We had the good fortune of connecting with Emma Mesrobian and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emma, can you tell us about what you are most excited or proud of in terms of the business you’ve built?
When thinking about the word DANCE, the majority of people instinctively think INTIMIDATION. Yes, they do also think amazing, fun, and exciting, but to be associated with the skill of dance, their initial reaction is intimidation. I wanted to change that perspective and teach people that they can learn and attain dance for enjoyment. Dance is not a discipline that is to be only acquired at a professional level, but to be acquired to gain inner strength and confidence. I believe it is one of the best medicines in life. I personally have seen so many of my clients change when taking my class for an event or for a special day. Just that one class, has been cathartic and has brought back the confidence they needed to push through whatever was holding them back in life. We often are afraid of trying new things, learning new things, making new friends because of ego, shame, and looking stupid, the typical cliché external expectations or self-expectations. But we don’t realize those exact fears are what we need to grow. I honestly believe that everything we do is a reflection of who we are and creating a business should not be any different. That is why I wanted Emma Mesrobian Dance to be an experience and extension of your life’s growth! A place to feel safe, not judged, and be as raw as one can be within their soul, because that is exactly who I am. I create stories through movements, and through all those movements, I have turned a lot of non-dancers into dancers, from all ages and walks of life. However, the best part of my accomplishments is to see how client’s spirits were lifted and their confidence shifted every time they pushed through a movement, they had difficulty doing. Is it easy? Absolutely not! I am so grateful that our paths crossed, either for their special event or my dance workshops and I was able to add value to their lives. I believe that every skill we learn and attain adds value to our lives and causes a ripple effect even when we least expect it. The world went into a temporary lockdown on March 15, 2020, and everything went digital. As we are all facing this horrific Coronavirus Pandemic, we are forced to pivot and rethink who we are and what we are made of. At least, I would hope that is what is happening. But by doing so, we must go within ourselves on a physical and spiritual level, not digital. This is where dance comes in, it is the best medicine for that. I am so honored to know that my clients have taken all of their dance skills and applied it to their daily routine while in quarantine. Less risk of falling into depression, keeping them motivated, strong, healthy and keeping their spirits up. They have the basic tools and along with newfound confidence, they can conquer dance combinations without any intimidation. My philosophy is quite simple. It is to have “Serious fun.” We are serious about having fun when learning and dancing. I teach all my lessons through choreography. That is another word everyone is afraid of, thinking if you are not a professional dancer you will not be able to learn the choreography. Each of my clients and students have mastered so many difficult steps and are amazed and proud of themselves, because initially they were afraid of trying. This past spring, I was asked to be on the TV show Shahs of Sunset. A reality show on Bravo TV, that follows a group of six Persian-American friends. Nema Vand, one of the cast members, has voiced his insecurities about his Persian dance skills and Persian roots. I had the great pleasure of having him come to my studio and tape an episode of our dance class. In this episode, I am teaching him how to dance Persian. With a lot of Persian events coming up, knowing how to dance Persian, was very important to him. I am so glad I was able to help him because he loves to dance. Along with so many other guys, just like Nema, they let fear and intimidation hold them back from even trying. It is not easy stepping outside of your comfort zone and trying something new, especially being on a TV show. I was so proud of Nema that he did not let his fears get in his way, learned how to dance Persian, and got in touch with his roots. What helped him the most, is that he now has the best tool to conquer any dance floor with confidence, and that is priceless. That’s the impact I want to continue to make. Telling stories through movements with my business and my choreography. I genuinely believe with dance, you are connected through movements, stories and through the value of confidence. It hasn’t been easy to change everyone’s perspective about dance. However, I am so glad through my philosophy and technique, I have been able to help push them past their intimidation. I hope everyone takes away the pure joy and newfound confidence and applies it into all aspects of their lives after being a part of Emma Mesrobian Dance.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I truly believe my soul was born to inspire, ignite passion and confidence in people. And I was meant to do that by “Creating movements through stories” Nothing in this world makes me more excited than engineering everything that goes into creating a dance, a show, a presentation an event, a film, a story, everything from costume to rehearsals to lighting to being so dead tired to redoing all over again. Anyone who knows me knows this is the crazy truth! As a dancer and educator, I come from an “old school” training background and hold great traditional values. Which has respectfully intertwined with my contemporary teachings. As a dancer and choreographer, I love intertwining classical styles such as jazz, contemporary hip-hop etc. along with my ballroom technique. My Choreography is very intuitive based. No matter if I am hired for an event, presentation or if it’s for a client’s event, there’s a story behind each move and each transition. If it’s for my clients