Dancing her way into our hearts is this week's #wingwoman, Ashley Brodeur! Some of you may recognize her from leading our dance workshop at the Wild Woman Rising retreat in October 2019, or perhaps you've thrown on a pair of heels and danced with confidence at a Maven Movement class (formerly known as Army of Sass Calgary). Ashley has been teaching beginner to advanced dancers for the past 5 years, and before that, she took her dance skills across Canada and even Dubai! In our interview, Ashley shares how following your intuition will never fail you, how she loves teaching her students to feel confident and whole, and how it's imperative to have the hard conversations, especially with your inner circle. Continue reading to learn all about Ashley!
1. What makes you happy?
Honestly, simple things! I feel most like myself when I am teaching, dancing or creating, spending quality time, campfires, being by the ocean or lakes, coffee in the morning with my husband, nature, seeing my loved ones and students genuinely happy.
2. What advice would you give your younger self?
Oh my. Where to start...After a good listen to her I would share four main things: Boundaries are essential and healthy. You are capable of much more than you think. Take care of yourself first (mind, body and spirit) and always follow your intuition - it never fails! And...no, you don't have to put up with that.
3. If you could magically solve one problem in the world, what would that be?
COVID? Too soon or cliche? haha. I do a lot of work with body image and confidence so eliminating size bias and the influence of body "ideals" from the media and entertainment industry. Our bodies are beautiful as they are (they do a lot of work for us!) and being healthy, inside and out, is the most important piece of this puzzle no matter what that "looks" like.
4. How did you find your purpose?
By accident! All I ever wanted to do was dance and perform, which ultimately led me into teaching... which ultimately led me to teach my classes from a place of empowerment. While I consider myself to be just scratching the surface, providing a space for individuals to feel confident and whole for who they are is imperative to me. In short, my purpose is to make people feel good being themselves :)
5. What is your biggest pain point in building relationships?
For someone who teaches in mass, it is common for many to assume that I am naturally extraverted. However, on the contrary, I am actually quite introverted so making those first steps are really intimidating to me! Keeping up with distanced contact (especially now) is also something I struggle with. I think about my friends, family and even past friends often and sometimes daily, but I don't reach out as nearly as much as I should.
6. What have you learned from past friendships that didn't work out?
People change and if they aren't willing to have hard conversations with you, or you with them, it's time to shed. Hard conversations are a part of life and bring us closer to knowing ourselves and one another. Authenticity and genuine check ins are really important. My mom always told me that the only thing you can depend on is change, so we must honour that in all of our relationships (and the individuals in them) as well.
7. Who are your SHEros (AKA female heroes)?
I am very lucky to have some seriously inspiring women in my world. From my Maven Movement Team, students, fellow dance studio owner pals from coast to coast, artistic humans across the globe and my DJD Family - it's really hard to say. I have been watching one of my longtime friends, Liana Lewis, absolutely shine over the past years. She's always inspired me through her example to be myself, honour my space and needs and take risks.
8. What podcasts/books are you listening/reading right now?
Currently reading Fire Keeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley and listening to The Brand Lab by PrettyGirlsWork featuring my good gal pal, Lindsay Tompkins.
9. Where can we find you?
You can find me via instagram at @ashley_emilda or @mavenmovement_yyc
Also currently revamping ashleyemilda.com!