not to allow us to have events, I am more than prepared to move Emerald Ball to another location. And I'm hoping that by the middle of January, I will give an official announcement. As to where Emerald Ball will be held at in the physical location. But the answer is yes, we are running it. We have a lot of people asking for it and it will be done safely. In more ways than one. So we're, we're prepared for it. Samantha.

Samantha: Excellent. Excellent. I just have to say I very, very, very much appreciate the online component that so many event organizers are offering now. For me to travel with my students to a competition is expensive because quite honestly, I don't have very many competition students at the moment weighing the health risks of 2020 aside.

So the idea that we are participating in the Snow Ball this year, because we were able to put together videos, that's something that, were it in person, my students would probably not be interested in going. So I really appreciate the virtual aspect of it. I know it creates a whole host of issues as far as the organizers and judging and logistics and it's a nightmare, but for professional end of the world with students, I really appreciate that.

Wayne: I have a question for you, with the virtual event do you like the pre-recorded or the live?

Samantha: So I have not participated in a live online event yet. As an instructor, I'm conflicted because I think at least for me, the mindset of my students for prerecorded events are, "Great we can run our Silver Waltz five times and then we can run our intermediate silver Waltz five times, and then we can run our full silver Waltz five times". And it gets to a point for me where that's kind of missing the competitive aspect of it.

You know, if everybody's putting their best video forward. That's awesome. And that's great. And I think you get the best feedback possible from your judges, but is it really a competition at that point? Is it more an invigilation of the video rather than ranking what your performance is. So haven't tried a live event yet. I'm interested to see if I can find a good event for 2021 to just kind of experience that as a competitor.

Wayne: I see.

Samantha: Awesome. Well, anything else that you wanted to chat about today that you wanted to make sure that our listeners were aware of or anything going on in your world that you just want to make sure it gets?

Wayne: Oh, thanks. Well, thank you Samantha, but happy me. I think you went through a lot of my projects are ready. It's been a great 2020, it's been a challenging year, but for us it's been a very good challenging year. Dance Vision is rebranding itself. I mean, 2021. And in the future, you're going to see a lot of great things coming from Dance Vision.

And we're very excited to share this with the ballroom community. So I wish you a very happy new year. And I hope to see you maybe at Emerald ball in 2021, either on video or live at the event.

Samantha: That is certainly my hope as well. Well, thank you so much. Thank you once again to Wayne Eng for being a guest on the podcast today, if you want to find out more about dance vision or the DVIDA syllabus and certification process you can do so using the links in the description box below.

As always I'm Samantha, I've been your host with Love Live Dance. You can find the podcast versions of these episodes at ballroomchat.com and you can follow us across social media at Ballroom Chat. As always stay safe, stay positive and we hope to see you dancing very soon.