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Conversations with Elizabeth Chaillé

Today we’d like to introduce you to Elizabeth Chaillé.

Hi Elizabeth, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I first started dancing at age 2 when my mother enrolled me in creative dance and from there my passion for dance started. As I got older and dance started becoming a huge part of my life, it was at the time I was preparing to enter high school and the dance company at the local high school announced they were holding company auditions for next year. I of course had to audition, I went, danced and got cut. I was devastated, I needed to dance there was no way I was going to go to high school and not dance in school. After the audition, I went home and googled “performing arts schools near me” Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts was the first website that popped up. Without hesitation, I told my mom this is where I was going to go. 3 years of attending an Arts high school and it changed my life forever. I was able to dance during school hours, while also meeting all the state requirements to graduate and go to college. While at Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts, I served as a member of the Dance Conservatory, choreographed and performed in numerous dance concerts & musicals.

During my senior year in high school I began my application process for college in hopes of pursuing a BFA in dance. I applied & auditioned for Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins and was beyond excited to find out I had been accepted. Now I am finishing up my degree in dance and will be graduating this spring!

Along with dance fitness has been a huge part of who I am as a mover. I have always loved working out. I didn’t fully start to workout until college. I loved the feeling I got when I would workout. I think fitness is a great way for dancers to cross train & it creates such a positive impact on your daily life. Creating a positive life for myself is what I strive to do, and to accomplish that I stick to a morning routine. I get up around 6:45-7, mediate, roll out, jump rope for 10-15 minutes, do a barre fitness workout for 30 minutes, stretch and finish with a good breakfast. Then I’m off to dance!

Moving the body is so important for everyone to do. When I made the choice to become a certified barre instructor, not only was I thinking of this to be a way to cross train dancers, but a way to get everyone moving in a positive workout environment! My goal as an artist & fitness training is to create positive, uplifting & creative environments that allow everyone to discover how beautiful they are from the inside out!

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I already shared about not making it onto my local high school’s dance team and though that was hard for me to take I think one struggle I had was realizing that a space I felt was safe and welcoming was no longer safe or welcoming. I grew up at a studio that I truly did love and is the reason why I started dancing in the first place, however as I got older and wanted to expanded my artistic horizons (by trying out for musicals, experiencing different dance styles, going to an arts high school) my teachers and directors didn’t see eye to eye with me on that. After being casted in my school’s musical there were a few date conflicts that the studio director did not seem okay with and instead of congratulating me for going out of my comfort zone, by singing for a musical, I felt as if I didn’t have a place to try something new. After a few weeks of feeling worthless within the studio walls & talking with my mom, I decided it would be best if I left. I was only 15 at the time & during the meeting with the director & one other teacher I was told that I would never make it as a dancer & I could never go far without their help. Hearing these words come out of 2 people who were a huge part of my life destroyed me! Wasn’t the point of a teacher supposed to be to prepare their students for success & push them to try new things to become better?

My mother has always been huge in seeing the good in others and in life, that we have to think positive to get where we want. She has been an amazing example of always trying to see the positive in everything. I learned that instead of beating myself up and worrying about what my studio had said to me that I needed to prove them wrong and just keep creating and doing what makes me happy and make sure that any student of mine (dance & fitness) never feels the way that I felt within the arts world.

Through being a dance artist trying to dance, perform, choreograph and teach professionally I also want to use my barre certificate to develop a side hustle to help others reach their fitness goals. Both professions have been a huge part of my life and as I’ve started to develop both careers there have been many times where I question if trying to build both careers is even worth it. I feel like I put in so much time and effort and no one is even noticing what I have to offer. Just like any human, negative thoughts and questions pop into my head. It’s all mindset, I know that what I am creating and have to offer in both dance and fitness is important and it will take a while to get where I want to be. I constantly have to remind myself that both careers are about giving back to others, I just need to find those who need what I have to offer.

I have definitely had a huge mindset change. I no longer want to look at negatives or worry about the “what if’s”, I’m working on finding my flow through life, ending each day with writing down 5 things I am grateful for that day. There’s a Japanese word, “ikigai” (which I have begun to start learning about, I’m also a quarter Japanese & am starting to learn more about Japanese lifestyle & culture) it means “your ‘reason for being. ‘ This is something that I am starting to live by. If you haven’t heard of this word I suggest reading “Ikigai ” by Hèctor García, this book has changed my life!

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
As an artist I am interested in creating works about issues/topics that are often push aside; child abuse, body image, nervous tics, but also creating works that are for entertainment and joy. As a dancer, I love using dance film as a new way to present movement, while also still using the stage. Just recently I presented a 30-minute dance film research project based on the effects of child abuse. This film was a collaborative project between myself, composer Anthony Peña and dancers; Brie Sydner, Alana Stubbs, Ui-Seng Françios & Peter Pattengill.

I’ve trained in many styles of dance all which have influenced the mover I am today. My training includes; creative, modern, contemporary, jazz, ballet, somatic, West African, & a little bit of hip-hop. As I began to enter the professional world of dance I am excited to continue to learn and grow, try new things and expand my art. Throughout my life, I will use my art as a way to connect, teach, share, create and heal with others of all ages.

What matters most to you? Why?
In this moment what matters a lot to me is having a positive mindset. By having a positive mindset I am able to be more present, connect more personally with others and accomplish everything that I want. When I take time to notice how much positivity is around me I notice that I am much happier and able to do much more.

Staying connected with my family and loved ones will always be at the top of “what matters most to me”. The constant support, love and care I receive from my family is something that I will hold closely. Living on the other side of the country from them is hard. I miss being with them, getting hugs and spending time together. (a side note, I’m from Salt Lake City, Utah and currently living in Baltimore, Maryland)
Having relationships with my family, especially my younger sister, is very important to me. My sister is someone who I love very much and she has taught and showed me the importance of hard work and dedication and not being afraid to stand out by doing something that others don’t understand. She has helped me in more ways than I can think of, because of this she will always be someone who matters and has helped me shifted into the person I am.

Pricing:

  • B.A.R.R.E. Fitness 30 min. Private: $30
  • On-Demand Fitness Class: $10
  • Dance Private 60 min: $40

Contact Info:


Image Credits
Victoria Parry
Eliana Krasner

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