We had the good fortune of connecting with Dustin Wolf and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dustin, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken” – Oscar Wilde.
This quote is special to me because I, just like everyone else, fall into the trap of comparison. From social media to simply walking down the street, we are constantly exposed to content wherever we go. It affects and influences us behaviourally, emotionally and creatively whether you realize it or not. We live in a day and age of consumerism, comparison, and competition, which is why it is so easy to get lost in the very system that we created. As professional dancers we are very self critical and constantly comparing ourselves to others. We often forget that there is something intangible and special in all of us… no matter your profession – this is valid for everyone! There is only one of you, might as well embrace it. What makes you unique is something to celebrate. The more you can turn off the voice in your head that puts your focus on everything you are not, and redirect it to everything you are, the more momentum you will bring to your life. Next time you are taking a class, auditioning or watching a dancer on Instagram, rather than comparing, be inspired. Accept that you are not the same, encourage yourself to redirect negative thoughts into positive ones, be vulnerable, and allow yourself to grow. I go back to this Oscar Wilde quote on a daily basis “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken”. Say it to yourself, say it out loud. As humans I believe we are always a work in progress, there is always more to learn and room to grow. Embracing ourselves, practicing self love and lifting each other up will only benefit our overall well-being. I try to make a conscious effort to implement this quote into my daily practices and I hope my thoughts encourage some of you to celebrate everything that makes you special and use what is around us to inspire, create and motivate!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I always knew I wanted to be a performer, it was never a question. So, I made sure that I took all the steps necessary to align myself with that goal. From beginning as a competition dancer, to attending Point Park University on a dance scholarship, to moving to LA and beginning my professional career. Being a professional dancer is not easy, however there are moments when it is all worth it. I have been lucky enough to work on some dream jobs, like Netflix’s Julie and the Phantoms – directed by Kenny Ortega and co-directed / choreographed by Paul Becker. The upcoming Disney movie Sneakerella and working on passion projects with renowned choreographers. However, moments like this come at random. I have learned to stay hungry, determined, and not pay too much attention to what other people are doing. Focus on yourself, everyone’s path is different – and what may be a fit for you could not be a fit for someone else.
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.
LA is it’s own world. Filled with arts, entertainment, and beautiful weather. Step into a place where the adventure is endless and the nightlife is thriving. Start the day off with a hike on the endless selection of scenic trails, my personal preference – Runyon Canyon. Then freshen up and dine at the Sunset Blvd. hot spot The Butcher, The Baker, The Cappuccino Maker – the eggs Benedict is to die for and the latte art, super photo worthy. Hit up Malibu or Santa Monica Beach for some sun and ocean water. Take a stroll down to Melrose Ave. where the vintage boutiques are filled with good finds. Love movies? Hit the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on the famous Hollywood Blvd. and enjoy a true Hollywood experience. Now you are ready for the evening. Grab dinner at one of the many Cali dining experiences, like some of my favourites; Le Petit Four, Pink Taco, and the magical boozy garden, PUMP. Catch a broadway show at Hollywood Pantages Theatre, or grab some last minute tickets to a concert at one of the many venues. Ready to dance? The Weho Santa Monica strip is filled with dance floors and that top 40 playlist that we all secretly love. Hit every bar – you won’t be disappointed! Some other bars /clubs that you can’t miss are No Vacancy – a true Hollywood spot with an atmosphere like no other. Good Times at Davey Wayne’s, Tenants of the Trees, and The Satellite. End the night with some good and quick food from my favourite, Shake Shack… In-N-Out Burger is good too. LA has so much to offer, go out and explore! The possibilities are endless.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are many people who have influenced and guided me to where I am today. My family has always supported and encouraged me to go after my dreams no matter how big or small, and I am so thankful for that. Professionally I have been influenced by so many. I studied at Point Park University earning my Bachelor of Fine Arts where all my teachers played a significant role in preparing me for the professional world. I am always looking to further educate myself and am currently enrolled in a course with dancer / choreographer Kaylie Yee, called “Beyond Dance”. “Beyond Dance” has really made me reflect and analyze myself in a way to better attain all my goals and aspirations. Kaylie has gone completely above and beyond guiding me with genuine interest and industry guidance. A support system is so important, thank you Kaylie! Additionally I had the opportunity to take part in a mentorship session with a renowned choreographer that I have looked up to for many years – Marguerite Derricks. It was at the beginning of the pandemic when I was in need of some serious inspiration and motivation. Her positive feedback and genuine interest to help me completely reinforced the belief in myself and that I am on the right path. Marguerite gave me words of wisdom that I will never forget and has completely shifted my mindset to this day. I am so grateful for moments like that which is why I believe in never being afraid to reach out to those who inspire you.
Linkedin: Dustin Wolf