Creativity, Dance and Pursuing your Passion in Entrepreneurship with Emi Matsushita

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I’m a huge fan of our guest here today.  She, in some ways, has is a part of why the Meaning Movement exists.  Emi was one of the first clients I worked with one-on-one many many years ago.

She’s since continued her journey and it’s taken her to some extraordinary places.

Emi Matsushita holds a Master in Dance Science.  She is a Creative Director, Producer, Mover & Creative catalyst, and coach.  She’s also a Mother, Wife, an old friend and an Inspiration.

She is passionate in helping fellow freelance dance artists make money and build a business around their passions.

Emi and I go way back, it was around 12 years ago when we worked together. And I’m very excited to hear her journey from finding her passion and expanding it to become her mission. How dance became a calling and how she helps others to make their passion into an enterprise.

Let ‘s get into it.

Listen in here:

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In this episode you’ll learn:

  • What Emi does
  • Emi’s relationship with dance
  • The forms of dance Emi did 
  • Her experience after working with Dan
  • Emi’s journey to discovering dance as her calling
  • Dance as a platform to showcase art
  • The before and after transformation Emi went through
  • Emi’s Dance Science ethnographic research 
  • Dance in the art world
  • Relevance of dance culturally and historically
  • The Dance Battle scene
  • The effects COVID on the dance industry
  • Getting a realtor license while prioritizing Dance
  • How Emi started coaching fellow dancer to become entrepreneurs
  • Why Emi chose a specific niche to pursue
  • Emi’s mission
  • Emi’s advice to people who are in the same spot that she was in

Resources Mentioned:

Emi’s website

Emi’s Instagram

Emi’s Instagram

Software Generated Transcription:

Dan: Emi, thank you so much for joining me. Welcome to The Meaning Movement podcast. I’m so excited to have you here with me.

Emi: I’m excited too.

Dan: I feel like this conversation’s a long time coming. Um, and so it’s just really, really great. Uh, you’re you’re like an OG of the, the meaning movement. Um, so this is really, really special for me. Um, so the, and we’ll get into all of that, but the question that I like to start with is how do you begin to talk about the work that you do?

Emi: Oh man. Yeah, that is such a dense question to answer because it’s hard to compartmentalize myself, especially as a creative. My energies are all over the place, but to keep it in simple terms, the work that I do currently is creative. Well coaching for creatives, specifically freelance dancers. I help them make money and make a business that’s sustainable for.

their Creative life. So that’s the short answer.

Dan: I love it. That is so, so great. And it’s so fun to see you doing that. So let, let’s just zoom out. Um, cause I know, I know, you know, some of the story, um, but like let’s just start with dance, like tell me, tell, let’s talk about the, your, your, your relationship. Tell me about your relationship with dance.

Emi: Oh man dance, honestly, like the more I’m interviewed and the more I get to talk about it, like the more I realize how, how impactful it has been for me initially, it just started as something that was just an outlet for fun. And I was always like a natural mover, but then, um, once I started like doing it more intensely in like a, a formatted way, I started dancing on a dance team.

And so that gave me structure and foundations and. what not Um, yeah, it, I felt myself really coming into my own and kind of contrasting that to like my traumatic childhood. I just had a lot of chaos in my life when I was younger. And so that outlet to me became kind of like my sanctuary a space where I could actually take up space and express.

Um, and, and so I knew that like in my body, as I was dancing, but I didn’t really make that mental connection until I really dove in deeper into. So I became exposed to hip hop in college and that kind of changed blew my mind. Basically. I was like, oh wow. I don’t have to just replicate moves anymore.

Which is like the standard path of a lot of dancers. You learn choreography, you learn the right techniques, blah, blah, blah. Um, but hip hop showed me that it was a raw form of expression and there was like a whole community and culture around it. And that just kind of. Set me on a totally different track where I was like, there’s so much more to this art form and this practice.

Um, and then for me personally, it helped me through a really difficult transitional time. Um, you know, with my divorce, I had to reinvent myself and I found that I gravitated towards dance to be like, what is my identity now? As a, as a newly single female in this world. Um, with great aspirations, no less.

