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Meet Diana Odajyan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Diana Odajyan.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
It at all started just when I was about three years old when my father took me to his workplace. My father is a gymnastics coach, so when he saw how much I liked jumping and rolling around, he decided to put me in a class not realizing how much this was going to mean to me later in life. At the time I was living in Yerevan, Armenia and till this day I remember my very first competition, and how nervous and excited I was to prove to my dad that I can be strong and as good as he is one day. After a few years, my parents decided to move to Russia, so I was forced out this sport for a few years until we moved to Los Angeles. It was very scary to move to this country as an 11-year-old who did not know how to speak English. I begged my parents to at least now let me go back to my favorite sport now that we have settled in, and they have agreed but they told me that now I have to do to Rhythmic Gymnastics. I remember thinking “What in the world is Rhythmic Gymnastics?!”, I was freaking out on my first time in the class, but then I realized that this is the most beautiful sport in the world. People might call it “ribbon dancing” but they don’t know how much these girls, these athletes put in during training hours. I had two training’s a day, ballet lessons, dance lessons, camps. My parents even decided to homeschool me since I traveled and had not enough time to practice. There is so much grace, beauty, the discipline it teaches you, the teammates who turn into family. I will admit though I was always so nervous about the competitions but I pulled it through, won several titles, State Championships, Regional Championships and even made it to Nationals.

When I graduated High School, I knew it was time for me to also say goodbye to my gymnastics career. It was hard to all of a sudden stop something you’ve been doing for about 16 years, but I got offered a coaching position at LA School Of Gymnastics and have been working with the competitive levels ever since. Although I loved passing on my knowledge to these young athletes, it still felt like something was missing, that’s when I decided to enroll myself in a dance class, more specifically Hip-Hop. I took some dance class before but I was never serious about it. I still remember to this day how much I enjoyed myself in that class, met some really cool people. It was after that class when I realized, “Oh this feels like me!”. I started taking modern, ballet, contemporary, tap, jazz classes, and there’s something about every single time I dance that just makes me forget about everything and just be at the moment. Along the way, I met some of the most talented and passionate people who guided me through my dance journey, and I got to do some of the most incredible projects with. From dance shows, concept videos, commercials, I got to do perform for the opening and closing ceremony for the Special Olympics that took place in Southern California. I am super thankful for this journey and so excited for the upcoming projects I am doing, you just have to put your heart, soul, into something you love and you will fulfill your true purpose in this world.

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 definitely has been a bumpy ride. I would say the path that I took to find what I really enjoy and want to do accomplish in life was hard. As a gymnast, my parents really supported me and my career, but once I decided to take dance as a career, they just thought I was not being realistic. I get them, every parent wants their child to be a lawyer, doctor, but this is who I am. It’s a bit of struggle when I try to explain that I want to create, I want to express myself as an artist, and make a living out of my passion but I think sooner or later they realized that this is it for me. Also, the people you meet along this journey make it worth it, I have met some of my closest friends, the teachers the mentors who inspire me so much every day and push me to be the best version of myself, I’d say that part has definitely been a smooth ride.

Tell us more about your work.
I am an inspiring artist and teacher. I love to create, perform, and act. I have training in many different styles of dance ballet, modern, hip hop, house, tap, but the most fun thing about me is that I get to incorporate my background as a gymnast in any of these types of dances. The flexibility this gave me catches a lot of peoples attention whenever I dance. While one side of me is still growing and learning, the other side loves to impart my vast knowledge and experience down to the younger generation, my students. Being a USA gymnastics member as an athlete/coach has also been such a blessing, I had so many opportunities that have been so important to my career and they are super supportive about everything.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Definitely, the desire to be somebody played a huge role in me succeeding in what I do. If you really feel that, this is it, this is what your purpose in life is, then I say you have accomplished your main goal in life. I always asked myself, “Who am I? What am I gonna contribute to this world?” and I think I have my answer, ” I am an artist!”. This is what I want to do in life, this is what makes me happy, I’m not doing this for somebody else but simply because this feels like home.

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Image Credit:
Troy Conrad Photography

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