We had the good fortune of connecting with Elena Grinenko and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elena, what’s one piece of conventional advice that you disagree with?
“Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.” ― Otto von Bismarck.
No one does this 🙂 even if it’s a really wise thing to do so. We are all human and we want to experience the process of learning and creating on our own. I will take advice any day, but at the end of the day I have to do it my way, though my own experience. Learn from that advice and may decide it is not for you or modify the advice to fit your view on that subject or feeling to make it your own or better.
Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I am a professional Ballroom Dancer. Now I am a judge and coach. You can read my bio in: https://www.elenagrinenko.com/about-me/ Too much to write, LOL 🙂
We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others.
Not all the best dancers can be the best teachers. What I personally believe sets me apart is actually love for teaching others, paying attention to their needs and wants. Helping them to develop their style and personality vs, fixing what is wrong at all times and criticizing, which is needed sometimes, but it does not create great individual dancers.
What you are most proud of or excited about.
Today it’s my boys 🙂 I have 5 and 7 year old baby boys. Who are very smart and just amazing little humans. What’s excites me is to see how they will develop into personalities, to learn who they are as individuals and who they will be. That is super exciting 🙂 totally different challenge than teaching dance 🙂
How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges?
Everyone knows that hard work is what gets you to success. I know for sure that road to that success is always hard. If you love what you do with all your heart you just go and go and go forward no matter what obstacles are on your way and what difficulties it thought your way. Dancing for everyone is a fun way to just hangout with friends and move around to their favorite music. Dancing for professionals is a whole different ball game, where sacrifices need to be made, priorities need to be set. Like in any other sport.
What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way.
I learned that no one is just going to give it to you. You need to earn it and deserve it. Also huge lessons are the ones with friends who are doing the same thing you do and want those same results as much as you do. Instead of making them enemy’s who you compete against, it is way better when you make them friends. Friends with the same love and passion that you have will only make you work harder and no matter what the result is and who came further on specific competition, you support each other. But the most amazing part about that, is when you stop competing and there is no longer a race between you. It is actually quite amazing to feel that those people will be your friends for life, no matter what side of the planet you are on, because you share the same love for the art you are in. It is truly a gift.
What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
When things get hard. It’s ok to break down and cry and allow yourself a moment or weakness. But then get up, rethink, replan and start over 🙂 As far as brand, the time we live in is very different and I just want to let people know that they still love to dance, they can always dance online 🙂 I know it’s not the same, but it’s better than not doing it at all. We all teach online, so you can find me through the website.
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?
LOL. That one is easy 🙂 I did it many times. But let’s say my friend never been here: I live in Los Angeles, so I’m gonna stick with local places.
1) Cali Beach (Santa Monica, Malibu, San Clemente)
2) Museums (Getty for sure, may be Getty Villa so we can hit Malibu beach at the same day)
3) Abby 🙂 Best gay club in the country. We call it the happiest place on earth because it accepts anyone and everyone.
4) Wineries of cause
5) San Diego Zoo (it’s be best Zoo ever)
6) and if they have time Vegas – Just because it is an unusual city for a lot of visitors and you have to be there at least once.
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?
Good question and very complicated. I don’t believe it takes one person or one book to help you grow and guide your career. It takes a village 🙂 Every person or book or given knowledge especially when it comes at the right time, forms who you are as a person. Good advice at the wrong time can be completely missed because you were not ready for it, I would like to say thank you TO ALL who were present in my career. Some people wore there for a long time and some people just for a split moment, but that does not mean their advice didn’t help, maybe it did even more 🙂 coming at the right time.