And so, yeah, dance has really just been kind of my buddy this whole time

Dan: Your buddy, this is such a good way to think about it. I love it. Your buddy, your buddy keeping you company. So when you were in your younger years before, before finding hip hop, like what, what styles, you know, I’m, I’m not that familiar with dance. Like you’re, you’re one of my main connections. I have a few other, some, some other clients, oddly, I end up working with a, you know, I’ve worked with a handful of, of the dancers Um, but, but only like secondhand, like I should actually go to a dance class and. Especially now that I have kids, I should take my kids to dance. They would love that. Um, but, but tell me about, you know, like how, like what styles were you doing before, before hip hop?

Emi: um, so basically I started out doing jazz funk and palms, because that was kind of like the competition format for dance teams at the time. Yeah, exactly. So that was very, yeah. Structured. I will say.

Dan: It

I love it. And I feel like when we, you know, and so just, just for, for listeners, like you were one of, you know, one of, one of the first, you know, coaching clients, I guess we can call it that, that I had, you know, with, with the meaning movement, like 12 plus years ago.

Um, which is wild. Um, thank you again for trusting me. with you through that stage of your life, because it was such a, a gift. Um, but I’m, I’m curious just to, I mean, I, I think it’d be really interesting to maybe kind of revisit that. Like, what I was gonna say about is like, it felt like at that time, your relationship with dance was, uh, I don’t know.

It felt like, it feels like, um, it was emerging as. Maybe a significant but maybe, maybe it was, um, I don’t wanna put words in your mouth, so maybe, maybe like, I’d love to have you tell, tell that portion of that story of like coming to, coming to like, maybe grab onto, grab onto your buddy and and let that buddy take you somewhere.

I don’t

Emi: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, honestly, like you said, like that point in my life, I did not connect in my brain and body that like dance was so significant to me and so powerful. But at the same time that we were doing the work together, I was seeing it firsthand because I was, um, blessed to start my own performance team, basically a hip hop crew, and I was seeing the transformation in them.

but it didn’t really like connect that. I was like, oh, I’m going through transformation too. And like, dance is like my medicine, you know, my, my, everything, my therapy, my everything. Um, and so like, yeah, the, honestly though the work that we did together was so pivotal for me because it really, you challenged me to like dig in deeper and give me that space to explore that more. Um, and granted, it took many, many years to get to where I am now with like ebbs and flows with my relationship with dance. But, but that was like the catalyst I wanna say. I wanna was like a, market moment in my life, so

Dan: mm. Yeah, you, you were doing it. I was. I just got to call it out. I just got to got to point you point point you in the direction along way, hopefully accelerate the process, but it is a long process. Right. And I feel like that’s, what’s so frustrating. Um, and I don’t know. I, I feel like a lot of people come to this work, this deeper work of what is my work in the world and what’s the contribution I want to have.

And like We want it solved, like, like a snap, you know, like fast, we want it like, okay, give me the answer and then let let’s go. Um, but I feel like it’s kind of like, uh, I don’t know, like a bait and switch of sorts, like uh, that like what I really wanna always and inviting people to is a process. And to transition that like, like a, a reframing of how you think about yourself and your work and that like embracing that it is a journey and.

So it’s been so fun to see you on your journey and just, it feels like you’ve you’ve come. So yeah, you’ve come so far and I can’t take any credit for it. So, um,

Emi: Oh, Thank you. 

Dan: Good on you.

Emi: Thank you. I guess . 

Dan: Yeah 

Emi: I like to give credit where credit is due too, so I appreciate the space that you held for me, cuz 

that’s sencerity

Dan: Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you. Let’s um, let’s just for listeners to kind of narrate some of like, you know, professionally, what has like, that your trajectory been from, from that point or, you know, starting whenever, but I think, you know, people are always thinking, you know, I think it’s really helpful to hear how other people navigate decisions about what am I gonna do next?

How am I gonna. You know, not in like the woo woo, like, you know, um, manifest, but like actually bring to life. Maybe that’s a better way put it, bring to life, our desires, the direction that we want to go, the work that we want to do. And it can, you know, it can be a little bit of a winding road. Um, and so, you know, how, how has the road wound for you?

Emi: Oh man. It was super windy. Um, yeah, so basically like once we started doing our work together and I realized light bulb moment that like dance is something that I wanna revisit. Cause basically when I was younger, I made a decision to do a very safe. route Study science. I thought I was gonna be a dentist, blah, blah, blah.

