We had the good fortune of connecting with Donna Blanchard and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Donna, what principle do you value most?
I believe that to have real success at anything, you have to have balance. A dancer needs not only quality technical training but emotional, mental and spiritual support. We are not one dimensional and a well rounded dancer/human needs to have stimulation and discipline in all areas to be successful as an artist. I have tried to create a healthy environment where a child or an adult can find their balance in life. Family, education, exercise and rest are necessary for a young person to be their best self. Whether their wish is to be professional or recreational, it can be accomplished if all their needs are met.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I really believe that everyone should dance. Most people naturally love to move and in a studio setting they can challenge themselves, it’s really a beautiful way to experience life. Pushing your physical boundaries under the guidance of a qualified dance instructor teaches you how to overcome small obstacles that add up to huge victories. Children that dance build confidence through weekly accomplishment…self esteem comes when encouragement is coupled with correction delivered in a positive way. Dancers cheer each other on and there is joy in a classroom full of music and dance. It is a privilege to witness a room full of children or adults experiencing the freedom dance brings.
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?
I’m super proud of where I live! For starters, my own backyard is a sweet spot for BBQ and relaxing. A trip down Pacific Coast Hwy is the best! You get to experience the Sunset, Huntington, and Newport Beach Vibe. Beautiful on a sunny day! I’d have to take you on The El Moro Canyon Hiking Trail with a stop for lunch at The Beachcomber in Crystal Cove. I can’t live to far away from the coast…I’m connected to the ocean. Next we’re going to Los Angeles for shopping, street hot dogs, (you can smell them as soon as you park) and LACMA. Its a great day just checking out the various museums and local sights. Napa Valley, beautiful Napa for a day of wine tasting. Any winery tour will educate you about the soil and production. It’s just lovely. I admire the farmers and growers of that special area. At least one class at The Dance Co! Adult Jazz or Tap or Hip Hop for your kiddos!
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?
When we moved from England to Canada my mom quickly looked for a studio for me to begin dance classes. She grew up during WWII and was not afforded dance lessons. She attended every play, recital, pageant, and dance concert until the day she died. She was so very proud of me and I felt it when I was on stage. In high school I made the Advanced Dance team and my Modern Dance Teacher Fannie Daly was the coolest. She would turn the lights out in the gym and let us improv. She encouraged movement and creativity. She helped us drop our awkward teen inhibitions and feel the freedom that dance brings. Meanwhile I studied ballet and began to integrate technique with artistry. I was completely in love with the joy that dance brought me during those years.