We had the good fortune of connecting with Diane Collins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Diane, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I was raised in the suburbs on the outside of Boston, MA. I was raised by two hard working parents, my father owning his own typewriter sales and repair business, and my mother a nurse. It was always to be instilled in me hard work is the only way to be successful and proud of your accomplishments. I fell in love with dance at a very young age, and was always surrounded by my dance teacher who worked around the clock teaching, creating and producing – I was so inspired to become the best at all times.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started my dance studio 25 years ago in West Los Angeles under a partnership with My Gym. I worked many long hours teaching younger kids gym classes along with training, auditioning, and working on creating and building my own dance and theatre programs that would be successful in Los Angeles. I would say the biggest challenges in running a children’s dance studio is trying to please everyone’s needs of what they want or deserve for their own child. That is a one of hardest lesson to learn, “you can’t please everyone” and “letting go” of the things that are not working to better yourself or business. One of my goals will would be to pass down the same values to students as I have been giving, hard work, discipline, determination to help create our next generation of successful young artist and to be the best kind humans. A lot of my students that started with my program at a young age and continue on in college level and then persue a career in theatre and dance world. I always want to make a safe, secure environment for young children to learn and grow as an individual, build self-esteem, and self- confidence.
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.
If one of my best friends from the east coast was to visit me in Los Angeles, I would let take them to my favorite local Mexican, El Gringo and O Sho Sushi restaurants here in Manhattan Beach. My favorite place to go is up to Mammoth Mountains to get out of the city. As always, when any visitor comes from out of town they always ask to go see the famous Hollywood Sign and Malibu coastline, “do you see famous people”? haha.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My mentor, Donna Miceli, always encourage and supported me throughout my life. She was my teacher since I was age three and today at fifty years of age she is the one person I still call for advice, comfort and support. She opened my eyes to the world not only through dance it’s styles and many beautiful cultures, also by introducing me to all people of different backgrounds and traveling to perform together locally and internationally with her company. Under her guidance she trained me to be a teacher, and studio owner. She instilled hard work, discipline, creativity, focus and never giving up on your dreams. I am so thankful for being blessed with two beautiful children, Reese (15) and Trucker (9). They are my best teachers and strive to being a better role model everyday.
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