It didn’t work out. Right. Cause that’s not what I really wanted to do with my life. the Impact that I wanted to make. Um, and so once I realized, okay, dance is, is not just my buddy, it’s like a tool. I was like, really? He honed in on pursuing it more, so developing more technical training in it. And so that’s when I applied to schools, but being a mature student, there weren’t any schools friendly to dancers of my age.

to go back into full-time training. And so that took me abroad. Um, and then that journey basically was also super dynamic. I started training in a, um, an urban dance program, um, undergrad program, basically in London. Um, and then I realized after a year, even though I loved it so much, I loved being in that space.

I realized that I need, I needed to level up myself. I couldn’t just like have another bachelor’s degree under my belt. like Money wise, it didn’t, it wasn’t a smart investment, I guess. Um, and so I ended up switching majors to a master’s program in dance science. And that is actually a really tough decision. I struggled with it cuz it didn’t feel quite in alignment, um, still, but I made the best of it and it also gave me an excuse to do a year long research project in the, in the dance battle scene of London.

So I did BA basically an ethnography. I don’t know if people know that term or not, but anyways,

it’s a cultural

study. Yeah. So it just gave me an excuse to attend all these different events. And again, it just was fortifying this idea of like the power of dance, the power of dance, how can I harness it?

You know, this is what this is like, what I wanna do. I wanna support people, artists doing this powerful act and offering it to the world. And so as I was doing all of this work in school and in life, um, It was just like, kind of all of these like gray bits that were in my head of like, what I wanted to do were coming together, but I had to like live throughout this whole process.

Oh. And another thing that I wanted to add that kind of was another clarifying thing for me. On my windy journey was, um, when I was finishing up my master’s program, I also had the opportunity to debut a experimental dance festival. So I produced my first, um, international dance, um, production basically abroad in London.

Um, and that was. also amazing too, because then now I saw like, oh, platforms for dance is also a way to like showcase the power of art. Um, so yeah, there’s just a lot of little bits, but it all was like necessary to like finally synergize together and granted nothing was super clear still. Cause I’m still shifting, but that’s the process

Dan: I love that. Thank you for. Very high. Yeah. That high level high level

overview. And I wanna, I wanna dive into few things there, but just as we, as we do, just to kind of think about your, you know, the work that we did together, again, in that, that transition, how do you articulate maybe the, the transformation that.

Happened through that work, the work that we did, like the, before the Emi before and the Emi after even though, and, and, and not necessarily the Emmy today versus the Emmy before, but, but like, you know, what, what came out of that? And I’m, I’m, I’m curious how you, how you put words around that, that transition, that, that portion of the journey.

Emi: Yeah. I mean, I think in the most simplest terms, it like gave me permission to dig deeper into something that I loved so much, but like societally, like, oh, it’s just a hobby. Oh, it’s, you know, whatever, you just do it

on the

side, creative things like aren’t valued as much, but it gave me permission to, to be like, no, like, why am I drawn to this?

And what is this connection that I have with my buddy?

Dan: yes. Yes. Yes. That is more than just a hobby, right?

Emi: Yeah, totally. Mm-hmm

Dan: Yeah, I love it. I love it. Um, I have no idea what dance science means.

Emi: you are not the only one. My


 it’s. Yeah, honestly it is still a new field, just like any other, science’s just the study of whatever it’s studying. So like like biology or physics. Right. But dance science was created about maybe 20 years ago. I think, honestly, the school that I went to in London, um, was one of the pioneers that created dance science and offers it as a master’s and a bachelor’s.

And there’s only a few schools in the us that kind of touch base with it, but don’t have it as a full program. Um, so it’s a totally new field, but basically it’s gonna. Become its own self. And the more that research is done in the field, whether it be in the harder sciences or the softer sciences, like the ones that I did, like cultural studies, but yeah, there’s so much to be learned and gained from dancers as a, as a art form, as a culture.

So, so yeah, TBD on dance science, but hopefully that gave you a rough ideal 

Dan: that 

helped That helps a lot. I love it.

I and I, I know that there’s, so it feels like there’s so much, um, emerging around the body and like um, How the body and the mind work together, how the body, you know, I think of the book, you know, the body keeps score and like, you know, how about how trauma is held.

