Today we’d like to introduce you to Danella Dutton.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Danella. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Born and raised in Atlanta, GA.
My grandmother was a dancer, so at a very young age I was already dancing around the house. At 4, she signed me up for ballet and tap classes. I was too shy to dance in front of anyone so she took me out of group classes and signed me up for baton twirling. I did that for about 10 years and during this time became involved in sports (running, basketball and fast pitch). Around the age of 18, a group of friends and I started messing around breakdancing. After breakdancing this lead to my best friend (Jose Diaz) and I saying how we’ve always wanted to learn salsa. So, we finally decided to find a salsa class and start taking classes. I was hooked.
We started taking about 6 hours of classes a week and going out dancing in Latin clubs a few nights a week. During this time, I was struggling with the idea that having a “normal” life; i.e.: go to college, get a job, get married, and retire is what I was supposed to do. I was inspired by the impact dance was having on my life and the impact the instructors were having on their students’ lives. So, one day I made the jump. I decided to quit college, knowing I could always go back if I wanted to, and pursue becoming a dance instructor for the difference it has in people’s lives. I haven’t looked back since.
I trained and taught at the studio I started at for about 8 more months before I expanded out on my own as an independent dance instructor. I have been running my own company for the last 11 years. This company has had two main focuses: my own dancing, training and performing in the arts, and teaching people to dance.
I focused mostly on the Latin club dances (salsa, bachata, merengue, and cha-cha); but I have also competed and trained in the ballroom and hip hop world. This has led to me performing in several theater productions, films, and music videos. As well as producing and choreographing.
Becoming an independent dance instructor started off slow. I was my own team, instructing and marketing. I started with only two students, focused on building an online presence for marketing and going out dancing. I eventually started my own group classes, and within three months went from two hours a week to averaging 40 hours a week. I also had my own performance teams and threw my own events (Latin and breakdancing).
A life changing event and the economy tanking gave me the push to move to Los Angeles where I continued to chase my dreams in the performing arts at a much higher level. While in Los Angeles, in addition to growing my company, I began to re-pursue my passion for acting.
Moving here, six and a half years ago, I knew I was going to have to start over and build a completely new business. Since I had done it before I had an idea of how to accomplish this. I started off a little slower than in Atlanta, since I was also making sure to leave time for my own training as well. I grew an even stronger internet presence with Yelp, Groupon, and Living Social and within a few years my group classes were consistent and large.
Today, I am still teaching 20-30 hours a week and continue to have a strong passion for the performing arts and the impact it has on people’s lives.
Has it been a smooth road?
Of course not. Everything in life has it struggles, but I enjoy challenges so even though it has not always been a smooth road it, always turns out to be a good thing or a good experience.
As any artist sometimes experience, making ends meet can sometimes be a struggle. When moving to LA this was the most difficult time for that.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Danella Dutton Dance – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Teach Dancing: I specialize in partner dances. Mostly the Latin Club dances i.e.: Salsa, Bachata, Merengue and Cha-Cha. I do a lot of wedding dances for couples as well.
I also specialize in Artistic Direction/Choreography. This varies project to project.
There are two things I am most proud of:
- I have built my company it is mine. I can support myself from a passion and that makes me feel good.
- The difference I see it makes in people’s lives. Students will come in shy, unconfined or timid and I will see the changes happen over time. Becoming more open, meeting new friends and confidence that carries into their personal lives. I love knowing I can help facilitate that.
My personality and passion for all of my students becoming better and gaining confidence is what sets me apart mostly. I also have a good ability to explain things.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love the energy in LA. There is so much talent and skill here it is inspiring.
Don’t like: Maybe it’s expensive?
- Group class – $15
- 5 Group classes – $65
- 10 Group Classes – $110
- Intro Special – $45 — 1 30 min private lesson, 1 group class
- Private Lessons – $90
- 3 Privates – $260
- 5 Privates – $490
- 10 Privates – $800
- Address: IDA Hollywood
6755 Hollywood Blvd, #200
Los Angeles, CA 90046
- Website: www.DanellaDutton.com
- Phone: 1 (770) 401-1940
- Email: email@example.com