Los Angeles

Friday, March 25, 2011

Dancing Through Life~ Heather

Today's Dancing Through Life Featured dancer is one of my favorite people, Heather Weingart.  Heather and I trained at the same dance academy in Van Nuys and performed many a Nutcracker together.  But then I joined a company and Heather was still in high school...you know how things go, we lost touch.  The amazing thing is we reconnected in college!  Heather ended up living in the house next door to mine and we were camp counselors together!  I am so thrilled that Heather has agreed to share her way of dancing through life here on 'le blog'.  I think you'll agree she does it with major style!   
1.  When did you start dancing?
I started dancing when I was around 4 years old. I remember being in a ballet class with all my friends from preschool and doing leaps across the floor!

2.  What styles did you train in and which is your favorite?
I trained in tap, jazz and ballet. To be honest, it’s easier to say which was my least favorite – and that was ALWAYS ballet! I loved tap and jazz. However, the more I trained in ballet, the more I found my technique in both jazz and tap grew stronger. I first began pointe classes when I was 12 and I truly believe it made me a stronger dancer.

3.  Did you dance professionally or in college?  If so, where, what schools, companies and/or shows?
I never danced professionally – however, throughout college (for 6 years total) I was a “Disc Jockey Dancer” with an entertainment company called You Should Be Dancing. I led the YMCA and other fun dances at Bar Mitzvahs and loved every second of it. It led me into emceeing and hosting which is what I’m currently pursuing.

4.  When did you decide to pursue a career other than that of a dancer? 
In college I realized just how much I loved talking. I was a tour guide at UCLA and after graduating became a Page at Paramount Pictures. Giving tours of the studio lot (and walking backwards for a living), I really found a passion in public speaking. I then pursued a role as Talent with Radio Disney and the rest is history! I never stopped dancing at events throughout those years – and still dance at our local Radio Disney events today (does the Hannah Montana Hoedown Throwdown count as dancing?)
5.  What do you do now?
I am currently a Promotion Coordinator with Radio Disney. I help plan and execute large, interactive events for families and our listeners throughout Southern California, while running promos, spots, creative recaps, etc. on air and online for Disney. I get to travel to other Radio Disney markets (most recently Dallas and Denver) to help execute events in other regions – hosting events on the microphone in front of large crowds, introducing celebrities onto stage before concerts (Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez to name a few), and interacting with kids through games, dancing and contests!

6.  How has dance affected your life?  How does it inspire you?
Dance has affected my life in so many ways. I feel like I have more rhythm than the average gal – I’m always able to bust-a-move anywhere and everywhere and it’s helped me immensely in my job (and social life for that matter!). I love teaching and choreographing new fun dances to some of our Radio Disney Top 30 songs and executing them at events. Most importantly, I absolutely love PERFORMING. Dancing led me to the stage where I realized just how much I adore being in front of a crowd and performing for a captive audience. I don’t think there’s any more thrilling feeling in the world. I find that it inspires my creativity at work – especially given the upbeat and fantastic music that Radio Disney promotes.

7.  Do you feel like your dance background helped you in other aspects of your life?  Did it contribute to your other successes?
My dance background has helped me in a variety of aspects in my life. As mentioned above, dancing is a huge part of my job that I use constantly. I love being able to let loose on a dance floor – or even do follow-along moves at our events. I love coming up with inventive ways to make kids move it and have a blast with our Road Crew. I must admit that I dance, or use my dance background, almost every single day!
8.  How do you keep a hand in the dance world?  How do you support it?
I love attending shows and performances where dancing is involved. I watch shows on television that center around dancing and talented performers (i.e. So You Think You Can Dance). I definitely could support the dance world more, and am looking for ways to do so (maybe being part of this blog is a good start?!)  

9.  Do you have a favorite dance film, book or dancer?
I know it’s cheesy, but Center Stage was such a big film for me growing up. I considered myself a “prima ballerina” at the time and just loved seeing a group of dancers go through similar experiences, competitive situations, etc. as I experienced. My favorite dancer is HEATHER TONER!!!! 

10.  Do you plan to keep dancing throughout your life? 
YES. ABSOLUTELY. NO DOUBT ABOUT IT. DUH! Dancing makes me happy. Whether it’s a dancing exercise class (I’m kind of obsessed with Zumba right now) or just tapping my toe to the music playing in my office at work, dancing never fails to bring a smile to my face. It brought me so much joy growing up and continues to do so every day. Even after answering these questions… right now… I feel like getting up and dancing! 
Completely inspiring, don't you think?  Thanks Heather for sharing what you love about dance and the ways in which you keep dancing through life!  If you are or were a dancer and want to share how you are dancing through your own life, email me and let me know!  
Happy Friday Everyone!

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