When Art And Business Meet With Lauren Brown

GUEST CONVERSATIONS

March 26, 2021

PTR 52 Lauren Brown | Art And Business

 

What happens when art and business get to meet in the highest form possible? Think about that for a second. You can only imagine what the possibilities will be. We’re not just there yet, but beautiful souls like Lauren Brown are working their hearts out to make that possibility real. In this conversation, Lauren and host, Susanne Puerschel discuss the unfortunate fact that artists don’t really appreciate the business side of things when they clearly have the kind of drive that entrepreneurship needs. Lauren also shares a bit about the lessons she learned from her dancing career, as well as the uplifting work she is doing through a new podcast that talks about body positivity.  

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When Art And Business Meet With Lauren Brown

I am grateful that you have tuned in. Our special guest is Ms. Lauren Brown. She has been in the dance world for many years now and completed all of her Royal Academy of Dance examinations. She always loved children and decided to pursue the teaching programs that RAD offers. She was twenty years old when she graduated and was the youngest USA student in the program. She is residing in Cookeville, Tennessee, and launched a RAD program at the local dance studio. She also has her Masters in Business Administration and works as a business manager for a business coach. She launched a podcast with her best friend, which we will be talking about here extensively, and Tori also, talking about all things relating to body image, body positivity, rejection and more. When she’s not working, Lauren is spending time with her family or attending hot yoga. Without further adolet’s get started. 

 

Lauren, it is so nice to meet you. Welcome to the show. 

Thank you so much for having me, Susanne. It’s an honor that you reached out to me. I’m excited to be with you. 

To give you all a little background of what’s happening as of late is that I’m seeing all these beautiful people that are making a difference in the world of dance and ballet on social media. I reach out and ask the question. It is beautiful to see how many of you say, “Yes, sure. Let’s do it.” That fills my cup. Thanks for saying yes. Here is how we usually start. I would love you to share how you started dancing and what was the drive in there perhaps or was it your mom? What was the driving factor that had you come into this world? 

I’m the only one in my family that’s ever pursued dance and was ever interested in dance. I showed signs of walking around my tippy toes and twirling around ever since I was very young, at and 2. I was asking for dance around three, but my dad wanted to wait until I started kindergarten. It’s like you start school. You’re a little bit older. We waited until I was five and then I’ve been hooked ever since. I was that student in the class that wasn’t upset that my mom dropped me off. I was like, “Bye, mom. I’ll see you in an hour.” I was fine in the dance room with the teachers and my peers. 

I also was the student that loved to learnI wanted more and moreI fell in love with ballet. It made me feel very beautiful in a sense because I’m making these shapes with my arms and doing things with my feet. I would always like to imagine myself being a ballerina one day. That was always the end goal for me when I was younger. You couldn’t try to persuade me to do anything else. My dad tried to have me try softball when I was around ten because my brother was a baseball player and that was an epic fail. 

There’s no denying that I was a dancer. It was in me. When I was younger, I did ballet and tap. Those were my only two styles I did. I didn’t come to the other styles like modern and lyrical until I was about twelve because I ended up going to performing arts school and then ended up doing dance at school as well as at the local studio. I don’t know where I come from because no one else in my family dance. I think I was supposed to do it. 

Doesn’t it happen like that thoughIn my family, there was nobody either too that would have ever thought about stepping on stage as a dancer. I was that two-year-old child that would not shut her mouth and beg their parents to enroll her into a ballet school because I knew that’s what I had to do. You just knew it too. Particularly kids, they know. They’re not dated with any other information. They have that direct line to their higher self and they know it. I’m glad that your parents also said yes to that. 

Entrepreneurship is an attitude, not a title. Click To Tweet

My parents have always been such my number one supporters until this day. They’re still cheering me on doing my thing as an adult woman. In the dance world, I’m in a different way. They’re my biggest supporters. They’re like“This is what you want to do. You go for it.” That was always that mantra almost throughout all my life. 

That is such a gift. It truly is. 

I was very lucky. I was dancing all the time. That was my thing. The studio I grew up in Florida, that’s originally where I’m from, was a Royal Academy of Dance-focused studio. At the timethere was like maybe 5 or 6 schools in Florida that offered the RAD program. When I started at age of five, I took my first ballet examination in the pre-primary level. As I progressed, even until I was eighteen, I was doing all my vocational levelsI examined in all the levels and fell in love with the program. It molded me to be very disciplined. It helped me in every aspect even when I went to college and things in my work life. Now, it’s incredible. 

