Broadway, Dance, and Art-with-Heart with Juliane Godfrey

Juliane Godfrey is a Broadway performer and an art educator. She likes to call herself a “heart-ist”, essentially someone pursuing art with heart. She defines that as something that gives back to the world in some way. She loves inspiring young people to make art with meaning and purpose.

She was the dance captain and female swing in Broadway’s Tony award-winning “SpongeBob Squarepants the Musical” and recently performed in theaters all over the country with the Lincoln Center national tour of “My Fair Lady.”

Over the past decade, she has performed for regional theaters nationwide and currently serves as a freelance choreographer and dance and theater educator for more than 20 performing arts organizations. When she’s not onstage, Juliane can be found completing her journalism certificate through UCLA Extension, driving up the California coast, or seeking out exceptional chocolate chip cookies.


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In this episode you’ll learn:

  • What Juliane does
  • Why she makes art and what it means to her
  • Art-with-heart vs commercial art
  • Her journey to becoming an artist
  • Her journey exploring dance, music, and theater
  • What does dance feel like to Juliane
  • The science of dance
  • Why do you need to use your body and just move!
  • About the competitive dance realm
  • The value of dance for ourselves and as a commercial practice
  • Juliane’s Broadway debut
  • A glimpse into her life as an artist
  • The challenge of aging and career-costs as a dancer
  • Juliane’s future aspirations 
  • Her message to love more

Resources Mentioned:

Juliane’s website

Juliane’s Instagram

Software Generated Transcription:

Dan

Julian, thank you so much for joining me. Welcome to the Meaning Movement podcast.

Juliane

Thank you so much, Dan. It’s so good to be here.

Dan

The question I like to start with is how do you begin to talk about what you do in the world?

Juliane

What I do in the world? It’s a great question that I am constantly reevaluating how to answer. But usually what I say is I am a Broadway performer, art educator, and maker of what I like to call art with heart, which I define as art that gives back to the world in some way. That is generous, which sounds like all art. But I guess art is very subjective, so it doesn’t have to mean that. But I really enjoy inspiring young people to make art that is inquisitive and has social impact and really means something to them. And I’m working hard to start doing more of that in my own artistic life.

Dan

I love that. So many directions. I want to go with this, but first I just wanted to ask, how do you define the word art? Like, when you talk about art, what does that mean to you?

Juliane

Oh, God, I’m still figuring that out, too. I don’t know. I’ve never had it’s so funny. I’m thinking of so many things. I also should say that I also identify as a person with ADHD. So when I hear a question like that, my brain goes in twelve directions and starts going at all speeds. I was asked that actually in a master class recently, I was teaching at UCLA, and one of the College students said, why do you make art? Which to me is kind of synonymous with the definition of art. But I guess I would say I think that art stems from a creative impulse to make something that was not there before. And I don’t know, in the wake of Stephen Sandheim’s death, God bless. I was listening to his music this whole weekend in just mourning the loss of such a giant in our industry and theater. And I was listening to Sunday in The Park with George and just the whole concept of painting something that wasn’t there before and making the hat and finishing works that are meaningful to you that the world hasn’t seen. So I guess that’s how I would define art as something that wasn’t there before that is inspired, I don’t know, by like an impulse within you to make something that’s so vague.

Dan

No, I love it. It’s fantastic. That’s why I asked the question, because it is such a hard thing to kind of put words to you, but you know, it when you see it and when you feel it. And so I think it’s just great to hear your thoughts on it. Do you use the word artist to describe yourself? Do you identify with that word?

Juliane

Yes, I do. And I guess on the lines of art with heart, I’ve started to use the word heart-ist because I really love that distinction. Yeah. Between making art that is commercial, I should say. Yeah. That’s kind of the big battle within me is like, what is art that is solely for the purpose of profit or not? I don’t know if any art is only for profit. I guess you could argue that, too. And what is art that is not made for the purpose of making money? And so I am always at odds with that concept because I work in the realm of commercial theater, and we need butts and teeth. And our industry was shut down for 18 months, and I didn’t have my job for 18 months. I’m currently on tour with My Fair Lady from Lincoln Center. And so the way that I make money is primarily through art that is performative for large groups of people. But then the distinction between calling myself an artist and particularly a heart-ist makes me really want to focus on ethical standards within our industry and not being driven by money and greed and power, which I think commercial theater often is.

