A Confetti Conversation with Sarah Brinson!
When we first met the immensely talented and inspirational Sarah Brinson, we had instant chemistry. We clicked with her in the way that you just know you’re like-minded people, you immediately have so much to talk about, and the conversations keep leading to more shared likes and perspectives. Sarah and her husband, J, brought their Acting For Dancers Workshop to our studio about five years ago, and that led to the start of a great friendship. Now, every time we get together, it’s like our very own mini mastermind session! We’re constantly trading favorite podcast episodes and sharing business tips, ideas and motivational tools.
Even our dogs have great chemistry with each other! Ruthie (Dani’s dog) and Auggie (Sarah and J’s dog) have the best of times when they are together! And Ruthie doesn’t love just any dog, so that makes her relationship with Auggie pretty special!
We’ve also had the honor of Sarah setting choreography on our dancers. Her unique approach and creative process have helped our dancers grow in so many ways! We love having her as a guest teacher and choreographer at the studio.
Sarah is truly a woman who wears MANY hats! Besides being a dancer, artist and choreographer, she also holds the titles of Chairwoman, Artistic Director, Executive Producer, Creative Producer and Co-Founder. Each of these titles is for a different business she helped build and create! And she will now be adding a new title–Author–as she will soon be launching her new children’s book, Lola the Ladybug. Oh, and she teaches for this little convention called NYCDA! We don’t know how in the world she accomplishes so much and does each thing so well, because every aspect of her work is so inspiring!
So, it should come as no surprise that we were incredibly honored and excited to be able to have this Confetti Conversation with Sarah Brinson! Read on, and prepare to be inspired for life!
Ever since I can remember! I definitely was the kid producing dance shows in my living room with my sister–ticket sales, concessions, story building, choreography, announcer–the whole works! Dance has always given me a huge sense of purpose and focus in my life. After college (NYU ’08), I found auditioning in NYC very complicated, painful, and, at many times, hopeless. The rejection was SO HARD for me. So, I quit. Yes, I quit dance. I feel like that sounds so dramatic, and, if you ask my husband, J, he would confirm that it was. Ha! Anyway, the next three years were equally up and down. I decided to dance again. I auditioned for So You Think You Can Dance and made it to Las Vegas with much support of the producers. I didn’t make it. Then I quit dance (again), and I found myself very depressed and in Canada! J and I decided we needed to spend some time working on ourselves and figuring out the next move for us. We traveled across the country, visiting family and recovering. One of the places we ended up was Vancouver, BC. And though it made NO logical sense to move to Canada, we decided to go with our gut, LOL! It was not cute. At. All. Like I said, I was depressed — I was sad, I was lost, and didn’t understand why nothing was going to plan. That’s when I found teaching, and it changed my life. From teaching came choreography, direction, design, creating across multiple platforms, writing and producing.
How long have you owned your business?
What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?
GIVE GIVE GIVE GIVE GIVE…then ask. – Gary Vaynerchuk
Favorite book, magazine, podcast or quote?
Ooo…so many! Currently, I’m loving the Girlboss Radio podcast with Sophia Amoruso and the Tony Robbins podcast. Quotes: “Start where you are, do what you can, use what you have.” Arthur Ash
“Kindness wins in the end.” Sarah Brinson ☺
What’s a mistake you’ve made or watched someone else make that you learned from?
I’ve made so many mistakes I don’t even know where to begin, LOL! I think my biggest breeding ground for mistakes is rushing…getting excited or even running behind and then moving too fast. I have my best and most successful days when I’m relaxed, listening deeply to the people around me.
Do you have any productivity hacks you want to share?
Apps Apps Apps Apps! We have a team of 12-15 people that mostly work remotely so we LOVEEE Apps! Slack, team calendars, Zoom, Google Docs (well, everything Google actually!), Asana. etc.
What’s your creative process?
Ooof! It’s cray cray! I’m very visual, and I prefer to collaborate–whether in the dance studio, design studio, or writing room. I share my initial idea with the team (designers, dancers, writers, etc.) through a creative brief (if designing or writing). We go away and work on our respective tasks (in dance, I provide a movement generation task in line with the theme or story we’re working on). We then come back together and I give my feedback, thoughts, and strategic thinking. Really, what I try to do in this part of the process is view the piece of art from the audience’s point of view. How will they perceive the information? Does the art accomplish what we initially wanted it to? For dance art creation, it’s ALL about composition. We’ll take the “task” phrase and craft…literally cut up, add, repeat, change the order, reverse, change levels, etc. We repeat until the project is complete, then we execute or perform!
Who or what inspires you?
I find inspiration in the world around me, on the street, art museums, films, articles, books, Pinterest, Instagram, and in the relationships close to me. J is my biggest inspiration for sure–he is a phenomenal artist with such deep perspective and passion for his work. He is constantly helping me think differently, urging me to push boundaries, and believing I can accomplish my dreams.
Charlie Chaplin. He was a dancer, yes, but he did it all! He was the creator, producer, choreographer, performer, and MORE!
When you face a creativity block or an uninspired day/week/month, how do you move yourself out of it?
I do something else, go to the gym, hang with friends, etc. Thankfully, I’ve never really experienced a major creative block during a creation period that has left me unable to complete a job. When I do experience small blocks, I usually end the session a bit early and go home to think. Honestly, I truly believe a HUGE reason I don’t run into major blockage is because I ALWAYS encourage an atmosphere of creativity from everyone I’m working with. It truly changes the energy in the space. I’m not afraid to ask for thoughts or ideas from others, and I absolutely don’t need to be the one with all the answers! #bettertogether
I believe that dance has come so far! It has a worldwide respect and appreciation which gives us a platform to create powerful art that causes reflection and hopefully change.
Finding my husband, J. ❤
What’s the most fulfilling part of your job?
Having an idea and seeing it come to life. That could be a movement idea, an event, a script, a company, a solution, etc. NO GREATER FEELING!
What’s next for you and your business?
There are truly so many exciting things on the horizon. We’re premiering “Moving Henry” in Los Angeles, Ca., on May 5. Inspired by the shocking event that took place on October 1st, 2017, in Las Vegas, “Moving Henry” is a short film that explores the overwhelming emotions of fear, shock and terror, desperation, and helplessness in response to the chaos and destruction.
I’ve also just finished my first children’s book, Lola The Ladybug, launching this summer! We have several TV/Film projects, both scripted and non-scripted that are currently being developed, and, of course, my dance company, Rockridge Dance Theatre, is developing a new work for a few international festivals in 2019!
Confetti Moment: Confetti on the Dance Floor is all about celebrating fun, positive and inspirational moments! Tell us about your most confetti-worthy moment?
Getting to see a child smile in one of my classes. It’s like watching a sunset–it’s always perfect in every way.
Cocktails or Mocktails?
Coffee or Tea?
Queso or Guac?
Pizza or Tacos?
Morning Person or Night Owl?
Take-Out or Dine-In?
Broadway or Hollywood?
Netflix or Big Screen?
Sequins or Sweats?
Thank you, Sarah, for being a constant source of inspiration to us and the entire dance world. We’re so lucky to call you our friend and look forward to watching your success in all your endeavors!
If you want to connect with and be inspired by Sarah, too, you can find her in many places!
Website: www.sarahbrinson.com (and coming soon: www.lolatheladybug.com)
Professional Studio images by Alex Brinson Photography
“Moving Henry” images by Jenna Maeleen Sifuentes