I’ve noticed things like following a syllabus and being very intentional to detail. Having that goal setter mind because it’s like you’re working on a syllabus for 5 or 6 months. You perform in front of a ballet examiner and you’re like, “Yes, I did it. No matter what happens, I did it.” It was like when you take your math test and you’re like, “I got through it. Yes.” It was one of those feelings for meI thrived in that program. That program is not for everyone and that’s okay. I was obsessed with it. 

I went all the way through my levels. It was around when I was sixteen or so because now, you’re a junior going in high school. I was still going to that performing arts school. I was already being a teacher assistant in other ballet classes for years before then. I love children. I don’t know what it is about children and me. Were like magnets towards each other. Even like the shyest kid would stop crying. I was like, “It’s the eye contact. I don’t know what it is. fell in love with working with kids and especially with ballet. That’s a win-win. 

I decided to pursue the Royal Academy of Dance Certificate Ballet Teaching Studies Program. I applied for that at eighteen. I also applied to go into my undergraduate school at Florida Southern for my business degree. I ended up getting accepted to both. I was doing my business degree on top of the teaching program for the RAD. I don’t know what I was thinking, but it was the best thing I ever did. I learned so much in both aspects of my studies, but with the CBTS with RAD, I was the youngest one in the USA at the time that was in the program. 

There were only five women and I learned so much. It was so eye-opening. It was a two-year program. The first year is more the studies and you’re doing a lot of papers. You’re doing the progressions. In the second year, I had someone come evaluate me to teach and making sure I knew what I was doing. That’s very important. ended up passing that when I was twenty. I graduated with my business degree at twenty. I was very young. I was on a mission. That was on my attitude. No one could stop me. I would say that is what led me to the next phase of my life in my twentiesI had my hands in dance and businessI was obsessed with both. 

Let’s go there. Thank you for overviewing your story, but let’s go into to business because you not only have your MBA, you’re also working for a business coach right now that gets entrepreneurs into higher level income. When we were looking at dancers, at ballet companies and we talked about this, is that I feel that there is amiss. There’s a big gap between the arts and business. From my own experience and this is why stepping into entrepreneurship, I was always one in my heart and in my soulI know where I’m going. I know exactly what I want and what came into my way and put all the weight on my shoulders was my training as a dancer and my years as a dancerI thought I had to listen to somebody else, to everybody else to become what they wanted me to do or to beThat way was not fitting for me. It was always a struggle for me. This is why I feel free of that. However, entrepreneurship is an attitude, not a title. 

We’re looking at dancers and as you said, the attitude of a dancer is comparable to what an entrepreneur has to be. The mindset is the same. If your mindset isn’t under check, you can’t perform. You want to be working through all the obstacles that are coming your way. It won’t make you get up at 4:00 AM in the morning to set yourself up for the day. All of these things are exactly what dancers also need. From a business perspective, we know that there there’s a gap. As I said before, I don’t want only to point out the problem. Let’s look for solution and let’s ask the question what if. Let’s explore. Let’s ask different questions. What if the two would come closer together? What if they would marry? What if let’s say a ballet company would treat themselves as a business. What do you think? In your personal opinion, what could happen? 

PTR 52 Lauren Brown | Art And Business

Art And Business: Artists can meet many opportunities once they understand business. But artists also fear the business side because of the risk of failure.

 

That would open up thflood gates of opportunityI feel like the arts is terrible. No matter if it’s dance, theater, whatever the arts is to that person, whatever they love to do, I feel like there is such a big gapI feel like there’s people that appreciate it, but do they really? I feel like if the ballet companies and all these production companies have the mindset of a business, I feel like it would scalefor one. Two, it would open up so many more opportunities. Artists are driven. Artists are dedicated. They put in hours and hours, no matter what it takes. It’s in our DNA. That’s how we’re programmed. We’re so fortunate for that. Once you understand the business side of that and put them together, there are many opportunities that could come with that. A lot of artists also fear the business side because there is the risk of the failures and trusting the wrong people. That’s that in the world in general. 

It’s not in business. I’m talking about myself, my own perceptions around business people selling, being in sales, salesy, dirty, all of these stories and limitations that we keep fighting for. Isn’t it for us to create that? A good business has several streams of income. 