Juliane

So, yeah. So I’m trying really hard to kind of shift my focus into, like, how can I inspire young people and myself to make art that is not attached to a dollar sign, even though we’re like, God, we need money and we need to survive?

Dan

Yes, man. That is such an interesting question of what. Yeah. It’s very related to the conversations that I have about work and meaning and why do we do the things we do and what do you do for love and what do you do for money? And I just love that you’re working on that same question from very similar. It’s just different, I guess, maybe a more nuanced stance, which is as an artist, what does it mean to do the work that you love as an artist, as a creative? And where does that intersect with money? And where does that diverge from the money conversation, which is fantastic. Good on you. Good work. I think it’s important. Yes. Have you always identified as an artist? Or maybe I’d like to just kind of roll back the clock here and ask about the history of your relationship with art. Where did that come from and how did you get here?

Juliane

Yes. How did I get here? I need to write a novel to explain the back. I started dancing, so I primarily identified as a dancer. Growing up, my parents saw me bopping around the room to Jungle Book, the VHS in my diapers, and they were like, she can’t stop moving again. I just found out a year ago that I have ADHD, and it makes so much sense now because they were like, she literally can’t stop moving. We should probably put her in dance class, which is actually not to go off topic, but the same with Jillian. Oh, my gosh. I’m now forgetting her name. Gillian Lynne. I hope I’m saying that right. The choreographer of Cats, who as a young girl, they were like, she can’t stop dancing. Something’s wrong with her. And the doctor was like, no, she’s a dancer. I started taking dance classes when I was three. My mom says that I hid behind her legs and screamed and cried the entire first class and hated it. And so she was like, okay, I guess we were wrong. And a few months later, apparently, I asked her to go back, which I have no memory of.

Juliane

And I always say that ever since then, I haven’t stopped dancing. So that was kind of where my love of movement began in an artistic way. And there’s something about music and movement that have always lit my brain up at the ultimate level. So I kind of found a home in musical theater because again, I’ll talk about ADHD a lot because I think it’s important to talk about it, especially for women who aren’t diagnosed until later in life. But it’s all making sense now to me that my brain is a very key part of why I like art and why I need to make art and how I function as an artist. So I started singing in choir when I was little. My mom was the Church choir director. So I grew up in an Orthodox Christian Church, hearing chanting and that kind of music, often in Arabic, and would pick it up. And she said at one point I was in the backseat of the car singing the song and Sleeping Beauty, the movie that I know you. I walked with you once upon a dream. And I said something like that visions are seldom all they seem.

Juliane

And she was like, she’s on pitch and I think she’s singing Sleeping Beauty. So maybe she likes music too. Anyways, so cut to I then started competing as a dancer. I was a competitive dancer at a studio similar to what you would see on Dance Moms, but not at all that cut throat. I loved tap dancing in particular. And that was always kind of like my niche, my home that I felt good in. And then to not make this story 5 million years long. I won the first place trophy at a competition when I was twelve with my top solo. And it was the first time ever the trophy was taller than I was. And I think they gave me a check for like $700. And I was like, oh, my God, I’m rich. This is it. It was the first time I said to my mom, do you think I could really do this as a profession? And she was sort of like, yeah, I think you can do whatever you want, but we’re here for you. And just as a side note, my parents are retired surgeons. So to hear that from parents who are in medicine who never pushed me into medicine or scientific field, I’m so grateful.

Juliane

And it was truly only with their support that I was able to do community theater growing up. I grew up doing shows with a company called Starstruck Theater, and I still choreograph for them now. So, yeah, I think that home of, like, having a theatrical home that was across the street from my dance studio, and that the two fed into one another was incredibly important for me, wanting to pursue this later in life. But I guess again, cut to. I never really thought I would do it professionally. I started auditioning for colleges and sort of thought, well, if they think I’m good enough, then maybe I’ll do this. And I got into UCLA’s musical theater program because I had to apply first choice. And I sort of was like, well, okay, we’ll see. And I got in and thought, okay, well, maybe I’ll follow this trail of breadcrumbs and the same thing there where I went through four years of school. I loved it, but I was also interested in English and writing, and I studied Shakespeare abroad through an English Department. And that was great. And I auditioned for a series of Summerstock theaters at the end of that time, got a job in New York the day after I graduated and said, okay, great, let’s try this again.

