Jadell Lee



EP 77: Jadell Lee (autogenerated)

[00:00:00] Dane Reis: [00:00:00] you booked it, episode 77. Oh, right. Let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today. Jadelle Lee, are you ready for this to Dell?

[00:00:15]Jadell Lee: [00:00:15] Yes, let’s do 

[00:00:16] Dane Reis: [00:00:16] All right, man, preparing dancers for the center stage of life. Jadell Lee is a professional dance educator, touring, adjudicator, published author and speaker, who brings a fresh perspective of life to audiences across the country  featured in premier publications like Yahoo finance for his success. Building a sustainable dance educator career Jadelle is represented by GoTo talent agency, assistant director of crew dance, competition, touring faculty for thrive, dance experience guest master instructor with Abby Lee dance company.

[00:00:52]Jadelle holds a bachelor of arts degree in dance with a focus on experimental and unconventional choreography from the university of California, Riverside Jadelle. That is a quick intro of who you are in what you’ve done, but why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

[00:01:10] Fill in the gaps, who you are, and a little bit more about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry.

[00:01:18]Jadell Lee: [00:01:18] Wow. Well, thank you. Um, my name is Jadell Lee and I’m a professional dance educator. I’m a published author, a public speaker, and I’m originally from the Bay area, California. And I’m currently relocating to Carmel, California as a professional dance educator. I travel all around the country, training dancers, recreationally pre professionally and professionally.

[00:01:38] I tore us faculty with dance, conventions and dance competitions. And I’ve recently launched. A training program focused on helping dancers grow both personally and professionally. These are dancers that seek to become phenomenal teachers. And these are also phenomenal teachers that seek to become more effective dance educators.

[00:01:59]And then of course, as a published author and speaker, I host personal development seminars and workshops with the youth focused on social, emotional learning. So all of it’s really exciting and really fun.

[00:02:11]Dane Reis: [00:02:11] Yeah. I love that. I love that you are taking such  an all encompassing approach to. This craft and this industry really being there for you or that next generation that is coming into it because it’s so important. Yeah. And it’s so much more than simply a five, six, seven, eight, but ma isn’t it. You, than just your dance moves.

[00:02:36] It’s a whole human experience.

[00:02:39]Jadell Lee: [00:02:39] Right.

[00:02:40]Dane Reis: [00:02:40] Love it. Well, let’s move on to our next section here and Janell. Look, I am a sucker for a good quote. What is your favorite quote? You’d like to share with everyone?

[00:02:50]Jadell Lee: [00:02:50] Wow. There’s so many. My actual favorite quote is, um, if you want to run fast, run alone, if you wanna run far run with others. And I love this quote because it reminds me that success requires community. For me when it comes to teaching, when it comes to building, when it comes to educating in any shape, any form, everything I try to do, honestly, I try to just do it in community.

[00:03:14] I try to, again, help others build relationships within their community, or even build relationships within their industry so that they can be most successful.

[00:03:24]Dane Reis: [00:03:24] Yeah, I love that. And you’re so right. No one is successful by themselves, even if it looks like. They are especially when it gets to these top, top, top levels, those people have giant teams working behind them . And then also just as people like us in the industry doing this professionally, you need that community to  succeed.

[00:03:46]I love that. And let’s move on to this next section here. And Jadelle of course you are an entertainer. I am an entertainer, and I think that you would agree this industry can be one of the most subjective, brutally, honest, personally emotional industries, either of us have probably. Ever experienced and you know, as well as I, that in order to create and have a successful career in this industry, like you’re having now, it takes a lot of dedication and hard work and while yeah, sure.

[00:04:19] Or there’s an outrageous amount of fun and excitement doing what we do. There are also our fair share of obstacles, challenges, and failures. We are going to experience and we are going to have to move forward through. So tell us, what is one key chain obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career and how did you come out the other side better because of it.

[00:04:42]Jadell Lee: [00:04:42] That’s a really good question. Honestly, one obstacle that I faced in my career that I didn’t realize I continue to face was not allowing others to make me feel small. What I love about our industry is that it’s forever growing. It’s forever evolving and there’s always something new. There’s always something innovative and there’s always something to learn.

[00:05:02]I had to realize just within myself that I didn’t have to be the best. I just needed it to be my best. But in that I had to stop allowing people with their opinions, their comments, their concerns to make me feel small, make me feel like I couldn’t grow to the best of my ability or grow to the next level of my excellence.

[00:05:22]At some point I had to stop looking at others in general, as competitors. And start looking at them as simply collapsed. Honestly, whether we are friends or not, whether I’m working with you or for you, honestly, I just want to learn from you. I don’t want to waste my time being jealous, and I don’t want you to waste your time being envious or disconnected because again, we can all share.

