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Meet Liz Watts

Today we’d like to introduce you to Liz Watts.

Liz, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Oh, the journey… a little about me. Since the age of nine, I have loved performing, be it dancing, singing or acting. In elementary, I was the youngest co-captain ever on the Pasadena drill team. In Junior High I was nicknamed Liz Abdul for choreographing cheer teams and talent shows. I attended L.A. County High School of The Arts, majoring in the vocal/music department, singing in various choirs. My high school was like that of FAME as we sang and danced down the aisles in the cafeteria and performed monthly. It was there that I learned the discipline, focus and sacrifice required to commit to your craft.

Meanwhile, others were shopping at malls and going to football games. I stayed after school practicing and riding on buses going to and from performances, singing at church on Sundays. After graduation, I attended UCLA and majored in the Theatre Department. Not long after I had a major detour – Salsa dancing!  It found me and I fell in love with it. From dancing with Vanessa Williams and Chayanne in the movie Dance With Me, to performing alongside the legend Celia Cruz and travelling to Canada, Miami, Lebanon, New York and more,” Salsa dance will be one of my all-time fav experiences, all thanks to my mentor Joby Brava and world-known Salsa Brava Dance Company I was a member of. I then branched out on my own and started the 1st ladies only Salsa dance group.

Triple threat I was called and known for captivating audiences, but as a performer in the entertainment industry, work isn’t always guaranteed. From dancing with Beyoncé and other top artists, booking commercials, singing with Ricky Martin on the American Music Awards and acting in numerous plays, the work was great, but I wanted more. The not always having a Friday paycheck thing led me to create an opportunity to generate income, an opportunity that I would be in control of. I had been casually booking dancers for various projects when someone encouraged me to really make it “official” and generate profits from bookings. And thus, I did! It was the beginning of 2009. From purchasing costumes to photoshoot, to logo design and website built… Liz Watts And Company became official.

What began as a dance company offering services of shows in Samba, Salsa and Belly dance has exploded to so many styles to now include Polynesian, Gatsby, Swing, Hip-Hop, Cabaret, Ballroom and more. I learned to live out of my comfort zone, embracing other cultures of dance, learning the history and techniques. When clients asked if we offer a certain type of entertainment my reply was “Yes, ask us what we don’t do!” I realized the formula to success… when you offer more, you book more.

Now ten years later, from five dancers to a team of over 25. From five shows a month to five shows a weekend. From shows in LA to monthly travels to Vegas and other states to perform. What started as a dance company has grown into your one-stop shop for entertainment. Proud to name some of our finest corporate clients to include Debbie Allen and Grey’s Anatomy, Google, Disney, Amazon, Make A Wish, Netflix, Zumba, Queen Mary and the list is endless.

In 2020 I will continue adding new talent and repertoire to the company. With a solid team foundation, I am excited to have more time to invest back into myself as an artist and with the help of my agents at Go 2 Talent Agency (GTA). This year… I got a feeling!!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
As “they” say, most small businesses don’t make it past the 5th year before closing shop. We just celebrated our 10th! Has it been a smooth road, not so much . Some months being less fruitful, others being too much to bare. I’ve learned that there really isn’t a slow season, as there are always things to do and create to further expand. When months are insanely busy, my assistant and I do like a good Taco Tuesday and margarita (or two)!

A few years ago, I went thru a personal hardship which was super challenging to be at the top of my game when my world was falling apart. It was then that I used my pain to push me forward and it was the love and support of my team that got me through. I learned that there is a beauty in being vulnerable and it’s okay sometimes to not be okay… you just don’t stay in that place too long.

On another note, I won’t say I was a control freak but more so I had to release the idea of I could do it all, as that mindset can actually work against you. When you have assistants and a strong team in place, you get more done, thus have more productivity. It was a process I had to learn and still do, to delegate and let others on the team do their part.

Lastly, I jumped into business quickly without a loan to purchase materials or an office to work from or a degree to direct me. I have failed at not budgeting properly and losing profits. I am the creative type so the accounting then I struggled not balancing the books correctly. All this to say that you must fail to learn and then learn not to fail. Yes, I am the director of my company, but not always perfect and a slip here or there does happen, but I do my very best for it not to.

Please tell us more about your work. What do you guys do? What do you specialize in? What sets you apart from competition?
We are LA’s finest dance and entertainment company. Composed of a highly motivated and hand-picked diverse, professional, enthusiastic and talented individuals in the entertainment industry. We do events. From private parties to corporate events: wrap parties, red carpet, concerts, weddings, birthdays, celebrity events, music videos and graduations. Our goal is simply this… you be the guest, let us do the rest. We bring all the excitement to you specializing in a wide variety of entertainment.

The question is, “ask us what we don’t do!” We have dancers, bands, singers, impersonators, choreographers, models, hosts, fire dancers, specialty acts, singing telegrams… the list is endless. Known for offering the “WOW” factor, having beautiful and engaging performers who will get you off your feet dancing and celebrating. Our biggest rewards are seeing the smiles and watching people live their best lives on the account of us being there.

I am highly and enthusiastically involved, hands-on in the process of speaking with clients to hear their vision and offer suggestions to make the most of their buck and event success. I truly care, thus giving more than what is expected, as these events are sometimes one in a lifetime and it’s our job to make it a memorable one. Follow thru is a must and touching base with clients before and after is what I pride myself in, as customer service is so important. Repeat business and referrals have been at an all-time high in the past couple of years. Of course, there is the 1% that will leave a negative review, but I have learned that we do our best is what matters; can’t please everyone.

The most things I am proud of… GROWTH! Growth in becoming a businesswoman. Hands-on learning as I go. The works hours sometimes are insane, but the rewards of doing what you love with who you love and having the freedom to work remote while traveling and still pursuing my passion for music and acting make it all worthwhile. I have a routine from sending out event info to processing of payments and speaking with clients that help me stay on track of all there is to do. My AM cup of coffee is a must before I speak with anyone.

Growth in the amount of repertoire of numbers I have choreographed and themed shows I have created over the years. At least 25 plus and now have choreography assistants who specialize in other areas of dance to collaborate with. Growth as a TEAM. When I think of my team, I think of FAMILY. We are all very close and have a blast on and off the stage. We work and play together. I trust them to do the job which gives me peace when I can’t be at every event and gives me more flexibility to pursue my other loves as an artist. They also respectfully keep me in check during those times when I would rather play than work… lol!

Growth as an entrepreneur and leader. Leaders serve and it’s in the serving that creates a positive group morale. I want to continue being the best version of myself and an inspiration for my team and clients. Most rewarding show – Performing for my mentor and someone I had watched on a daily basis (to add)  in the Fame TV show, Debbie Allen and the cast party of Grey’s Anatomy. Looking out into the audience and seeing her smiling faces.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
To me, success is not measured in a dollar amount, but rather in doing what you love every day and making a living out of it. When you love what you do it shows and people are attracted to that “thing.” 

Solid work ethic, focus and sacrifice. I work from my home and studio so I have to keep the discipline not to get distracted. I treat my job as if I am going into work for the day like the other 9 to 5ers do. I’m up early, have “me” time and then plow through my day, prioritizing tasks and keeping the chit chat for when the day is done.

We believe giving back is so important to those less fortunate and donate our services to charitable organizations several times throughout the year. We don’t take lightly the difference we can make in other lives through the gift of music and dance.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
The Firm Event Design (fire pic)
Quain Photo (solo dance shot)
Thiery Brouard (last pic, yellow skirts)

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