Juliane

Still not it was always incremental. It was never like, this is what I want to do. I want to move to New York. I want to be on Broadway. That was never the dream, but it kind of ended up happening that way, like, piece by piece and bit by bit where I was like, oh, they think I’m good enough. They’ve validated that I can do this, and I’m making some money and I’m not completely underwater. So, like, let’s see where this goes.

Dan

Yes.

Juliane

That’s kind of how I got into the world of theater professionally.

Dan

I love it. Thank you for that. Just the story and the movements along. And I think it makes so much sense resonate with just how you just have taken it as it comes and that it wasn’t like I am going to be a Broadway dancer no matter what, but that you just kept pursuing what you loved, and it opened doors for you, which is just really incredible. I’m curious about hearing you talk about dance a little bit. The question I almost said, but maybe it is good. What does dance feel like? What does it do for you?

Juliane

I love that question. What does dance feel like? I thought about this a lot during the pandemic because I guess dance as an art form. Like, we were talking about the meaning of art and what it is, and it’s sort of that part of your brain that is not or no, wait, I always get this wrong. The limbic brain is the part of your brain that can’t articulate words. Is that correct? I think I think I’m saying that’s correct.

Dan

The lizard brain, the limbic system, correct.

Juliane

Yes. And I think that takes over when I’m dancing in a way that is not fearful, but it’s not about words. It’s not about that’s. The whole point of dance to me is it just is a feeling in your body of joy, of connection to something outside of yourself, and yet you feel it inside of yourself, if that makes sense, like simultaneously. And it feels expansive to me. And I think that is so important. I’ve learned for people during the pandemic. I’ve studied a lot the science of dance in the brain, and I’m still kind of reading everything I can to figure out why it’s so good for our brains. It’s actually one of the number one activities that you can do to prevent neurodegenerative diseases, which I find fascinating because arts education in schools does not support that whatsoever. So it’s like we sit with kids of all different types of learning preferences and we don’t really enough in the US asked them, how do you like to learn? And so many kids with ADHD in particular learn best when they are moving, when they are literally physically active. And so to me, I listened to a Ted Talk.

Juliane

I think that sums it up. Best dance is social, cognitive, and physical all at the same time. And those three things are super important. I’m not crediting the correct guy again who gave the Ted Talk, and I feel terrible. I’ll look it up later. We’ll find it and put it in the share of that I must attribute to him. But I think his name is Peter Lovett. I think that’s right. But it was incredible and it blew my mind. And I was like, oh my God, he’s right. This is why I keep trying to articulate how important dance is, not just for young people, but for everyone. Because so many people, when I teach dance, say I’m not a dancer and I always cut them off immediately. And I’m like, no, no, you are a dancer. As long as your brain is connected to your body, you’re a dancer. Beginning what do I say? End of story, beginning of dance party. So I make them like, take this pledge with their hands up. And that’s my dance pledge of allegiance. So yeah, to me, dance is literally equals joy because it turns something on in my brain and so many others brains that it allows me to take up space, to be confident in taking up space, especially as a woman of small stature who honestly, what am I trying to say?

Juliane

Often doesn’t feel, I don’t know, like welcome in an authoritative sense. It gives me a sense of power that I don’t have in any other medium.

Dan

I feel like I want to just rewind and listen to you. That whole everything you just said. Again, I was really moved by that. I think especially just like it feels like you’re inviting us to broaden our definition of dance from being like, you got to move this way on this beat and that way, and don’t look funny to just use your body and move and enjoy what that does for you. And it’s really beautiful. It really moves me. And so thank you for that. I love it. I have three kids, six and under, and one choice that my wife and I have made, and very intentionally, neither of us, I think, think of ourselves as dancers. We are musicians. But is that wanna to be a family that dances? Yes, in a lot of ways, it’s a choice towards taking ourselves less seriously. I feel like that’s kind of one of the limiting factors with myself. I don’t want to look silly, and so then I’m afraid to dance, I think, especially as a dude, I don’t know. But everyone’s got the stories that they tell themselves about their body and how it moves and everything.

Dan

And in order to dance, you’ve got to be willing to dance poorly before you dance well. And maybe you try to move your body in a certain way and it doesn’t come out right. So there’s this aspect, I think, at least for us, of being willing to not take ourselves too seriously to dance. And so we’ve been trying to instill that in our kids. And I think just hearing you talk about it just makes me feel like, good. This is like we’re moving in a good direction, I guess.