They put their hands in all sorts of pots to make sure they have a streamline of income because without incomethen what happens? It’s the same thing with artists. You spoke about this before on other episodes or what you talk about. Artists have a hard time asking for money or even know their worth or their value. I struggled with that for a long time because I do it because I love it. I would always say things and do things for free, but it’s because I love it so much. I had to fight that mindset and I’m like, “Aa business major, what is my value? What am I providing these people? My history, my education, my training, that’s all valuable. That’s what makes me special from someone else. That was hard for me, especially in my early twenties, but I feel like I’ve gotten a better understanding of that because artists want to do, pour their hearts out and lay it on the table. That’s who we are. It’s hard for us to accept our value and what we should be worth to someone. 

This is a hypothesis that I have. If we’re looking at the history of the arts and how they were born, the arts were performed to entertain the rich, the kings, the queens. They would get the scripts. They would have rich suitors that would take care of the opera singer or the ballerina or you would marry rich because we have it in us. As purists, fight or flight is in us that the arts are not here to produce money because they’re not tangible. They’re selling a feeling, a story and therefore, you cannot put a price tag on it. 

That’s the unfortunate part. I talk about this all the time. There’s nothing against the NBA, the NFL and all these huge businesses. That’s why they have so much money. These franchises in the sports realm, I wish the arts took that step. These dancers are going rehearsals and all these hours are not having to scramble or work multiple jobs or lose their jobs or right now during this world, no one’s performing and that’s awful. 

Nobody’s making money then. Coming to the understanding that it is very honorable that you want to perform for nothing. Perhaps you also have the means, but that is not going to feed you forever. This is not going to build your wealth. It is not going to set you up for success. Understanding that you don’t have to go beg to be seen and see yourself. Another aspect of business is that you invest the most as a company, as a business into your product. The person that you’re working for with does everything and anything to invest to make her product better. Therefore, there are more people that can benefit from her product. 

Dance is a beautiful art because it can be recreational, but it can also be lifelong career. Click To Tweet

She’s able to scale it to a point where it’s this running streamline of income. It makes sense and then that helps with building the team, how can she help get people more jobs? It’s this full circle effect. I can’t wait for the day that the arts get on that full circle. 

That means in the arts, what is the product? It’s the dancer, the musician, the singer and the actor. We have figured it out in Hollywood. We’re paying millions upon millions of dollars for people that are in movies, yet we have yet to figure out how to take care of our product on the stages. What are we giving them? If we would flip it around and not so much put into the running of the engine, but producing and creating, not an audience but a community and creating raving fans that would come no matter what and bring their friends and fill the auditorium every single time they’re stepping on stage. This wouldn’t be a problem. You can have all of your offsprings and everybody would be there to support you. 

I feel the theater and the shows, everything in the arts, it is the emotion. We’re selling a story. We’re memorizing monologues, dances and huge productions. People come for the experience and not everyone understands the experience. There’s also the lack of education. Some people don’t know about The Nutcracker. I can’t tell you how many times I came across people and I’ve done Nutcrackers all my life. I’ve been in them. I’ve been in every role pretty much besides the King and the Prince. I’ve been pretty much every single role that can happen. Someone’s like, I don’t know the story.” It’s like, “Are we educating our kids in schools or in general about the arts?” It doesn’t have to be about dance. There are those amazing productions and shows that are storytelling that I feel people miss out on because they don’t know. They’re not educated. 

On that note, you work for a coach. What is the first thing an entrepreneur does before they start selling anything or before they even make anything? They fill out their avatar sheet. 

They want to know who their ideal client is, who they’re messaging, because the messaging is huge. Without knowing who you want to target, you don’t know your messaging. The next thing is like, “Where’s your audience at? Where are they hanging out? Who do you want? Who is that dream client?” Those are the four basic questions that should be asked in any industry like, “Who is it for? What’s our messaging? Where are the people at? How are we going to get them? 

You nailed the nail on the headAre we doing that or are we expecting? When I say we, are you running your artorganization? Are you expecting people to show up because you open your doors? Understanding that it’s not a given anymore. Curating the next generation and you don’t do that particularly with going into schools and having your outreach programs. It is 2021. You have to think as an entrepreneur. There are many examples out there. There is so much business coaching out there. It is timed, isn’t it? Now that we solved the problem for the arts, all they have to do is come to us and we’ll help them. 

