Sep 13, 2022
This week on 5.6.7.EIGHT, Aleksandra speaks with Jess Spinner, entrepreneur and holistic health coach at The Whole Dancer. Jess holds a bachelor’s degree from Butler University in Dance and Arts Administration. Upon graduation, she danced with the Louisville Ballet and did some professional work as a freelancer in Boston. Now, Jess’s life mission is to support dancers in finding a personal balance in their approach to food and their bodies.
As a former professional dancer that struggled with body image issues, Jess knows the physical, mental, and emotional grind of dance. And, now looking back, Jess firmly believes that if she put more focus on taking care of herself off the dance floor, she’d have been an even better performer on the dance floor. On the podcast, Jess explains how she’s now helping other dancers see that truth and discusses the joy she finds in seeing lives changed and dreams renewed.
"When dancers say to me, 'It feels like you're reading my mind,' it's because I've been in exactly that place. You're in the studio or elsewhere and all you can think about is the size of your thighs or how much skinnier the girl next to you is."
"I'm a firm believe that, wherever life takes you, there's something to be learned or gained."
"I've had a number of dancers now say to me, 'I think I would have quit dancing if I hadn't worked with you.' This was my journey too. You can get into such a negative headspace... It gets you to a place where it's no longer fun."
"So much of my dance journey from the time I was quite young became negative and hyperfocused on my body. To now be able to help dancers see a different path is hugely rewarding."
"In starting my business, from the beginning, I was steadfast. This is what I am going to do. I'm going to make it work. I'm going to make it work for myself. And then I refused to give up."
Bullet Points (w/ timestamps) - Highlighting key topics discussed:
3:15: Jess describes her company — The Whole Dancer — and the types of services that it offers.
5:55: Jess discussed “the whole you” — the idea of holistic dancer health that is the foundation of her company.
8:02: Spinner gives some advice for anyone looking to explore life beyond the dance floor who may be feeling guilty for spending free time away from practice.
9:26: Jess shares what she would consider to be a “client success story” for anyone who has gone through her program.
13:00: Spinner explains why she decided to become an entrepreneur and is honest about challenges she’s encountered along the way.
16:19: Spinner recounts some times where, as an entrepreneur, she was tempted to give up but explains how she managed to persevere.
20:24: Jess explains her decision to work with a business coach and how to find one to work with your unique situation.
24:50: Spinner describes where she hopes to see her company in 5 years.
26:58: Jess walks through her dance career and how her own body image issues equipped her to help other dancers along their journeys.
31:17: As she recounts her own dance journey, Spinner shares some sage advice for dancers who are actively pursuing their dreams.
Bullet List of Resources –
The Whole Dancer