A professional dance company made up of adults who have never trained?
Belle Martin founded Flavor Company Dance Entertainment in 2016 with the aim of training novice adults to be professional dance entertainers.
Why? Here's the story in her own words:
I was born in Columbia and grew up in Spanish Harlem in New York. It was not the greatest place to grow up, but I realized early in my life that dance was super important to me as a vehicle for self-expression. Unfortunately, as immigrants, my family had next to no money, and certainly not enough for something as expensive as dance classes. I took on odd jobs to pay for my classes. I even worked in a garment workshop after school each day (which was probably illegal at that young age - but those were different times). But, it allowed me to study dance. I became a professional dancer at 14 and have been dancing professionally ever since. I have been privileged enough to have performed and become a master examiner in various dance genres such as Hip Hop, Swing, Belly Dance and Argentine Tango.
In 2015, I decided I needed a change. I had a full schedule of private lessons with my tango students and rehearsals & performances with my professional swing and tango teams. But, it wasn't fulfilling me to the level I desired. I wanted to reach the people who expressed a desire to dance and perform but had never had the opportunity to do so.
My dance colleagues in the professional dance world thought I was crazy! "They don't know the discipline it takes to become a performing dancer. They won't last. They'll have too many inhibitions...." The list went on. I approached a few ladies who had been taking dance fitness classes with me and shared my idea. They said they'd give it a try.
The rest has been 5 years of twists and turns. By year 3, we were successfully being contracted to entertain at various Southern California venues and events. And, in year 4, our calendar was booked to the max!
Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Entertainment came to a halt. We pivoted to provide entertainment and classes online. It has been a challenging road with huge investments of time and money to provide high-quality, reliable online experiences. But the payoff is that we are now building an international community of people who love to dance, want to learn more about the craft, and are inspired to dance in ways they never thought possible.
Flavor Company Dance Entertainment is a cultural fusion dance entertainment company. We draw on the cultural dances of the world to inform our musical and dance element choices, presenting a unique fusion feel that keeps audiences and participants engaged and excited.
Recent entertainment contracts include:
Marizabel (Belle) Martin
Artistic Director & Choreographer - Belle Martin - brings over 30 years of professional dance performance & choreography training. She was trained in New York, is a master examiner and teacher of Argentine Tango and Swing, and couple dances, dances professionally around the world in various dance genres, and brings a level of professionalism to San Diego's dance community that is usually only seen in cities like New York and Los Angeles.
Business Director - Lys Severtson - brings over 15 years of professional business and marketing experience to the company. She started dancing as an adult and has trained in various genres with Belle Martin.
African / Soca
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Flavor Company Dance Entertainment © 2020
Studio Address: 8241 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa, CA 91942
Mailing Address: 4071 Date Ave, Unit #116, La Mesa, CA 91942
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