Today we’d like to introduce you to Alyson Mattoon.
Alyson, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
It all started in my majestic hometown of Sedona Arizona – a beautiful quaint and quiet place to be a kid. I knew I wanted to be a professional dancer as soon as I discovered it around five years old. The Ballet Arizona Nutcracker sold me. I wanted a life in the performing arts and the drive took over. I was lucky to have two parents and an incredible Grandmother who supported my passion. I thrived at the local dance studio, Danse Sedona but needed to jump into a bigger pond. I wanted to go to a performing arts high school where I could train to be a professional dancer and get a good education. Virginia School of the Arts was the school we all agreed would be the best option. Off I went at fourteen years old to boarding school. It was hard the first couple of years but got better as I became more comfortable at the school. I loved that I got to attend a public high school for half of the day and dance through the rest. I made lifelong friends and graduated with honors. I’m proud to say I was the first keynote speaker of my graduating class and one of the only students to complete all four years.
I had hoped to get into a professional company upon graduating but had decided going the college dance route would be the best. I was given a generous dance scholarship from the University of Arizona and was all set to go until the summer before school was supposed to start. I attended The State Street Ballet Summer program that summer. Artistic Director Rodney Gustafson and Allison Gustafson used to collaborate with Danse Sedona’s Nutcrackers when I was a kid and I had always admired their dancers and work. I also wanted to go somewhere nice with a beach for the summer. Rodney offered me an apprenticeship and I just couldn’t turn it down. I never auditioned well because I’m a much better performer than a technician but he saw my outstanding work-ethic and dedication to my craft. After that the rest is history. I worked my way up to a principle dancer and lived my dream as professional ballet dancer touring regionally and internationally for ten years. This was such a special time that I’m so grateful for.
During this time, I had been teaching dance and knew I loved teaching. Actually, I’ve always loved teaching but the timing was right for a change of direction. My boyfriend at the time, now my husband, was also wanting a change so we moved to LA to start new careers. I had just received my Pilates Certification through Body Arts and Science International and wanted to teach and learn as much as possible. LA is the best place to gain experience because of the endless teaching opportunities. I also wanted to continue to dance but wanted to do more contemporary work. I was lucky to dance with Clairobscur dance company for a good while and do some commercial work here and there. I ended up getting my BA through the LEAP program (liberal education for arts professionals) out of Saint Mary’s College. Flash forward a few years later and I’m a proud mom of a soon to be two year old and running my own Pilates and GYROTONIC business out of a beautiful boutique space in Mar Vista, Kaira Studios. I also teach a cardio dance class I created called BodyBPM at Brasil Brasil cultural center. It feels good to be in complete control of what I’m doing right now. I’m also learning Salsa dancing right now which is feeding the dancer in me.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has been a relatively smooth road, as I’ve always known exactly what I wanted to do. The struggles have come up do to change and taking risks. It can be challenging putting myself out there. Because it’s just me running my own business, I don’t have anyone to fall back to. I have to be on point all of the time and sometimes I just want to hide. But this is where vacation and finding balance comes in – it helps buffer some of these small business burnout struggles. Finding balance can also be challenging, but is worth all of the effort.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I have my own Pilates and GYROTONIC® business. I am my own business, which is great because I’m in control of everything I do. I like to be in control but I also really love collaboration. For my own business, I teach Pilates, GYROTONIC and dance fitness. I specialize in pulling from multiple movement modalities and believe I’m known for making fitness fun, functional, educational and positive. But we will have to ask my students to confirm this. I’m also a partner in a Wellness company called WE Collaborative. We are a group of health and wellness professionals joining forces to foster community while empowering others through our services.
Our workshops include movement classes, group health coaching, massage, energy work , meditation, healthy food, giveaways and so much more. I think our genuine relatable vibe sets us apart from other companies similar to us. We are providing a warm and uplifting experience for all. We are that “cozy bed and breakfast you can’t wait to go back to” of wellness companies.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I think luck has played a huge role in my life. I was lucky to have a family who supported me and my goals. I’m forever grateful and feel very lucky to have my family and a job I love.
- Website: http://www.alymattoon.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alysonmattoon/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alyson.mattoon
- Other: https://www.facebook.com/bodybpm/