I’ll help you. I love marketing. How can I help you? 

In the summer, I looked at every ballet company in North America, Canada and the US and looking into Facebook ads, if any of them had run any Facebook ads. Tony Robbins, he had like 150 out there. You had Jay Shetty with I don’t know how manyHow many Facebook ads are they running? Do you think one of these ballet company has ever run any Facebook adsI am pointing out that it is time to get into 2021. This is how the world is working. We’re in the internet. That is our majority. 

We want it at our fingertips. 

We don’t want the magazine in our hands anymore. 

The announcements or the billboards. It’s funny that you mentioned thatI follow some of the bigger companies on Instagram. I feel they’re getting a little bit better, but is it attracting people to come and watch their virtual shows that they’re now had to accommodate? They’re offering virtual things. Are they showing what happens behind the scenes? I feel that’s a big bottleneck opportunity that a lot of dance companies don’t do. We should be showing all these rehearsals. We should be showing the hard work and dedication. 

We could start a whole thing. It’s going to be amazing. I love what we’re talking about right now. I made these observations even when I was younger. I went to an RAD school and I can remember that they had their daily newsletter. They had a website. They only started Facebook. I feel like the arts is behind. Why? You can’t expect people to come to the door if you’re not coming in your face. You need to be in their face. They need to know your name. They need to know what your logo is. What is your mission statement? How is your studio different than the one five minutes down the street? People have so many choices. Not only as like all these different companies, but then we talk about the local stuff. There are many things we haven’t even touched yet. 

Here’s what we have been accustomed to. We’re marketing to the high rollers in our city and 100 miles on the outskirts so that we don’t have to put too much effort into fundraising. They don’t just bring the people into the theater and we’re good. We’re thinking short-term solution, not long long-term. Most of them don’t even have a vision of what they want to create. What’s their North Star? They have forgotten what their why is. You can see it very clearly when every company in the United States does, I don’t know, Dracula or Giselle the same season. 

Why are we following that? Why aren’t we stepping out? I’ve always been a person that’s like, “Never put me in a box because I’m going to jump out of it and I’m going to make you laugh because it’s not going to work. Why are we confining these companies into, It’s the spring, so we should do this ballet,” or “It’s the fall, we should do this?” Why are we expecting these high rollers, high investors expecting them to bring people in? Why aren’t we doing that for ourselves? Why are you putting that expectation on these people that are the higher rollers? They fund things, which is great. It’s very shortterm like you mentioned. 

It’s not a growth mindset. It’s a fixed mindset. 

It’s stagnant. It’s complacent. 

It’s following the traditions. It’s not asking more questions. This book, The Big Leap, I started reading it because everybody said, “You have to read it.” 

I heard great things about it. You have to let me know. 

I know now why. He talks about your zone of excellence versus your zone of genius. Your zone of excellence, this is how I’m translating it, is where you’re comfortable. It’s how you have always done things, but you’re cruising. You’re on autopilot. Even if it makes you millions of dollars each year, you’re still cruising. Your zone of excellence is the next stuff. The stuff that scares you maybe, but also would make you super happy. Your zone of excellence will expand every time you conquered your excellence into your genius. There is so much good stuff in there. He talks a lot about how we argue for our limitations more. You don’t try to overcome them or see them as what they are, limitations, and let them go and do it anyways. 

I try to do that because I feel like that box mentality, that short mindset. It’s like, “Is that serving me? Is that my full life purpose? In the last few years, I’ve been asking myself those questions. Even if it’s something that I’m very uncomfortable with, it’s like, “If I fall on my face, I’m going to get back up. It’s okay. 

I can’t speak for any other art, but I know that in the dance and ballet world, falling on your face and hitting rock bottom, or having emotions that are different from happy are not seen as strong. 

It’s almost weak in other people’s eyes and that’s horrible. 

PTR 52 Lauren Brown | Art And Business

Art And Business: It’s unfortunate that artists tend to pour their hearts out and lay them on the table. It’s hard for them to accept what they should be worth to someone.

 

It doesn’t leave any room to grow. It doesn’t allow you or giving you permission to learn. The only way we can grow as people and get better is when we give ourselves permission to learn. With learning comes failure and failure is only at a step into your next phase of learning. It comes from somebody, by the way, who’s terrible at failing and is always scared of making mistakes or used to be. I’m better now. 