And, and so, like, I think dance, you know, I don’t know how much of this has been part of your, your studies, but like how dance can unlock, you know, unlock things for people emotionally. And like it’s crazy and wild. And like, I get goosebumps, I have goosebumps right now talking about it. It’s just like, so, so cool.

It like. The, the human beings are amazing. Um, and we, and it’s, it’s amazing that like, as much as we know, as advanced as we are, that we could like, you know, send people to the moon and we’re working on sending people to Mars and we still don’t understand, like this thing that we live

in this


Which is wild

Emi: it’s crazy. And I think like with dance in particular, like it’s so rudimentary, like everybody’s a mover innate

Dan: by

Emi: nature. And so it is, it, it does feel like, oh, everybody just does it. It’s fine. Like, it’s easy to do. You don’t need equipment or anything supplementary besides music really, but like, yeah.

It’s just, it, it, I feel like dance is kind of like the, the youngest child of the whole. Economy of like artists, I suppose, like there’s the fine artists, the painters, the designers, the musicians, like that’s a big one. Right. But then like dancers just kinda like, oh, to the side,

 because like, it you need something else to exist as a dancer and everybody dances anyway, and it’s super social sometimes, so people don’t take it, people take it for granted basically.

Um, so yeah, I, I think

Dan: I feel like,

Emi: like to be a mouthpiece it.

Dan: I, well, I I’m I’m with you on that even as a non dancer. And I feel like it’s a part of, I don’t know, um, how. Western white culture, like doesn’t dance. Right. But like so many other cultures do. And, um, like dance was, was, you know, many of the most ancient cultures, you know, dance is a big part of them, of, of how they express and how they, uh, of ritual and like, you know, how they mark, you know, transitions and like all those things.

And, and, um, so I think. A lot to be gained from, from what you’re doing.

Yeah. I’m so glad you said that, cuz that’s yeah, those are also huge things to, to focus on too.

Emi: Just the yeah,

the, impact of it. Culturally societally. Oh.

Dan: yeah. Um, one other thing that, you know, I, I have a, I have a small idea of what you mean when you say this, but you, you did just in passing, just say, you know, that you were studying the dance battle scene of London and, um, I just feel like we can’t, I just can’t let go by without talking about, about


the dance, the dance battle scene, like,

look can you describe that?

Can you describe that for folks? What, what are you

talking about when you

talk about the dance battle scene?

Emi: So yeah, so the dance battle scene basically was. Evolved, um, from different dance genres, um, probably circa 1970s, 1980s, like really like hip hop was kind of the, the biggest spotlight, um, biggest genre that was spotlighted. But like with the birth of hip hop, you know, it was a social.

Street dance. Um, and so the way that they did it back then was, you know, breakers B boys would get together and they would kind of be like calling each other out and they’d be dancing at each other. Right. Proving their worth, like very so there’s so much lineage too. Be behind this movement. Obviously hip hop movement has goes farther back than the seventies and eighties, but that’s kind of like the beginnings of.

it But with that said, there’s also lesser aggressive forms of like battles, we’ll say, um, that took place with other styles, like, you know, house and like, um, like the, the whole ballroom culture as well, like whacking and bogging those fem movements. Um, and so all of that is really just kind of the same. Type of, uh, what’s the word, same type of format where there’s like a cypher right.

A circular space that allows people to come into and exchange. And we can use the word battle because that’s kind of like the history of it, the origins, but like, you know, it’s, it’s not like we’re like it’s do or die in 

there. You just kind of. 

Dan: well, I should ask, do you declare a winner? Is there a winner in a, in, in a dance battle?

Emi: Yes. So nowadays, like most of the time, these battles that happen, like always ends up with a cash prize. So the winner, you know, will take the cash prize or whatever prize is offered, but mostly it’s cash. Um, and so the, the format usually is, you know, the winner is determined by judges. So people who are selected because of their expertise or their reputation in the, in the. As you know, specialists and, uh, yeah, one, one, or sometimes pairs compete or teams compete. Um, it all varies, but yeah, there’s definitely a winner. you can’t go home without somebody being declared 


Dan: that. And I mean, like for listeners, like would a good equivalent be like MMA, but dancing

Emi: oh, that’s really like a, a, a funny analogy, but yeah, basically. Yeah. Cause you’re like, You’re paired with people and you


Dan: a circle. Yeah,

Emi: Yeah. The circle that’s a yeah.

