We had the good fortune of connecting with Karyn Laver and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Karyn, what habits do you feel play an important role in your life?
Perseverance is definitely the first one that comes to mind. I am the type of person who gets into “go mode” when faced with a challenge. That has been helpful for me throughout my time as a business owner, but especially over the course of this last year. I love solving problems and am always quick to jump to it when it comes time to figure out how to bypass a roadblock.

I am also not afraid to do any part of what it takes to make my business work, whether it is the managerial tasks, more of the administrative or customer service tasks, or rolling up my sleeves and getting to work on cleaning or manual labor. I have put together multiple dance floors for our locations over the years and have no problem being a pack mule when necessary. There is no time to shy away from hard work when you are part of the lifeblood of your own business and livelihood!

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.
My favorite part about being a tap dancer is that I get to be both a dancer and a percussionist. I get to create movement and music. This is something that I strongly emphasize with my students, as well. We have a responsibility to understand music and make choices that contribute to and intertwine with the melody. I was not taught these things by my original dance teacher, but was fortunate to have started playing music in school at the same time I started dancing. Growing up at a competitive dance studio, I received a strong technical foundation, but there were a lot of things that were not part of my tap dance education. This made starting my own journey into finding a fuller, deeper understanding of one of America’s original art forms both imperative and difficult. I have spent years rewriting what was instilled into me as a child, which has also lead to the exciting realization that this path I have embarked upon will be a life-long opportunity to shape my craft and hone my skills. I strongly believe that the best teachers are the ones that never stop being students, and I know that between the history, technique, musicality, and improvisation that all come together to shape tap dancing, I will never run out of new ways to approach this art form.

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?
Santa Barbara and the surrounding area have lots of great places to check out. I’m definitely a foodie, so here are some of my top places to eat! Favorite brunch spots: Scarlett Begonia, Cajun Kitchen, and Crushcakes (also great cupcakes!)
Favorite dinner spots: Black Sheep and Palace Grill
Metropulos has incredible sandwiches and you can’t go wrong with Freebirds in Isla Vista for a great burrito.
I would also highly recommend checking out the Funk Zone for lots of good wine tasting, beer spots, and good food, and if you are a looking for a tasty cocktail, Shaker Mill is just up State Street a bit from the Funk Zone.
If you like a little bit of Asian flavor, Sama Sama Kitchen has a fun menu and delicious desserts. Zen Yai Thai food is a long time favorite, 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?
There is no way the studio or I could have survived this past year without my husband, Kyle Ybarra. He has been at my side throughout this journey and has never once doubted that we could make it through these challenges. I am also pretty sure that I would have never remembered to eat without him putting food in front of my face!

Website: www.thedancenetworksb.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thedancenetwork_sb/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karyn-laver-94568529/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tdn_sb

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheDanceNetworkSB/

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-dance-network-santa-barbara

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCS0NsEhyR-FFmsHp-PSxwkA

Image Credits
Linda Blue Photography

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.