I’m a huge perfectionistDo you know the Enneagram test, those personality testsI’m a hard one. That also worked out my benefit being a dancer because I always striveI was very motivated, but then I was also my worst critic. I’m very hard on myself. I didn’t give myself enough kindness growing up or enough grace. Now, as an adult, it’s better, but it’s hard. As artists, we’re the worst critics of them all on ourselves. 

We are the worst when it comes to that, with love but yes. Now that we have solved the problems of the world, I want to know what you’re up to now. What are you doing? I want you to talk about your podcasts and how that came about. Give me all the things. 

I am living in Tennessee. I moved here from San Diego. I was in San Diego for 4.5 years, an amazing chapter in my life. I met incredible people. I was working for a huge Royal Academy Dance Studio in San Diego. Her name’s Francine Garton. She recruited me in Florida because I was still in Florida at the time. She’s like, I need a new teacher.” I went out there for an interview. I was not even there for 24 hours. She’s like, “Yes, I need you.” Two months later, I got in my car and drove cross country. I was only 21 at the time. I had nothing holding me back at that point. I was like, “This is going to be amazing.” It was. Naturally, things happen. You get into a relationship and then that doesn’t work out. I got a marketing job at a dentist office. still have contacts with them. They’re incredible, invested in me and my training. 

It’s like where I am with my relationships and being more forwardfacing clients with my job now molded me from San Diego to here. I’m running a RAD program at a local studio here. I’m the only RAD teacher right now in Tennessee, which is amazing. We’re going to be entering kids in examinations. I was very nervous because this school has never heard of it. They didn’t know about it. It was up to me to educate. Going back to why should you do this program? Who is it for? The end game like the benefitsFor it being our first yearI’m pleased and the kids have loved it so far. I’ve been very blessed with all of that. 

I work from home fulltime for a business coach. I started working for her in 2020She promoted me to full-time in October and I’m forward facing with her clients as well. I like have meetings with them. I keep them accountable. I’m behind the scenes with her marketing. That’s it. I’ll talk about my podcast. My podcast is called With Love, Tori anLaurenIt’s funny how it started. I posted something on Instagram. It was like one of those captions that I was talking about body positivity and how I feel like the dance world and the world in general lacks that. 

My friendTori messaged me. She’s like, “We should totally do something with this. We always like bounce ideas off. I’ve known her for many years. I love her to pieces, so it made sense. We got on a call and we’re like, Why don’t we start a podcast for Millennial women talking about body positivity, talk about our journeys?” When I was thirteen, I unfortunately went through anorexia for about 2.5 years, rock bottom. I learned a lot from that experience. I was like, I don’t know if I’m ready to talk about that because it’s very vulnerable.” I’ve always kept one of those harder things to myself, but then I’m like, I could be serving or helping someone. They might have struggles or whatever it might be.” We decide to launch a podcast. Our first season is all about body positivity, how we’ve worked on it. Even until this day, it’s a struggle, how we talk nicer to ourselves, how we empower other people to be body positive. That’s a little bit about what I’m doing right now. 

I also struggled with anorexia several times through my school times or my career. I thought back then, “That’s what you go through. That’s the price you’re paying when you want to become a dancer.” I even had pulled out a photo of myself as an eleven-year-old girl when I was told that I’m overweight and I shouldn’t be eating anymore. Many years later, I took a look at her. I’m saying, “There is nothing too fat on her, not one ounce. She’s perfect the way she is.” I hear this more and more from dancers that have stepped out of the world or are still in there. They look at themselves when they were told that they weren’t enough and they can see now that was a lie. We believed it. 

I was thirteen when it all started, but mine came from peers, like being called fat or I wasn’t good enough. My arms were jiggling. I looked fat in that leotard. All those things came from my peers. At the end of the day, I had a target on my back because I was progressing faster. When you’re thirteen, I feel that’s the age of coming to your own. You’re figuring out. I was passionate about ballet and ballet was my thing. Don’t ask me to do hip hop. At that point, I was still trying to figure out what a contraction was and modern. I was like, “What are you telling me to do? I wasn’t told to do that. 

It’s unfortunate. You mentioned the picture, I saw a picture of myself before it all happened. I’m like, “There was nothing wrong with me.” I know you mentioned that you wanted to know why I went teaching and didn’t go dance. I felt I was supposed to be a role model and to be an example to young dancers. What helped me with my recovery, even when I was ending college and going through my CBTS, I was still struggling. My relationship with food is always an ongoing thing. I was like, “If I’m going to stand in front of these kids and I’m going to prepare them, I’m educating them, I’m nurturing them, but if I can’t even take care of myself, I’m a hypocrite. 