Dan: I love it. I love it. Well, I, I, I’ve watched a few videos, you know, years ago, bout at your prompting, just cause I was like, what is this thing that, that Emmy’s doing? And, and I forget who it is. You there’s like a Seattle group that, um, that you’re, you were a big fan of that, um, something monkeys or.

Emi: the massive monkey 



Dan: Yes. I’ve. I’ve watched, I’ve watched a few massive monkey videos, so I I’ve got a, you know, I’ve got a little bit of a it’s incredible, really incredible. I would love to, I would love to see it live cuz just the energy. It’s just, I’m sure it’s just next level. Um,

Emi: Dan, you should definitely take your children. I’m actually battling this weekend with a

Dan: are you really.

Emi: we’re doing a two B two battle. So me luck

Dan: I love it. It just, it just had this, it just feels like a video game. When you put it like that, you like, it feels like street fighter or something, you know, da dating myself with that, with that reference. Yeah. So great. So great. Well, okay. So let’s, let’s, let’s kind of circle back to your, so thank you for all of that, all that education on, on, um, on Dan’s , um, I wanna circle back to your work.

And so, you know, coming out of, you know, getting, getting your, your degree and then just kind of connect, connect the dots to, to what you’re doing now, as far as coaching and like, what is like, and, and maybe just more, I just wanna know more about like your process and, and. Maybe even tell some client stories or like how, how are you helping people?

And what is that transformation that you’re helping people walk through? What does that look like? I wanna hear all of that. So let’s start with, let’s start with you. Got your master’s and then what?

Emi: Uh, huh. So yeah, after I got my master, the first thing I did was move back to America and have a baby

Dan: Woo.

Emi: So that, that whole process kind of derailed the process that I had in my mind was gonna happen. Right. Um, but no, I love my son obviously. Um, and that was definitely a life goal of mine to be a parent. Um, but yeah, honestly the same time that that happened.

COVID hit. And so like everything in the arts world was basically like the first to get chopped. Right. So that momentum just kind of

Dan: Ugh.

Emi: Fizzled for me, honestly. Um, and I like moved back in with my parents for a bit because my husband lost his job from the COVID affecting his industry. And, um, yeah, so I was really.

Grasping at things at that point where I was like, what am I doing? I was in North Dakota. There’s like nothing cultural there. really. Um, and so yeah, being back with my parents that that’s obviously a whole nother thing too. Um, so it was like, I, I was like so desperate to be doing things. Um, which so my life actually took a crazy turn.

Um, my husband and I have always been big dreamers and thinkers, and we talked about real estate for a long time. Um, and so I attended a conference and I basically. Joined a program to get my real estate education. Um, and I ended up getting my license, um, my real realtor license, but honestly, like I’m not, I’m not doing anything with real estate at the moment.

Um, but my husband and I started an investment company, um, basically just like positioning ourselves to be ready to do big things with real estate. But I did make a decision, basically real estate was like in my head, I rationalized it as that was gonna be my means to my end, which is. My real thing that I wanna do is around dance.

Dan: Yeah.

Emi: And so I was thinking like, oh, I could fund it with real estate, but I basically said, forget it. I’m going to do dance first. And then I’ll do real estate later. So that was a big, um, decision and it was kind of jarring for my husband, honestly. So if he listens to this podcast, Sorry, but he knows we’ve had many discussions about it.

Um, but yeah, that was a decision also that I needed to make for myself. Um, that was like a, a defining moment that I was like, no, I gonna just go for the thing that I really wanna do first and then figure everything out later.

Dan: Yes. Wow. I love, I love that. I mean, all, all of it, both from like, it makes, like I can relate in so many ways because it’s even what I’ve done with, with the meaning movement. Like I have other projects that like, meaning movement has, has yet to be my full time income. Um, we’re, we’re working on that, but, but at the same time, like, um, But there also comes a point where it’s like, okay, am I sacrificing too much for, you know, too much of my, of what I really wanna do to be, you know, responsible or, you know, practical.

