We had the good fortune of connecting with Natalie Ann and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Natalie, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
The words “risk taking” did not exist in my vocabulary up until a year ago. At the age of 15 I was abruptly pushed into adulthood and had to provide for myself. Since that time I have always had 2 or more places of work. I always looked for stability and consistency when it came to income as I could not afford to fall short. About a year ago I was faced with a chronic health diagnosis along with experiencing my first global pandemic with the rest of the world. During that time many negative attributes of my place of work came to surface. The environment was professionally and mentally toxic. I could no longer bring myself to work in such a suppressed and incompassionate work environment. After 5 years of undying loyalty, I took a deep breath and gave my 2 weeks notice without having another job or source of income lined up. Even though the risk was beyond treacherous given we were in the middle of a pandemic, it was the best decision I ever made in my life. Fast forward 7 months later, I now have my own business as a dance educator/choreographer and work with multiple dance studios throughout San Diego County along with teaching a tap program at the high school I graduated from. It took a lot of hard work and many sleepless nights to get to this point, but if I did not take that risk I would have never had the chance to get myself out from under such a crushing work environment and on my own 2 feet working beside some of the most amazing human beings I have ever met.
What should our readers know about your business?
Natalie Ann Choreography launched August 31st of 2020. N.A.C. offers in-studio, virtual, outdoor and mobile private or semi-private tap, jazz and hip hop lessons. As a client you are able to choose where you would like your student’s lesson to take place and your student is able to choose the genre of dance they would like to perfect. My mission is to help each performer reach their personal, performance or competitive goals in a safe and positive environment. N.A.C. also offers custom choreography for special events like weddings, birthday celebrations, quinceaneras and even lip sync battles. During a FREE consultation, clients choose the music for their special dance and N.A.C. customizes/edits the music of their choice. I am most proud that I can offer clients with multiple genres of dance/music and work with them to customize their performance. I have created dances for country weddings, hip hop surprise dances for quinceaneras and even father-daughter dances at weddings. Every dance is choreographed custom to the client to ensure they are confident and comfortable performing the routine on their big day. Variety is key. The more skills/traits you can acquire, the more diversity you can offer to your customers. Gaining experience takes time and patience. As long as you hold on and grit through it, the pay off is well worth the investment. I am most excited for the future. As you can imagine, life event celebrations have been minimal the last year and I am looking forward to working with future clients to make their special day better than they could ever imagine!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is a tough one. San Diego has more than enough beauty and diversity to offer in so many locations. First stop would be San Diego Harbor. The bay mixed with the city skyline is a true signature of San Diego. We would then jump on a ferry to Coronado Island and make our way to the Hotel Del. The property is abundant with history and even includes a walk up bar on the sand. Next stop would be Barrio Logan. In order to know a city you must know it’s roots from all points of view. The murals in Chicano Park and family owned businesses surrounding the area show how heavily the Mexican culture has influenced the development of San Diego. We would then head north to Ocean Beach. I love this town! The food choices are never ending and the people live as care free as can be. The care free feeling almost rubs off on you while visiting the area. The final stop would take us to East County. Mt. Helix offers views that stretch from south of the border to downtown San Diego all the way to the mountains. Here I would point out to my visitor all the locations we visited. The aerial view of the city is breathtaking.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I honestly have to thank everyone who has ever crossed my path in life. Whether it was a negative or positive interaction, every single person has made an impact and led me to be the person I am today. I appreciate those who have stayed by my side since day 1 and have continued to share their undying love and support through ALL life’s obstacles we have faced individually and together. I would also like to take this opportunity to shoutout and thank the owners/staff at Center Stage School of Dance, The Dance Spot Eastlake, Dance Dayz, Dance & Company and West Coast Dance Complex for taking me in at such a time of uncertainty. You all truly showed me what a supporting and loving work environment looks like and have given me so much hope for the future of dance.