wedding, I make sure their love story is told through dance and on to the dance floor. The blend of my versatile styles allows me to be creative with my moves so each client will have their own unique choreography. When hired for commercial and for a creative event, I always ask what the theme and what message they want to convey and I make sure to deliver the story authentically through the music and the dance. Being that I am a versatile, dancer and come from a multi-cultural background, this allows me to connect with my students, audience, and clients on a deeper and personal level. And because of this I am able to release the anxiety of my clients and students learning a new skill. The road to success is not one size fits all. Everyone’s is so different. I believe it’s a way of being or a state of mind. That’s the most powerful success one can acquire, and I think it’s one of the hardest to obtain. I always knew from a young age, that money and expensive things were never the answer to true success. You have to be really true to your soul because you can lose it all in one day. And knowing how to rebuild it again is the most powerful tool. If you are not true to yourself, in who you want to be, no money, relationship or fancy things will help you rebuild it. And in this day and age with social media being the center of everyone’s one’s universe and competition all-time high, you always wonder if you are enough. One of my greatest pain and failures but at the same time became my greatest lessons, (even though I don’t talk about it a lot) was my back surgery. I felt everything I was and worked for was gone. But I knew deep down within my soul I was meant for greater things whatever that is, but truly that is up to me. Attitude is truly everything. Once you accept some of your shortcomings and you are willing to work on your weakness and strength it, you push through the pain and it’s so true when they say the comeback is even better! One of the obstacles that is challenging for us creative individuals, is we are being judged based on the number of likes and followers on social media. It’s really hard when people around you, believe in you and your work, know your talents and have degrees and experiences to back it up, but yet you are constantly being compared to others on social media because they might have more followers. That’s the challenge because people get so caught up in that, that they lose the value and authenticity of the actual connection and substance of who the person is, or what they offer. Your number of followers should not determine the quality of your work, how you treat people. I believe that social media should be used to encourage people to grow in a positive way by not being compared to others. But I am very proud of myself that I don’t t let that define who I am and my work ethic. It actually pushes me to continue to be exactly who I want to be, stand up for exactly what I believe and continue knowing that I am enough and there is so much room to grow and improve. That whether, I have 2 followers or 1 million followers. Who I am as a person and what I post and how I post will never change? It will always be with class, full of value, respect and romantically edgy.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, this is complicated. Of course, it has to do with the person and when they are coming. But I think it’s really fun go to Santa Monica Promenade rent bikes for $20 for a whole day. Take the bike ride throughout the bike trail from Santa Monica, Venice and Manhattan. Take a stop and grab some food at Venice beach. Olvera Street, is a historic district in downtown LA. Little street that is centered all around Hispanic culture. Enjoy authentic Mexican food and shop from the cute colorful small shops. Toca Madera. A cool hip night lounge with great food and drinks. And cool DJ spinning to bring out the vibe of the night. This place is not a bumping night life party scene it’s a cool edgy spot to go hang, eat drink and feel good. I love this place! The Roosevelt Pool is really cool during the summer. Grab a drink and just chill by the pool. Go to silver lake reservoir walk around then go to la Mill Cafe. For check out the Hollywood Museum. There is so much you can do. What I recommend the most, is to find experiences when coming here. Like going to a movie to the Hollywood Cemetery when they have an outdoor. movie night. Ace Hotel Has a lot of summer events and downtown has fun Block party DJ parties at china town.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
To my best friend Caroline Abrahamian, who has been there for me since 5th grade. Always by my side, unconditionally giving me the support to keep me pushing no matter what, if no one supports or believes in me. My other friend who, I believe is my artistic soul sister. Illiana Nunez White. She knows the pain of rejection in our creative world and that is not easy. Specially to navigate that pain towards a positive way. And we help each other move forward despite any rejection that’s s thrown our way. My cousin Pamela, who always listens to my emotional rant about how sometimes not having the full support and reference to help you take your career to the next level. She is always kind to be there physically and give a lending ear over a favorite cappuccino and pie! These 3 ladies are major key commandants to my success mentally and emotionally. I don’t take anything for granted what life has to offer me, even the painful experiences, but especially the people I love. As cliché as it sounds, my beautiful mother. She has always allowed me to be whatever, I want to be. She may never know about the project or field and not understand it, but she has never stopped me from my dreams. And I would be and ingrate if I thought I did this all by myself. Yes, I am thankful that I believed and believe, in myself and I don’t t give up. But I am so thankful that the community, my clients and students have trusted me and my vision to allow me to share my passion with them.
Talin Zakaryan Mher Vahakn Ajamian Arpine Bobikyan Jose Alvarado