And like, that’s, it’s such a personal choice where it’s like, if you’re like, yeah, I’m, I’m doing real estate and then doing, doing dance on the side, like. No one, no one would judge you, right? Like, like that’s a totally valid path and, and makes it makes a ton of sense. And so many, I think so many listeners are in spaces like that, where they’re like, I have my job, I have my thing that makes money, but then I have this other thing and like, is it okay that I have two things that.

Do, should they be separate? Do I need to quit one? Do I need to quit the other, you know, all of those questions. So just, I really appreciate you just sharing that and that, you know, and also where you’ve, where you’ve landed on it. And I’m just like here rooting for you saying go IMY go, go, go.

Emi: Yeah, for real though. Cause I don’t think it’s, it’s uncommon to like always choose the rational one. That makes sense. And, and like you rationalize as like, oh, this is the, the secure option 

because data has already proven that it works like real estate works. That’s a formula. Many people have done it, but like me being an entrepreneur in the arts.

Uh, not so much, not much data behind it. Super risky.

Dan: Yeah. Yeah. So let’s, I I’d love to just talk about, like, what does that, what, like, what does that look like? Where are, what are your, what are you, what are you chasing after? How is this, how is this coming, like coming into focus for you?

Emi: Yeah. So basically I re I’m still pretty early days in the work that I’m doing, because there’s just so much more hurdles to overcome. So even though I made the decision to go forward on my dance goals and my dance dreams, I, I still was, you know, trying to play it safe. And so when we first moved down to Texas, it it’s.

It was about a year ago, I was still working part-time, you know, and I realized that that was really drained my energy from the things that I wanted to do that I already said, Hey, I’m gonna do this thing. And so I quit my job. Thank you, husband, for being so patient with me again, but yeah, I quit my job and I was like, okay, I’m just gonna go all in.

And so the first, um, yeah, debut of me in my coaching business was. Putting myself out there being like, this is what I do. And that was scary to just like own it fully and to just like, take those first steps, because again, like I. You know, I didn’t know anybody that was doing anything like this in, in the, um, creative sector, let alone the dance sector.

Um, and so, yeah, I was just like, okay, I gotta figure this out myself. So I honestly needed to rely on a lot of other influences, uh, mentors, coaches. I hired my own to be able to help me really clarify what I was doing, because like I knew I had an idea of how, okay. I wanted. to Support other artists in doing the transformational work that they do through art.

And how do I do that? I Don’t know so yeah, I really needed to, to rely on other people to help.

Dan: I love it. I love it. Um, and, and so like, what does that, what does it, what does it look like? I mean, I know you mentioned a little bit about, you know, helping freelance dancers, you know, make their, make their living or, you know, make, earn more as a dancer. And like, so I guess maybe what is the, what is the transformation that you’re, you’re walking people through?

Like what is, what is the before and after of, of the work that you do with people?

Emi: Yeah. So traditionally, like dancers are trained technicians, right? With all of the systems, all of the structure, all of the society, like how, how we’re all raises dancers. Like we just are raised as technicians if we go through the standard path. And so there’s no real resources and thinking beyond.

Of of you as a dancer, but really all dancers are entrepreneurs. We’re all representing ourselves. We’re all making a means from our art. And so that mindset shift needs to be like ingrained. And so that’s, that’s one part of the transformation just really being like, oh my gosh, like, it’s my destiny to be an entrepreneur.

So latching onto that. And then I also take, so when I do my work with my clients, like I take ’em through this process of developing a business that is, you know, makes them light up because dancers, honestly, like it’s not the only thing we do. We have so many other interests. And so it’s about finding something.

that Connects all of your creative energies and creating a product or a service to offer the world to be able to make money from it. And so we kind of go through this process of digging in a little bit deeper to figure out what this business can look like and then who you wanna serve. And what do you actually do wanna offer?

You know, if everything’s in alignment and then we can start taking steps. Making your business happen and actually debuting it like I do when I was like, I’m a coach

Dan: Yes. Yes.

Emi: know? Yeah. So, so it’s a lot of mindset work, but there are some practical steps for sure.

