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Meet Natalie Gilmore of GUIDANCE with Nat in Van Nuys

Today we’d like to introduce you to Natalie Gilmore.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started dancing when I was just five years old. I had no idea it would someday be my whole life. I always loved it and never wanted to let it go, but it wasn’t until high school that I started understanding I could actually make it a career someday. I moved to LA a year after graduating high school. Looking back, I was just a baby with bright eyes on the prize. I had no idea what was ahead of me or how I was going to go about it. All I knew was that I had always loved dance and I couldn’t think of a better thing to call my career.

After moving to LA and realizing how brutal the industry could be, I both succeeded and struggled many times throughout the last 15 years. I gained friends I now call family and I fully understand how beautiful and also how challenging being a freelance artist can be. It’s often a rollercoaster of emotions (and income) and you’re never really sure what’s around the next corner. It’s both exhilarating and exhausting in the same breath. BUT I wouldn’t trade a second of it. I wouldn’t want any part of my life to have been lived any other way. I truly see the beauty in the madness and I’m eternally grateful for those who have not only helped me along the way but also stood by me through the tough times. My family has always been extremely supportive and I also don’t ever take that for granted.

I have now traveled the world and realized some of my wildest dreams come true, all because of dance and my passion for it. I still find some of it truly surreal and I am constantly humbled by the opportunities I’ve been given and the people who gave them to me. One of my favorite quotes is “A dream is a wish your heart makes” I believe in that with anything you may want. When your heart wants it, or when you want it with all your heart you will surprise yourself at the things that show up because of it. And nowadays, I find so much joy in teaching the next generation and being able to pass down the tools that I believe helped me in hopes to help them realize some of their wildest dreams too.

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?
I think some of the greatest obstacles came financially. Trying to keep up with the bills and high rent in California. I worked a ton of both full and part-time jobs throughout most of my career. I worked at a lot of coffee/tea and juice shops. I only wanted to be dancing on stage so at the time, I hated it. Now looking back, I see how much those kinds of jobs taught me about things like interacting with people and cleaning bathrooms that weren’t my own. It gave me some tough skin and put so many things into perspective.

Another area that I found quite challenging was the rejection of the industry. Sometimes I would get cut from an audition before even dancing just based on my look or height. For someone that was so passionate about my craft I felt robbed. I now understand it was all the business side of the industry that was hard for me to get accustomed to. But through my experiences, I’m now able to pass along some insight to my students into such topics to help ease their artistic hearts. 🙂

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the GUIDANCE with Nat story. Tell us more about the business.
GUIDANCE is a mentorship based program that I started this year. I have been teaching dance to all ages for the past 15 years. I enjoy being in the classroom so much, but I have always felt like an hour and a half is such a short amount of time to really get things done.

I developed GUIDANCE to create an extended class experience. I want to be able to explore movement and mentality with my students. I want to help them set and achieve their goals. I want to be able to give them feedback and talk to them about where they are and also where they are headed.

This program has three different types of sessions. One week, two week, and four week sessions are available.

Ultimately I want to help guide aspiring dancers to find their best self through dance and much more.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Hmm … I actually don’t believe in “luck” per say.

I think luck is the combination of hard work + timing.

The timing part is the part that may be out of our control which makes it sometimes feel “lucky”.

But I’m a firm believer that anyone can attract what they wish for through hard work, focus and consistency.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Dakota Elizabeth, Max Pham, Patrick Johnson, Graciela Federico, Jasmine Rafael, Geo Santilan

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