A few weeks ago, I had an opportunity to go to Los Angeles for a press trip for Disney. There were so many amazing things planned for me and the other 24 bloggers, one of which was to interview “Dancing with the Stars” pros and “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors” mentors Brandon Armstrong, Alan Bersten and Gleb Savchenko at the Pro Dance LA studio.
Hosted by “Dancing with the Stars” season 25’s Mirrorball Trophy winner Jordan Fisher and finalist Frankie Muniz, “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors” is a fresh take on an established favorite in which 12 celebrity kids are partnered with professional junior ballroom dancers to perform choreographed routines that are judged by Emmy ® Award-winning choreographer Mandy Moore, professional dancer Val Chmerkovskiy, and “Dancing with the Stars: Athletes” champion, Adam Rippon.
They were such a great group of guys. Not only are they super talented dancers, they are so funny. I mean they cracked jokes and laughed during the entire interview. Their fun, energetic spirit was contagious. It put me in such a great mood. I remember listening to them thinking “I pray my son is always this confident in his ability to pursue his dreams” which prompted me to ask, “when did you know that you wanted to be a professional dancer?’ Alan had already told us that he was 7 when he started, Brandon was 14 and Gleb said he was about 9.
Chance has told me that he was going to be a doctor since he was about 4. As they were talking, I was wondering if he really knew since he was so young. In the midst of my thought Gleb started sharing his journey of becoming a dancer. He said,
“I grew up in Russia, Moscow, and the mentality of everyone was if your kid was doing something, the parents got 100% in it. So, by the age of nine, I was traveling across Russia doing all these different competitions and when I was 14, I started winning them. I started really enjoying it. And then I was like, that’s going to be my career. I’m going to be a dancer.”
That was the answer to the question in my head…get 100% into whatever Chance believes he want to do. I knew this, but I needed a little reminder, not because I don’t believe Chance, but because I don’t ever want to be the mom that pushes him to do what I want him to do. You know what I mean? It’s easy for us as moms to want our children to become the idea in our minds of who they are, I want Chance to follow his own dream.
I suppose I wasn’t the only mom in the group thinking about that, because someone asked, “what messages would each of you give to young dancers who are following their dance dreams?” They were not short on motivation, trust me. Brandon shouted, “Never Give Up”! Gleb said,
“Never give up. Just push forward and you know, anything is possible. I grew up in Moscow with no money in literally one-bedroom apartment with my parents and now I do the most amazing show in the whole world, where everyone’s watching. So, just dream and work really hard. Never give up! Don’t let anybody push you down. Stand your ground and pour your soul and heart into what you do.”
Alan followed with “If you can dream it, you can achieve it! I think if you’re passionate about it, no one can stop you. If anyone is passionate about anything, no matter what, they’re going to be stubborn about it. And I think that’s actually one of the best qualities you can have, especially in a dancer because there’s a lot of no’s before you get a yes.”
Never give up was ringing in my head. But when Alan started talking about passion, well I started yelling “amen”. I truly believe passion makes complacency uncomfortable. When you are passionate about what you do, you will thrive…no matter what. Moms my prayer for my son and your kiddos is that they do what they’re passionate about.
Speaking of passion, it was clear to me as soon as I walked into the Pro Dance LA studio just how passionate Gleb was about dancing. The studio was absolutely beautiful and inviting, the dance studio is owned and operated by Gleb Savchenko and his wife Elena Samodanova. It made me want to be the best dancer I could be. Stay tuned because I will be sharing more about our Nutcracker and The Four Realms dance lesson. I think I got pretty close to becoming a professional…Alan trained us well. LOL!
Spending time with Gleb, Alan, and Brandon was just what I needed. Often times I forget that I too need motivation, inspiration and a little dance education! LOL!!! Seriously though, I love being the Motivated Mom – because I get to share my motivation with you. While Brandon was sharing his message to kids about following their dreams he said, “I think my biggest thing is there’s a million kids that look just like me that dance just like me, that talk just like me. It is so important to be unique.” While we can all share something with the world, the key is to share our authentic selves.
Be sure to tune in and catch Brandon, Gleb and Alan on #DWTSJuniors for “Juniors Choice” – The seven remaining celebrity kids have each been tasked with choosing the song they will dance to as “Juniors Choice” night comes to “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors,” SUNDAY, NOV. 11 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EST), and Dancing with the Stars semi finals on Mondays (8pm/7pmCST) on The ABC Television Network, streaming and on demand.
Oh, I almost forgot! We were all very excited to be given two tickets to “Dancing with the Stars: Live” Tour. Yup that’s right, TV’s biggest dance show returns on tour this winter with “Dancing with the Stars: Live! – A Night to Remember” Kicking off December 15th in Columbia, SC, the show will feature fan favorite professional and troupe dancers in a brand-new production showcasing every type of dance style as seen on ABC’s hit show Dancing with the Stars, ranging from ballroom and jazz to modern and hip-hop.
The tour delivers a spectacular night of show-stopping dance performances from world-renowned dancers including Brandon Armstrong, Alan Bersten, Witney Carson, Artem Chigvintsev, Val Chmerkovskiy, Sasha Farber, Jenna Johnson, Gleb Savchenko, Emma Slater, Hayley Erbert and Britt Stewart, with more surprise casting to be announced.
You can join me, purchase tickets here, I am going to the Grand Prairie, Texas show on February 7th. Join me and follow along using #DWTS #DWTSJunior #DWTSTOUR and #ABCTVEvent.