Dan: Well mindset is so, so important. And I feel like that’s like every, every single episode it feels like of, of this show. Like I’ve just always, and it’s part of, it’s just cuz that’s, you know, so much where I’m at in my own process of like just realizing how much, the way we think about who we are and the work that we do, shapes it shapes our reality, our thoughts shape our reality, the words we use to describe ourselves and our work and what we’re up to in life shapes, you know, what, what comes out of it.

And so it makes a ton of. Which I love. And I also just love how, how specific your work is like that, like just niche, having such a clear niche audience, right. A niche client, a very specific client I’m sure is kind of scary. It’s like, are there enough dancers that want something like this, but also like, because you’re saying you’re, you’re working with just this very specific demographic.

It just means like, when those people find you, they’re like, heck yes, this is my, this is my girl.

Emi: yep. That’s my plan.

Dan: Yeah. Yeah. I love that. So, so, so much 

Dan1: so in addition to coaching, I know you’re also, you know, a creator, you’re a dancer, you’re doing all kinds of other things. Like maybe just fill out some of the picture of what else, what else is going on in, in Emmy’s creative.

Emi1: Yeah, I’m, besides my business, I am actively dancing. I’m actually on a hip hop dance crew right now. We, um, compete, uh, we will be competing in the spring, so that’s like an awesome outlet for me to just continue my own training. Um, and then additionally, I also have creative project projects that I am producing and creating, and.

Very much the organizer of, So coming up, I’ve partnered with a nonprofit that has a showcase. Um, the theme is very collaborative. Um, making bridges between artistic disciplines. I’m creating a performance around this theme where we’re basically looking at a conversation between a moving body, a dancer, and a live painter.

Um, and then, so that’ll be debuted in the fall in Dallas and Houston, and then also in the spring. Um, the event that I did, um, in London that I produced in my last year of my master’s program, that is the event that I wanna bring here to the us. I’m gonna be debuting it in Dallas and Houston as well, um, in the spring.

So 2023 is a big year, and I’m

Dan1: Big year. So cool. So fun to see you out there making, making magic happen. I love.

Emi1: Yes.


just to zoom out a little bit, I wanna just ask, um, you know, kind of about, I don’t know, which words do you use in, in your thinking about your work? Um, legacy calling vocation passion, but, um, I’m curious what, what words are in your vernacular and, um, how, how you think about that aspect of what you.


Emi: Oh man. It’s like always on my mind, because I think, I think I had described before about like how, as a creative, you just have so many different energies and so many different like inspirations, like we’re just divine channels of open. Inspiration all the time. We’re always being inspired. And so like, so it is easy to like get distracted by things.

But when I come back to like my mission, I guess sometimes I use that word or my purpose or my, um, yeah, the thing that lights me up and I come back to it. I realize that all of the movement in these different directions are still under this beautiful umbrella that I’ve created for myself. so it’s okay.

It’s okay. I’m just harnessing my creativity in a different way, but yeah, my mission overall is really just to be a world changer. Oh, it sounds so trite but like, you know, like, cuz it’s been used a lot, but it really is about me serving my community to be a thought leader, to shake people up and say, Hey, you have so much value in the art.

Like art is powerful. And I don’t think people realize that, especially the ones that create it and we take it for granted every day, you know, just listening to music and stuff, but like that stuff is getting hit deep levels in people and movements are created from art, you know, social movements, all of these things.

They’re from like new thoughts, which are instigated by art. Um, and so really it’s just like shaking my community, be like, wake. Do this thing. And because the artists are kind of the pioneers of change, like that’s what I envision as like my legacy as art, creating positive changes that impact their local communities, which impact the global communities.

We’re all so interconnect. now a days So it’s just a matter of time that once we all realize this power and harness it as artists, um, yeah, it’s, you know, only good things can come from this.

Dan: Love that that’s beautiful. What a great mission and mission is such is such a good word. I, I, I’m happy to happy that you, that you use that. And I think, I mean, one of the things that, that folks listening can really take from that, I think that you just articulate so well is how, um, how it’s a, it’s an umbrella.

Like with all these, all the, like where you nest all these other activities underneath it. And I think that we often think about things like mission or, you know, a dream job or calling, or like whatever words, like as a, like, as a job or like one specific, you know, outlet. um, when really it’s like a, it’s a life direction.

