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

Hi Nikki, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Taking risks has shaped how I fundamentally live my life and has led me down path after path of personal growth. I tend to follow my passions and inspirations and this naturally leads to opportunity. I say yes to everything, for better or worse. When I met my husband, Shesha, he had this mentality and that was one of the things that attracted me to him most. His willingness to take every opportunity and see where it goes. I have found that I am perfectly willing to create my own opportunities, which, naturally, carries its own risk. Taking risks forces us out of our comfort zones or safe spaces. Taking risks also means accepting failures as learning experiences and growing from them. I am up for the challenge. I am filling to fail. I know that taking these risks can also equal incredible rewards. This risk and reward is true for art, business, personal growth, and family.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am an international (in normal times) Lindy Hop Swing dance instructor/competitor/performer, I am the co-owner of ATOMIC Ballroom in Irvine, I am the owner of Atomic Skate Exchange in Irvine, and I am a Burlesque performer and the producer of MUSE Burlesque. Clearly I wear many hats. First and foremost I consider myself a Lindy Hopper. Lindy Hop is my life’s passion and what I have lived and breathed since I was 19 years old. Lindy Hop has taken me around the world, made me a champion, given me my social life and life long friendships like my dance partner Mikey Pedroza. Mikey and I have been dance partners for 17+ years. As co-owner of ATOMIC Ballroom I am a small part of an incredible community of dance students and teachers of all styles of dance. We are a social dance studio and our main focus is to “build confidence through dance.” This has been especially challenging and heartbreaking during COVID. We have either been closed or open at 10% capacity since March. The future is so uncertain and we are doing our absolute best to provide a safe space to those who want to dance. As a COVID pivot to provide a lifeline to our family I opened the Atomic Skate Exchange next to ATOMIC Ballroom. My husband and I have been skating for many years and with all of the lockdowns our students were reaching out to us to learn more about roller skating. My sister-in-law, Evonne Marvin, gave me the genius idea to turn our smaller dance studio into a roller skate shop. Atomic Skate Exchange has given many our dance students a safe outdoor alternative to indoor dancing while giving them an outlet for a new kind of expression and exercise. As a Burlesque performer by the name of Moxie Gold I have found a special kind of confidence and empowerment that I didn’t know was possible. This empowerment is as much for myself, as it is the audience members, or for the opportunity it gives MUSE Burlesque performers to express themselves without limits. I think the list above gives a pretty clear example about how I feel about taking risks and opportunity. You just never know where it will lead you. I read the title of a book once, not the book, just the title and it’s stuck with me, “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.” Someday I should read that book. The biggest challenge facing all of us small businesses right now is COVID and how we recover. I don’t know what the future holds but if we just keep pushing I think it will work itself out.

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?
First we would stop for coffee at Nook in Costa Mesa, my favorite coffee spot at The Lab. Coffee and a beautiful morning skate from Newport Pier to Balboa Pier and back. Maybe a second coffee from Newport Coffee Co.? By now it’s lunch time and we would cruise the coast and stop for lunch at Taco Loco in Laguna Beach. Be sure to order the blackened tofu mushroom burger! Next we would head back to The Lab for a drink at Ruin, the cutest hipster bar. After a small aperitif we would head to the Orange Circle for a nice bit of walking, antiquing, and vintage shopping before dinner and Wine Wednesday at Haven.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would not have the courage that I do today without the love and encouragement of my husband Shesha Marvin. From day one Shesha has challenged me to “follow my bliss.” Together we have created a life together of risk and reward. Shesha is a genius when it comes to creating a business of dance, he is a passionate skater and wants more than anything to share this passion with the world, he is a dynamic dancer that people want to follow and learn from, and his willingness to support my crazy ambitions is inspiring.

Website: atomicballroom.com / atomicsskates.com / musburlesque.com
Instagram: @nikki_moxiegold_marvin / @atomicballroom.com / @atomic_skate_exchange / @mikeyandnikkidance
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ocnikki/ https://www.facebook.com/atomicirvine https://www.facebook.com/atomicskateexchange

Image Credits
Tim Hunter Photography Intuitive Images Photography Mikey Pedroza Daniel Sliwa

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