Juliane

Yes, absolutely. Well, and I love that, especially with your kids. It’s such a fun way to connect with them. And so it takes you out of your body well, out of your head, I should say, and into your body. And it’s funny that I learned that in a competitive dance realm that was literally about numbers and trophies. And so I’m really investigating that now for myself as somebody who has a lot of friends who judge dance competitions and really going back and saying, like, wow, a lot of that was really damaging. Probably not the best way to curate art. And yet I owe so much of my technique and my social skills and some of my deepest relationships from that dance team and from my teachers. And it’s the reason why I was able to get jobs on Broadway as a dance captain on tour. Like, it all kind of set me up for that world. So it’s sort of, again, this hard holding space for both things of like, yes, you can be a “good” technically trained dancer, but you can also move your body and still be a dancer in the same way that you could make music that is not Chopin or I don’t know, again, like, what are the standards of good art?

Juliane

And is there good? I don’t think there is. I think everybody just makes or doesn’t make.

Dan

Yeah. I love that you can make things that will never sell with no intention of them ever selling. And then you can also make things that are just as creative but also with a little more intent to capture the minds and imaginations of other people. I think that it’s a hard distinction because sometimes we want more commercial success with the former than the latter, and maybe there’s a little bit of trade off, at least in my experience. I don’t know of artistic intent. I’m curious, how do you think about that? Like, how do you think about the purity of art and the intersection of that and commerce and making money?

Juliane

Can you rephrase the question? What do you mean?

Dan

Like, how do I guess what I mean is create if I want to create something and I feel the need to create something that’s going to sell or with the intent of capturing income value, whatever, I think it’d be easy to have a narrative of saying that that’s not as pure of an art form. And yet and this is, I think, where we can start in this conversation, and yet artists need to get paid, right? Unless we have a patron. I don’t even know what the question is, except I guess maybe just asking that as a question about purity of art. Do you ever think in those terms.

Juliane

Yes.

Dan

Is there a difference for you when you’re dancing just for the fun of it and maybe how to get at it? The difference might be for you when you’re dancing for fun versus dancing in a show. I don’t know.

Juliane

Yes, I absolutely hear the question, and I guess I would rephrase it as like, what is the difference between art that you make because you feel you must for yourself regardless of any outcome and art that you make for a benefactor like someone else who is asking we should trade seats.

Dan

You should be the one.

Juliane

Oh my God damn. That question is like the thing that keeps me up at night. It’s truly I look my students in the face, and a lot of them have been seeing me in this show, My Fair Lady, which is so special. I’ve seen students at the Stage Door in San Francisco who I taught this year during an incredibly difficult year for them at the same theater that I was twelve years old and saw Wicked At. And one girl from my dance studio was in it and took me backstage. So I’m having this very full circle moment of, oh my God, how lucky am I to do what I do, especially coming out of this incredibly difficult time, but also looking at that time and saying, look at how much I made that was not attached to dollar signs and how important that was for my well being. And I started that process, actually, before the pandemic. I started an Instagram account a few years ago after watching that Ted Talk where I thought, you know, if dance is this important to the brain. We have to tell people that. I don’t think people get it truly, that it is the difference between life and death, truly.

Juliane

I mean, there are so many studies of people with Parkinson’s, with Alzheimer’s, with dementia who remember Music From God years and years back, and it brings them back to life. And the same with dance. And so I’m like, this is incredible. And we’re not teaching it, especially to young people who think Broadway is the end all be all that they have to be on. So you can dance to be a dancer. That world. Right? And so I started a Dance Instagram account called Daily Dance It Out. And I’ve not been keeping up on it. So this is my inspiration to get back on it. But every day I would just dance for fun and I would turn on God forbid I would turn on a song and be like, oh, my God, when you ask, what does dance feel like? It always made me feel better. Every single time I did it, I was like, I always feel better. And I know this. And yet it’s not. We don’t encourage adults to have a dance party in their bathroom once a day. And how good would that be for our brains? Right? So I’m like, wait, your kids do it?