It’s a, um, it’s a, it’s a movement, um, in the world that you wanna be a part of. Um, it’s an impact that you wanna make. And so I feel like you articulate that really, really beautifully in your work. And, um, again, I’m just, I’m just rooting for you. I’m a big fan. It’s so 

Emi: Thank you. 

Dan: great.

Emi: thank you so much.

Dan: for folks that are listening that, you know, maybe they’re in a spot, maybe similar to where, you know, you were, when we first met feeling stuck, feeling like things were falling apart.

And I know you, you kind of mentioned in passing, but you know, at that point in your life you’d, um, just gone through a divorce and it was like, felt like, I don’t know, it felt like you, you, you weren’t really certain what, what was next? Um, I’m curious if you have any words to offer folks that are in a space like that right now.

Emi: Yeah. So basically if I had to talk to my 27 year old self,

Dan: There you go. Uhhuh.

Emi: yeah. I would just say stick with it, like, you know, dig in a little bit deeper to what lights you up, figure out the story behind it and figure out how you can tap into it more to really. create a Life around this thing because it ha it has you, and there’s a reason for it.

So if you dig in and learn more, then the possibilities are only gonna open up.

Dan: Yeah,

Emi: So 

Dan: it’s beautiful. Yeah. And just as you’re saying that, just, I don’t know, came to mind some of, some of your stories of dance and just how, um, yeah. Meaningful and special. And, and, uh, I dunno, it feels like sacred, sacred moments, you know, to be able to share some of those stories that, that we got to share.

And so again, I just feel so grateful for, for the work that we got to do together in, in naming some of that as, um, as important, um, for you. 

Emi: man. Yeah. 

Yeah. Thank you.

Dan: Well, for folks that wanna follow along with your work, um, is there anything, you know, that you’d like to invite people to.

Emi: Yeah. I mean, I definitely, you know, in the greater scale, I just want everybody to like live authentically and be, you know, themselves. So if my story and the work that I do helps you just a little bit, just gives you a little pep talk, then feel free to, you know, follow me on my social account. Obviously, you know, my niche’s dancers, so I’m always gonna be talking to them, but you.

Obviously as well, there’s, there’s more to be gleaned from just the messages that I have out there, but my Instagram is levelup_emilou I love putting video content. So at give you chuckle, if you, follow me yeah. My website is thats C O not com com not the com, so yeah. Yeah. And honestly, I am still shifting. I’ll be, you know, full disclosure to everybody listening. Like this path of entrepreneurship is always shifting, always trying to find the thing that fits and in is alignment with me. So luckily websites and technology can, can accommodate those changes.

So, definitely. Yes, exactly. So keep updated on all of my shifts in my journey, um, through my socials on my. 

Dan: I love. Well, I’ll, I’ll make sure to, to link up to those in the, in the show notes. And I think, you know, again, I feel like I’ve already said this, but like, just that, you know, I love how transparent you are about, you know, about your process, about where you are in your process and just like, just, you know, why pretend like you have it all together.

Right? We already telling stories that everyone else in the world has it together. And we don’t when the truth is nobody, nobody has it together and everybody’s making it. up as They go along. So thank you for just being an example of, um, of, you know, that that’s the reality that that’s the reality of life and I find that to be really inspiring.

And so this has been so fun, so fun to reconnect. So fun. Just, you know, hear so much more of your story over the last, you know, so many years since the last time we connected. And, um, and also I think just, I think your story’s just an inspiration for folks, um, who, you know, are in similar transit transitions.

So thank you

Emi: mm-hmm . Thank you, Dan. And I honestly, Dan, the work that you do, I, I hope that you make it full time very soon because I it’s been so impactful for me. Just hearing other people’s stories on the podcast. It’s really given me the juice to keep going, knowing that other people are out there doing the same things, you know, making big strides, taking chances on their.

life And just hearing that and being a part of this community has been really, really valuable to me. So I hope that you expand it and it keeps growing.

Dan: Thank you. That means so much to hear because you put these podcasts out there and you just don’t know, you don’t know who’s consuming it at what point in their lives. And like you don’t get, you don’t get a lot of feedback. And so, um, so thank you for that. That means a lot to.

Emi: Yes. Yes. Yes. So keep going.

Dan: Okay. I will, I will. Thanks so much Emmy.

Emi: so thank you so much, Dan.

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