That was a huge motivator for my recovery, full circle. I’ve accepted thingsmyselfmy skin and my body. I felt like even when I was eighteen, I did some auditions and stuff, I got acceptance, but I felt that wasn’t right in the moment for me. Sometimes I think about like what ifs or anything but I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to work with children and be a part of their training. In hopes that I can create an environment where I can protect them as long as I can because I wasn’t protected in the classroom. That was my huge motivator. 

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Here’s what I love the most is that you make your pain your power. You’re not using it to do that bad in the world. Because I went throughyou have to go through it, which I see off too much still, particularly in the dance world. Were you are using it as an example of what we don’t want to see? Asking the question of how can we do it better? Stepping into the studio every day as a beginner and not expecting of yourself to know everything or know the answer. Knowing that if I don’t show up as my very best self, then how can I expect everybody else or anybody else to do the same? 

I also felt if I would have gone and did a show or whatever I auditioned for, I also felt I wouldn’t have recovered as well. I don’t think I was strong yet because I was still dealing with a lot of things. I waso focused on my education. I almost felt might’ve not even recovered as well. I’ve almost removed myself for a minute and took a step back from the performance acts and things and going to travel and go and shows and stuff. I don’t know. I wasn’t excited about it. I was like, I need to be excited about it. I was excited about my teaching program and being a part of the RAD organization as a whole. 

It takes courage too to listen to that, to follow what is fun and for you, what is your why? Why are you doing what you’re doing? Why are you here? Many don’t do that anymore. We forget about why we started. That’s beautiful. 

There is also the misconception like, You’re just a dance teacher. You just teach ballet in the evenings.” That used to get me upset because I’m like, “What did you say to me?” It’s the lack of knowledge. They don’t know. My parents were like, “We know how many hours she puts in. We know how much money we spend on her education. We know how passionate she is.” The outside world, say for example, like go on a dating app, “Youre a ballet teacher. That must be fine, a great hobby.” I’m like, “No, that’s a career. I used to teach 35 hours a week at one point. That was what I was doing. It’s almost like, “How do I change my mindset? How do I not get so fired up when someone says that? 

How did you? 

This is what the thing. I had to step back and not let the emotions come forward because I’m very emotional. I would respond to people and be like, “Dance is a beautiful art because it can be recreational. It could be that person’s onehour joy away from their home, away from school, whatever they want to dedicate their time to. Dance is also a lifelong career. A career that you can perform. You can choreograph. You can produce. You can be on shows. You can be in movies. You can do all these things and you can teach. 

You have to take yourself out of the equation when you teach and not everyone can do that. They’re still too caught up in their situation. To be a teacherI’ve learned, I have to remove myself from the equation. I’m like, “How can I serve kids? How can I be the best for them? How can I help them understand this step and the full body awareness? That’s my goal. I also said, I dedicated a lot of time for my training and I pursued an education route to become a teacher and something that’s very specialized. I‘m very proud of that. I leave it at that. They can figure it out. 

I’m like, I don’t need to explain myself at the end of the day. I used to have that problem and be like, I need to explain myself. Yes, I’m hardworking. Yes, I’m all these things but it’s like, “Do I need to explain myself to people? That’s not my business. If they want to know more, I’m happy to have a conversation, but don’t put me in a box that you think ijust for fun. Maybe it is for someone else. If you want to get to know me or understand me more, then ask me a question. 

As a teacher, you need to take yourself out of the equation. You can use your own experiences if you have worked through them. The reason why there is still so much pain, anguishsadness, disappointment and abuse in the world of dance and ballet is because the people that are teaching are teaching exactly the same way they’ve been taught. They are not going back and getting to know their wounds and their trauma. They are feeding their ego. I’m not saying that everybody is doing it. When we’re looking at the scandals that have been aired over the past few years in particularly that world, it is obvious what’s happening. 

That’s the unfortunate part. It’s one of those things. You don’t need to be this teacher you had. Be who you want to be and how do you want students to remember you? What impact do you want to give them when they leave your room? I used to be afraid because I was a very young teacher. I’d be like, “They’re going to not take me seriously because I look young, which is fineI had to separate that and be like, “How much value can I give them when they walk away? What are they going to say to their parents? Is it going to be positive or is going to be negative? 