Juliane

Because it just comes out of them, right? There’s no like, well, you really need to be in first position when you have that dance party in preschool. I hope that’s not happening. And yet it is to some degree in that. Then what age do we say? Like, well, your dancing is not good enough or valid enough to be art that is needed in the world. And I hate that idea is so embedded in our brains because of this fear, I think of making money and of not being able to make a living from our art. It breaks my heart. And I’ve talked to a lot of parents about it who are like, are my kids good enough? Can they dance well enough to really do this? And I’m like, oh, God, please don’t let that be the question of whether or not your kids pursue this. But back to your question of, like, what’s the difference? I would find I danced in a studio by myself a lot of the pandemic, and I needed that studio. Like, thank God, thank God to Laurie Stokes Star studio for giving me a free space that I could just literally move through my grief and my pain and depression and just this overwhelming sense that nobody got what the pandemic meant for artists, what it still means for us, and how deeply purposeless I felt not being able to connect with live human beings every day in person, which is my job.

Juliane

It was so frustrating. And so to be able to just move for myself, even though it was bizarre and I would much rather share it with other people, was therapeutic. And also necessary for my brain to get working again. So whether I filmed it or not, filming it was helpful because it kept me accountable and it forced me to put it on social media, even if I felt silly about it and dumb and weird, I was like, you know what? I don’t care because I know that other people need this. And one or two times that I did lead a dance party, virtually, even though I hate literally the virtual components. So much, like I could throw my computer out the window and never see it again. But it was useful and I’ve done it with older people, with younger people. It doesn’t matter. The age movement makes us better, period. And so I think the musical component of that or not, whatever dance is to you adds the joyful component that somehow gets us out of that rut. So that’s what I would say is like doing it for money is great. And yes, artists should be paid a living wage and should be taken care of.

Juliane

And dancers are often at the bottom of that totem pole, which I have a lot of feelings about. But at the same time, I’ll also say, like in our cast of My Fair Lady, a lot of us are dancers. We have a dancer from a Alvin Ailey. We have another dancer who trained at Joffrey, who also does Burlesque. We have another dancer who is just a brilliant technician and who teaches us ballet bar every day before the show. All of us have been teaching each other dance classes because we need something outside of the same show eight times a week to just survive for our sanity. So that’s been an important lesson, too. And how can I take time to make art that is just for me? That feels good, that is not attached to other people’s expectations. And then how can I enjoy my job? That is about a dance captain who says you’re on two at this moment, that’s your number, and your body has to look like this. And that’s the deal.

Dan

Yeah, I love that. So well said. I keep thinking about when you’re talking about just that movement makes us better. I think that’s just such a good phrase. The body keeps score. I don’t know if you’re familiar with it, but it just feels like it’s kind of just a thought for listeners who may not be familiar. It’s just a book about trauma and the body and how the body is such an important, I think both vessel of holding our past stories, but then also a tool for finding freedom and processing emotions. And that really I think one of my takeaways from that book is that the brain isn’t only in your head, but your whole body, like your body is your brain in a lot of ways, which all of that just makes so much sense of everything that you’re saying about how when you start moving, you get out of just being in your head. It’s just so fun to hear you processing all of this through the lens of dance and movement. It encourages me to keep on my quest of keeping my family dancing.

Juliane

Yes, I love that.

Dan

Yeah. I’m curious. There’s so many important directions that we could go, but I’m really curious just about touring, about Broadway, about that just being in that industry. And I don’t even know what the question is here, except it feels exhausting. I guess that’s the main thing, probably especially for dancers, I would imagine, because not only are you keeping just crazy schedules, but then you’re having to work really hard every night. And so I don’t know if the question is basically, I guess I want to hear just about what that life feels like and how you manage to stay healthy, emotionally, physically, in all aspects while on tour.

Juliane

Absolutely. I’m going to rewind a little bit to just explain that my kind of falling out with commercial theater was because I made my Broadway debut, which is a hard thing to explain to people and certainly was very painful for me to process. And I think I’m finally, I don’t know, like using it for good, but it’s taken me a long time to kind of pull that apart. And so I made my Broadway debut in SpongeBob SquarePants, the musical, which a lot of people at first hear sounds absurd. And it is in the sense that the show was in process for ten years. It was Nickelodeon’s first musical that they’ve ever brought to Broadway. And it truly was a playground, a rock concert, an art installation, surrealist, kind of crazy circus. And for anybody who didn’t see the show, it was about doomsday. Essentially. It was about the world was ending because the volcano was going to explode. And it was such an interesting room to be in. Tina Landau with our brilliant director, who had this incredible vision for the show. And it was sort of all of us were clowns. There were 21 clowns in the show, and my role was to be the swing and the dance captain.

