We had the good fortune of connecting with Danella Dutton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Danella, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Hmm… this could be answered in a few different ways. I come from a family which had artistic passions. My Grandmother was a dancer, my Grandfather was a cook (chef), my Mother and her sisters sang and played instruments and my father liked to draw. You could say the itch was in the blood, LOL. I started out very young being artistic and performing in the house due to all the art surrounding me. After a long venture with sports I eventually found my way back to the arts with Salsa dancing. This lead me down the path of wanting to teach Ballroom and Salsa to make a difference in people’s lives. I saw how much dance was effecting others students quality of life and even my own and knew that was the career path for me.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I teach dancing. Mostly Salsa but still some Ballroom and Bachata along the way. I run my own business and have now for 15 years. I am independent, meaning I do not own a ballroom, I rent space from studios. I fell in love with Salsa Dancing during college and fell in love with being able to help make people’s days better by teaching them to dance.
My personality is a defiantly a strength of mine, but so is my passion for teaching. I truly enjoy teaching others how to fulfill their goals and even more. I tend to give my students a lot of me, not because I feel like I “have to” it just comes out. I love knowing people can discover more about themselves with dance, and seeing that impact in more than one way is truly special. I have a knack for teaching adults to get out of their own way so they can learn something brand new. I know not everyone will be a fan of my teaching style, but I don’t take that personal either. It’s not about me it’s about a student finding the right learning environment for them.
No road traveled is ever easy. My work ethic made it easier to get where I am today, but the hours put in alone makes it more than most can handle. The constant training is joyful, but a strain on the body. Long hours in the studios. Then the business side of it: the hustle, getting new clients and your name known, going to events. Even though running your own business is hard work it’s all work I very much enjoy.
I’m very proactive and a problem solver in life. This attributes carry over into my business so if any bumps came or come up in my business I asses, device a plan and then get it done. The biggest lessons I’ve learned in life and through running a business really are all cliche: Never take anything personal, If you can’t fix it don’t complain about it, You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink, self-love is the most important love, if you are doing what makes you happy you will effect others around you, Always chase your dreams money will come & the MOST IMPORTANT LESSON One must fail to succeed.
As I started pursing Acting after many years of teaching dance, this Lesson really hit home. I realized I got so good at doing what I do with dance (and previously sports) because I wasn’t afraid to fail over 10,000 times before I got it right. Once that clicked for my own learning, I started making sure to make sure my students understand failure is good. We are taught failure is bad. We usually hold back as adults instead of pushing through the “failure” until was grasp and complete what we wanted to learn.
I personally am still pursing Acting and over the past few years have really learned I have always enjoyed any form of being creative. Whether it’s through dance, choreography, acting, directing. or even production work as long as I am being creative and telling a story I am pretty fulfilled in life. I’ll be in the arts forever.
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?
Tricky Question… have they been here before or first time that changes things, I’ll say they have never been here so we have to see some of the staples. In no particular order.
Runyon or Griffith Park or Both def close to sunset one night
Drive Sunset to the PCH to Point Dume/Zuma Beach
Eat at Laurel Hardware
Eat Brunch at the StrandHouse and walk around Manhattan Beach
See if there are any cool concerts at one of the smaller venues (ie: La Fonda, The Palladium, The Roxy, etc) or Musical at Pantages
Universal or Disneyland or Both 🙂
The Getty Center
Home in Los Felis
Let them explore Los Felis
Movie at the Vista
Drinks at EP LP Rooftop or another rooftop
Break Room 86
Also invite all my other friends in the city to partake in what were doing, but most importantly I would make sure to find out what they have in mind too.
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 parents for pushing me to always be whatever I wanted to be and for just raising me.
Instagram: @DanellaDuttonDance & @DanellaDutton
Photos by Joseph Levi Salsa Fuego Photo by Josh Price