We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Hill and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amanda, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk is everything. It is the single most important function for success. It’s terrifying and sometimes you eat dirt, but if you don’t jump into unknown from time to time you will either stagnate where you are or dwindle away what you have. Like they say, “good is the enemy of great.” So take that leap. The day before I signed the lease for any first dance studio, I called my dad in a total panic. I asked him, “What if I fail?” He just replied with, “What if you do?” It took me a while to see the wisdom in that question. At first I said something about how I would be embarrassed. He let me run around these thoughts for a bit until I realized what he was saying. I could try and fail or I could never try… The outcome was exactly the same. But one path at least held the possibilities of me fulfilling my dreams.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I love dance in a crazy, passionate, can’t get enough of it kind of way. It is the most beautiful thing in the world. But to do it and do it well takes everything. You have to be an athlete. You dedicate hours and hours every day. You have to sacrifice social aspects of your life and many dancers homeschool as well to get there. It can be hard when casting is happening. Everyone has worked themselves to the core, but only so many dancers get the job or the feature or even the front row! Especially when you’re young, there can be a lot of tears as you learn about rejection and perseverance. I struggled a lot with that as a dancer, I wasn’t naturally inclined at all. But I had the passion and diligence that the work required. I actually loved dance so much that it saved my life. I grew up in Santa Fe and when I was a teenager, there were drugs and gangs all around me. My friends outside of the studio loved to party and were always getting into trouble. It seemed really tempting at times glamorous even, to just go off the rails and go wild. But I had to dance. I even ran away from home for a while but I always got on a bus to get to the studio. If I didn’t have something I loved that demanded my mind and especially my body to perform, I honestly don’t think I would be here today. That’s a huge part of why I created Virtuosity. For those teenagers who go from children to all of a sudden possibly being faced with scary and adult choices. VDC is a safe home, where they love what they do, they love each other and they are accountable for themselves and their own body. It gives them a reason to show up for each other and take care of themselves. They learn discipline and how to set and reach goals, they learn teamwork and self-drive, but also, they can express themselves and everything they feel without having to talk about it.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my best friend was visiting for the week… It would be summer! Have to have Sassafras and Snooze for breakfast. Have to eat at Woody’s. Absolutely must eat on the patio at Sherpa House, Burgers at Cast Iron Tavern, Visit New Terrain, and Green Mountain Beer Company. Swimming in Clear Creak and watch people kayak and tube. Concert at Red Rocks. Rockies Game. Hike up South Table. Hike Eldorado Canyon and then swim in the pool.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My story and my ability to do what I do is a direct lineage of Cathy Roe, my dance teacher and mentor. She took me under her wing at 13 and taught me everything from how to dance, how to teach, how to choreograph, to how to type, how to work in Photoshop, how to edit music, and how to produce a show. I carry the torch that she held and her mentor before her, she calls it the “Golden Chain.’ But of course… my parents too. My father who has built an incredible business in the film industry from the ground up and my mother who is a working poet and editor. My big brother who started a brewery. They showed me the ups and downs of running a business in their own lives and I witnessed what some people would call fails from time to time. But they always did the next thing which showed me that all the hard times are worth finding the right thing at the end.
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