Juliane

And for people who don’t know what that means, a swing covers the entire ensemble as their understudy. So for any woman, female track who got sick or injured or was on vacation, I covered them and also for some of the men. And then I was also the dance captain, which means that you have to know 21 roles in that case and be able to teach them, maintain them, learn them, perform them at any given moment. And it happened a lot. I think we calculated at the end of the show, I was on for a third of that run. So it’s like 104 shows. I was on stage out of 300 something, and it was insane. And I say that I include this in the story because it was sort of like the ultimate peak of my career at that point where I was on Broadway doing what I was trained to do, competition, dance very much groomed me for that job because I was really good at a multitude of styles. I knew how to teach people their roles very quickly in really crazy emergency situations, which we had a lot of. And it was really stressful and really rewarding at the same time.

Juliane

And I really struggled with how to kind of continue at that point because I thought I can’t sustain this mentally, emotionally, physically. My body is falling apart. I’m so miserable and frustrated with the way that the machine works, how people were getting injured and ignored and how the swings were not treated very well. And it was really hard. And I know that that’s not only applicable to me. I’ve talked to many other dance captains now, and we’re actually working on educating dance captains in our Union because there’s not much information on how we operate or how big the job is and how hard it is because truly, as a dance captain and a swing, you’re doing two full time jobs at the same time all the time. And yeah, so I was faced with this is not sustainable, and it is exhausting, just as you said. How do I continue when I am making the most money I’ve ever made in my life? And everyone around me says, you’re at the top of career mountain. You’ve made it. And I’m like, I am so miserable, I don’t know what to do. So I really did hit this full mode of burnout that I’ve heard from so many other artists that they’ve also hit once they’ve kind of entered this Broadway realm.

Juliane

There is nothing wrong with making art that is commercial. I will say that there is certainly again, we’re trying to distinguish with equating value with art. Right. However, I think the elitism that is attached to it is deadly for artists. And I mean that in the most literal sense is that we, our very bodies are not conditioned to perform at full capacity eight times a week for all of eternity. So we’re doing the job of Olympians in that I would have my Fitbit on and track how many calories I was burning per show. And I was quick changing 22 times a show, eight times a week in roles that I’d never performed with minutes to spare. And so again, I say all this because that is not the way that I’m now operating on tour. I’m in the ensemble of this show, which has been a huge relief and a very nice break for me, and that I have one role. I understudy one role which isn’t nearly as stressful. And even so, I’m moving my home every week. Right. We’re switching to I’m in a hotel right now in San Diego, and with the constraints of the pandemic, wearing a mask backstage all the time until we’re on stage, staying hydrated and getting enough sleep and working out.

Juliane

Like, all of these things contribute to how we literally perform on stage and off. So I’ll say I am still kind of navigating how I want to be in this world, and I think all of us are. And I can only speak for myself, but I’ve talked to a lot of people in my cast at present who thought we’d be happier coming back into this profession out of the pandemic, still in it, rather, and are finding like, this is still really hard, and we’re still going to be an industry that is, like, kind of crawling out of the bricks and mortar that have collapsed around us. Sorry, that was a very bleak expression, but it feels right. And again, yeah, I think we’re like, where can we find joy? But also, how can we make this industry sustainable, racially, gender wise, for people with disabilities, for people of all ages? There are so many things that we have to tackle still, and it has to come from us, the actors, partially so that we advocate better for ourselves. So I think I would say yes. I’m exhausted and I’m grateful, and I’m thrilled to be back.

Juliane

And I’m also like, we have so much work to do. Let’s get to it.

Dan

Yeah. Wow. Amazing recap and just some great insight into the life, the struggle, the hustle of that kind of schedule and that kind of production, which is just amazing to hear. I think it’s so easy to sit in the seats and see the show and be entertained without really considering, like, what just Herculean and undertaking it is to make that all happen, which is just incredible. I’m curious as you think about your career, and just again, I guess it maybe connects to the commercial, not versus commercial and artistic intersection. But when it comes to dance, I feel like there’s this a challenge as you age to have your body perform in the same ways. And when you look down the road, how are you processing aging as a dancer and the limitations that come along with that are inevitable in many ways and the pivots that you may or may not need to take as a result.