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had teachers that were nasty, negative or whatever. These other teachers that we’re talking about, which is very common in the dance world, when are we going to get out of that tradition like we’re talking about with the arts in general? We don’t have to stay in that mindset that it used to be that harsh. That used to be a thing, but it doesn’t have to be anymore. People are different now. People talk about their feelings a little bit more. 

It‘s about authenticity. 

My students now are blunt, honest and transparent. I’m like, “They’re thirteen. This is amazing.” I would never even dare when I was thirteen to even say some of the stuff they say. That’s so powerful because they notice things. Kids are observant. They’re changing with the times. It’s a different world. 

We need thisI truly believe that as awful we may think 2020 has been for the arts, I think it’s a gift. It’s a gift to look inward, to take it apart and to wipe the slate clean. Let’s not follow what everybody else is doing or what we have done. Put it quickly in a ball. Let’s think outside of our box, what else can we do? Not to be also intellectually unobtainable that now nobody understands you anymore. You don’t even know who you’re serving. Maybe you’re serving yourself. You’re not going to pay yourself. You have to figure out who you are serving. That’s where this time, there is so much power in taking a pause and stepping back. Even the perception of it versus, “I don’t know what to dowhat are we going to do, you get what you concentrate on. It’s the truth. That’s how we work. It’s all energy. 

Whatever you manifest out to the world, it comes in. I truly believe in that. 

I am very filled up and ready to go for the next couple of hours. Thank you. Last questionwhat are perhaps or things that you would tell that sixteen-year-old with the knowledge that you have now? 

I would say to the sixteen-year-old Lauren is to stay motivated and I used to be a huge people pleaser. I would say yes to everyone. I would say to that sixteen-year-old“Not only do you need to keep your eyes on the prize and worry about what you’re doing, but also create boundaries with others around you that are not serving you or your energy or your purpose, or people that you shouldn’t like be around. That’s going to suck the energy out of you and take away who Lauren is. That’s what I would say to her. 

PTR 52 Lauren Brown | Art And Business

Art And Business: There are amazing productions and shows that people miss out on because they’re not educated about them.

 

I learned that a few years ago because it was always about pleasing everyone else. It’s hard to not do it. Yes, if you grew up in that environment. If that’s what you’ve been taught and what you believe is, then yes, it is hard. If you’ve been wired differently, if you know that if I don’t take care of myself, if I don’t protect myself and my energy, my most precious, most valuable thing that I possess, then you would act differently, feel differently and make different decisions even in a young age, regardless to what anybody else says. 

I’ve learned more about that in the last couple of years myself. Separating from certain people or being aware of the energyI’m an energy readerI’m like, “That’s not going to serve me. We’re going to protect Lauren. We’re going to protect her time and her energy.” It’s an ongoing thing that we’re always having to work on constantly. 

You’re never going to get there and that’s okay because the journeythat’s where it’s at. That’s the beautiful thing. Lauren, thank you so much for your time. 

Thank you. I had such a great time talking to you. 

Me too. Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed this interview as much as the two of us did. We’ll talk to you next time. 

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About Lauren Brown

PTR 52 Lauren Brown | Art And BusinessLauren has been in the dance world for over 20 years and completed all her Royal Academy of Dance examinations. She always loved children and decided to pursue the teaching program RAD offers. She was 20 years old when she graduated and was the youngest USA student in the program. She currently resides in Cookeville, TN and launched a RAD program at a local dance studio.

Lauren also has her Masters in Business Administration and works as a Business Manager for a business coach. She just recently launched a podcast with her best friend, Tori, talking about all things relating to body image, body positivity, rejection and more. When she is not working, Lauren is spending time with her family or attending hot yoga.

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Past Episodes 

There is a better way to pursue ballet at the professional level. Instead of dancers pushing beyond their body’s limits, there is a healthier way to train your body, your mind and your spirit to soar. To become the best at your craft, you must be healthy. The mentality of surviving to make a performance perfect is an old paradigm that needs to change. As athletes, dancers must thrive in order to shine and connect with their audience. This new approach, leads to fulfillment, strength and longevity. It allows you to give more of your heart and soul on stage, creating an unforgettable experience that moves your audience. And that’s the whole pointe. 

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