In October 2015, Corinne walked through the door for her first Dallas Dance Fitness class. The energy in that studio was straight fire and we were so excited to welcome Corinne as our newest member! Now a fabulous dance fitness instructor, Corinne brings great choreography and fun energy to all of her classes. Read on for more about this amazing dancer!
Where are you from originally, and when did you first start dancing? Did you dance in school, college, post-college?
I'm originally from New Orleans, Louisiana. I come from a family of dancers! Two of my aunts started their own dance school when they were 16 and 17, and it grew into the most prestigious dance studio in the New Orleans area. In fact, the studio just celebrated its 75th anniversary!
My aunt and uncle also created the Delta Festival Ballet, a professional ballet company in New Orleans, in addition to the New Orleans Youth Ballet. I started dancing at 3 years old, and I was a total studio rat! I summered with the Boston Ballet, and performed in several professional productions in New Orleans as a young girl and teen.
I was the Captain of my high school dance team, and as my social life grew in high school, I tapered off my intense dance training. Although I didn't continue to study dance in college, I was always the first (and last) girl on the dance floor at any party. ha!
I fell in love with running in law school, and focused my energy on that for about 10 years. As running became harder on my joints, I discovered pilates, and became obsessed. I loved the connection between pilates and dance. But, I always wished I could somehow incorporate dance into my workout routine. I tried Zumba, but the international music and dance moves weren't for me, so that was a no-go. The closest I got was the harder choreography in step aerobics classes, which didn't quite scratch the itch.
Luckily, I stumbled upon DDF in 2015 through a random Facebook post, and I decided to go try a class. I knew no one in the room, nor did I really know what to expect. To my surprise, it was exactly what I needed! I've been coming back ever since!
Tell us about your life off the dance floor: family past/current career and/or hobbies.
I've been married to my husband, Clay, for 21 years. We met in college at a party and have been together for almost 30 years (but somehow I'm still 35, ha!). We have 1 daughter, Ella, who is 13 and loves to dance too - although she's more into cheer these days.
I've been practicing law for 21 years, and I'm currently an attorney for a big corporation. We have 2 dogs, Monster and Lulu, who are extremely spoiled. I love to cook, drink good wine and an occasional dirty martini, travel, and spend time with friends and family. And, of course, I love to dance!
What made you decide to become an instructor?
Since I have a full-time job, I never thought I'd become an instructor. I just felt lucky that my schedule allows me the flexibility to attend classes a few times a week! But, the opportunity to become an instructor presented itself when Michele Mann moved to Longview and could no longer teach the Saturday morning class at Cooper. The fitness director there approached me one day after class and asked me to consider training to become an instructor so that I could take over that Saturday class. With Alana and Michelle's blessing and mentorship, I did just that!
Being an instructor has been such an unexpected gift! I love the balance that it brings to my life! I get to be a lawyer during the week and a dance teacher on Saturdays. And, I'm a trusty sub during the week when my work schedule allows it.
What are your favorite genres of music and styles of dance & why?
I love upbeat, high tempo, happy music! I gravitate to more jazzy or lyrical routines because I love to really move and take up a lot of space. And, those styles are most comfortable for me given my classical ballet background. That said, I do enjoy the challenge of a good hip hop routine. I may not look "right" doing them, but they sure are fun!
What are some of your biggest challenges in dance and what are the greatest rewards you get from dance?
Given my life as a "bun head," hip hop is definitely the most challenging genre for me. But, I love challenging my brain and body to do things outside of my comfort zone.
In terms of other challenges, my feet are starting to feel the effects of my years in pointe shoes, followed by years of wearing 4-inch heels everyday to work. I see a great orthopedist who specializes in feet and ankles. He's made me custom orthotics to wear in my dance shoes, and those have been a lifesaver.
I also notice that I just have to listen to my body more as I get older. While I love to whip my head around when I dance, my neck doesn't love that these days. Ha!
In terms of rewards, there are too many to count! Dance has always been my favorite activity and one of my first loves. I never dreamed that it would be such a big part of my life now. I feel the most like myself when I'm dancing. Physically, it makes me feel strong and free. And, I love that dance is such a great activity for my brain as I age.
I also love that I get to "lose myself" while dancing. For that hour, I get to focus on nothing else but dance. There are no "to do lists" or legal briefs occupying my brain - only the choreography at hand.
Although all of the physical benefits of dance are great, the best rewards have been the friendships and community that I've made through dance. I cherish our DDF family, and I'm so grateful for the women on that dance floor!
What are some of your favorite DDF memories / moments?
One of my favorite DDF memories is my first class! I was so pleasantly surprised that it was real choreography - but for grown women. I had a sweaty good time and got a great workout.
But, the best part happened after class. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming. I felt like I had 10 new friends when I left the studio. They made me want to keep coming back, so I did! And my life is so much better for it!
This kind of support and encouragement has continued as I've become an instructor. It feels so great when I introduce new choreography and it is well-received by the dancers. There's no better feeling than watching others enjoy and celebrate something you've created.
Thank you to Corinne for letting us feature her in our Spotlight! If you're interested in Dallas Dance Fitness, you can sign up for classes at https://www.dallasdancefitness.com/ - first class is FREE! We dance Monday - Friday, 10-11AM at Preston Center Dance, and would love to welcome you to the studio!