Juliane

I would like to just order a Bionic body. I think that’s the solution. Oh, my God. It’s such a good question, Dan, and it’s scary. It really is. That chorus line motif of what we do for love and how we keep doing it. And what is the cost of art? Again, it’s so fascinating. We keep talking about money, and it’s clearly on my mind. But I’ve been asking myself that a lot is what does it cost me, me, Juliane, to make art not financially alone, but what does it cost my body, my brain, my priorities, my family, my life choices? And it’s tough, especially again, I’m a big proponent of women’s rights and women and female dancers. I think the decision to have kids to settle down and have a family is really tough. I know a lot of dancers who have performed, like, up until weeks of when they’re supposed to give birth. It’s insane. And they’re back to work, like, weeks after they’ve had a child. Like, wait and knowing what it costs them truly. And it’s incredible. I bow down to those women. I babysat for a lot of those women. For years in New York.

Juliane

I would deliver their kids to the stage door and think like, wow, this is what it costs. This is it. You know, and I don’t know. Well, I do know for myself, again, thanks to the pandemic, I started doing a journalism certificate through UCLA Extension, which I love. And then I have one class left, and I was really enjoying being able to tell stories through other mediums and using my artistic background to connect with people in a new way. I loved that. And I love talking to you about these kinds of things because I don’t think that especially dancers’ voices are heard right. Their medium is not vocal. It is body based. And so what I’ve been working on is building sort of curriculum of my own along the lines of arts education and really looking at writing and journalism jobs and trying to find the intersection of entertainment education and journalism. So that when my body when and as it breaks down, there are other options, because I will always be a dancer. I will always move until I can’t move anymore. But yeah, I mean, already since fifth grade, my knees have started to get icky and busty, and I’ve never used that adjective busty, but everything hurts.

Juliane

It’s true. We have the joke of slathering icy hot all over our muscles before we do shows. So I’ve heard those myths. I would say a lot of epsom salt, a lot of going to PT, going to massage therapy on the road, wherever you can. It’s a lot of upkeep, but also getting really excited about programming that includes both writing and dancing, which I started to develop this year to help dancers of all ages kind of unleash their voice and that their voices matter.

Dan

I love it. Yeah. I think one of the challenging, most challenging parts of being a dancer, similar to being an athlete, that there’s this inevitable aging out, and it’s really great to hear how you’re processing that part of your career. I’m curious if we kind of start moving towards wrapping up here just to maybe even kind of come full circle. If there was a message for you to give to the whole world, I like to say, if we could put a Billboard on the moon. What would you put on that Billboard?

Man. How big is the Billboard? Teleprompter that moves? Can I have an essay that as kind of woo woo as it sounds? Love more, period. I think that’s what I would say. And I think love manifests in a lot of ways, but I always side note, I collect hearts and this whole idea of art with heart kind of stems from me literally looking for love in the sense that I see them now everywhere I go. And I make a point of spotting them because again, I think we have to mentally condition ourselves in this really difficult time and place that we’re in to look for commonalities, to look for how we can come together. And I think art is a huge part of that. But up leveling our brains and our minds to be not just positive, not in the sense of Pollyanna positivity, but to really look for how can we care for one another? I think the whole world will be better for it and I think to me, loving what I do is a key part of that and so it might not be for everyone.

Juliane

I would argue it is. Some people say they don’t need to find purpose in their work in the same way, but I think it is crucial to loving ourselves and other people. So yes, I’m here for the love more Billboard on the moon.

Dan

Fantastic. Really fantastic. Well, Juliane, this has just been so fun and I feel like we could seriously just go on all day. I think it’s fascinating what you do, the way you think about your work. So just thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to dive in and see the inside of how you think about all of this and I’m sure listeners as well been carried along in this conversation. I’m curious people are listening and want to connect more with you or follow along with your work. Is there anything in particular you’d like to invite people to?

Juliane

Sure. I just want to say thank you, Dan. This is lovely and such a wonderful space to kind of process what I’m thinking and going through in this moment. Yes, I would say you can follow me at Julianegodfrey that’s J-U-L-I-A-N-E. Just one Godfrey at on Instagram or you can follow my dance account at daily_dance_it_out okay and tuning up my website right now but it will be available soon and that’s just www.julianegodfrey.com.

Dan

I love it so perfect. We’ll make sure to link up to all of those in the show notes as well. Thank you again for coming on the show. This is just been just a blast. Thank you so much.

Juliane

Thank you so much, Dan. What a pleasure.

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