We had the good fortune of connecting with Courtney Carter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Courtney, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
There was actually very little thought. I attend a Bible Study with my friend one day and hear the Pastor say “why are you waiting for the perfect conditions to do what God has already told you to do? If He told you to do it, He will make a way for you.” That statement inspired me so much so, that that very night I resigned as President and Dance Learn of a dance group and started my own business the very next day.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I teach Brazilian samba, which I immediately loved at first sight. Our motto in the class is ‘samba is for everyone!’ I developed this phrase as a response to my experiences of hearing other people’s expectations of what a samba dancer should look like. However, samba is about joy and sharing that joy with others. You can look like and be anything and still be joyful. I think this is what sets our group apart: encouraging people to start where they are and simply grow in the process rather than wait until they look a certain way and then start. Getting where I am today felt easy because I loved samba so much and still can’t believe I’m running a business. We have been truly blessed by wonderful people who keep the company going. The thing that is challenging is samba itself. I and my students are constantly striving to get better and reach our personal goals with samba. Samba is hard! Not just the steps and the speed, but the process of learning more about yourself as you grow.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The first thing on the agenda is always the wineries! I have some favorite winery spots that I love to frequent. Each one has its own unique personality and vibe. Also, the culinary opportunities in Temecula are amazing! There are several favorite food spots including Japanese food, Greek, Indian, Mexican, Italian, and pub-style American food with a twist. We have some live entertainment including open mic night with chart topping artists hosted by the Man, Darryl Willians himself. Or if want to do the entertaining, we can find a salsa spot and squeeze our way into the dance floor. And after an exciting time on the town, spending time with my family playing games and watching MMA bouts are the best. Of course with the covid pandemic, we have had to get very creative, but we try our best.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My family deserves a huge shout out for making my company into something! They were my first samba students (with no desire to be learning samba) but made themselves present so I could have the numbers and build excitement for the class. Also, my friend Joyce deserves a huge shout out for a. Always encouraging me to start my own business, b. Taking me to Bible Study with her, and c. Dedicating herself and her family to participating in samba (wether they liked it or not). 🙂
Facebook: Brazilian Dance Company