[00:05:44] We can all grow. We can all collaborate in a way that actually contributes to the industry, contributes to the betterment of both of us or all of us as individuals. And we can contribute to the innovation. Of dance or the innovation of performing arts. So the innovation of performance. Right. And what I love is that at some point I just want it to stop being just simply a consumer and actually be a contributor of the industry.

[00:06:09] And so I had to look at my journey a little bit differently, but I also had to stop allowing people to dictate my journey.

[00:06:16]Dane Reis: [00:06:16] Yeah, I absolutely love that. That is. Everything you just said is gold. It is amazing how much power that we, I think it’s almost like a default setting with us that we’re seeking approval or attention or praise for what it is that we’re doing. And while it’s nice to get that, that’s not the foundation of what we’re doing.

[00:06:37] And. What we should be building  our careers off or judging our successes off of you can only be you, you could only bring to the table what you have to bring to the table and that’s it. And. That is enough. And to really own that and to be supportive of other people, because they can only bring what they can bring and it’s completely different from what you can give.

[00:06:59] And that is okay. And you have to celebrate that. And by taking that mindset, we’re all able to be much more collaborative. We’re all able to support each other a much more positive environment. I mean, I’m. well, let’s be honest. I don’t really like going into auditions, but when I do go into auditions and open calls and things like this, especially when I’m in Vegas, look, it’s a great time for me to catch up with people that I haven’t seen for a long time.

[00:07:25] A lot of my friends were all at the same, audition. Right. 

[00:07:28] And

[00:07:30]I’m still there professionally. I am still there to give my best to book that job. But at the same time, I’m there. To enjoy being with my friends and to talk with them and to be focused, but also be supportive of them because we’re all there just doing what we do.

[00:07:46] And if what we do is what they’re looking for. Great. If it’s not, well, I had a fantastic experience in sharing what I had to share, and I also got to support my friends.

[00:07:56]Jadell Lee: [00:07:56] Right.

[00:07:57] I agree, and I would, I love that about what you just said was that you, you kind of. Use the auditions of course, to go after the job get booked. But you’re also reconnecting with other people that you’re going to see everywhere you go. You know, it’s so interesting. I had a mentor share with me.

[00:08:12] He said, looked it out. The one thing you need to understand is bad casting directors. They need you as much as you need them. And so when you’re at an audition, don’t worry about who’s next to you in front of you or behind you, because your opportunity to be seen. Will come, they cannot leave until they’ve seen everyone.

[00:08:30] So that just means you can put yourself in the mindset to be focused, to be intentional, which meant that I don’t have to get distracted by who’s in the room. I can be excited by who’s in the room and I can also be inspired by who’s in the room. Why? Because my moment’s still going to come.

[00:08:46]Dane Reis: [00:08:46] . I think you just summed it up so nicely love that. Thank you. And let’s move on to a time that I like to call your spotlight moment. That one moment in time you realized, yes, I am going to be an entertainer for a living or maybe it was yes. This is what I need to be doing as an entertainer.

[00:09:11] Tell us about that.

[00:09:12]Jadell Lee: [00:09:12] There’s a few moments and I’m actually going to highlight two distinctive moments. The first moment was when I was 16 years old. And again, dance at this point was so new. I was so inspired by everything. I was the kid that would come early and leave late. I would learn everyone’s choreography, whether it was a recital, a performance, you name it.

[00:09:32] I was always just eager, excited and trying to be the most prepared, but what was so amazing, I had an incredibly supportive family, but my uncle at the time, he literally came up to me one day and he was at our house and he said, look, You’re going to be one of those dancers we see on TV one day. Huh? And I don’t know about you, but when you’re so fresh and a dream, when you’re so fresh and a goal, you sometimes don’t have enough vision to see the.

[00:09:58]Yeah, and real what you’re stuck in that passion you’re stuck in that enthusiasm and that excitement him speaking that much enthusiasm to, into me at that particular point in my life, literally literally encouraged me to aim higher because I had never fathom. Wow. Am I going to be on TV? Wow. Am I going to be traveling around the world?

[00:10:15] Wow. Am I going to actually pursue this industry? I was just in that moment of I’m excited. I’m passionate. Everything’s so fun. And it’s so new, but I’m telling you when he did that, I completely had a different understanding, a different mindset and just a different outlook. So that was when I was 16. And I’m so grateful for that because ever since that moment, I just started saying yes, yes.

[00:10:38] To the opportunities. Yes. To the rehearsals. Yes. To the grunt work. Yes. To pay my dues. Yes. To the work ethic. Yes. To the grind. Yes. To the disappointment. Yes. To every note that I received. And I’m so grateful for that, but more recently I was actually teaching at my very first convention class. And what’s really nice is that we tour all around the country and this, at this point was my very first convention class.

[00:11:02] And so I stood on stage and right before I spoke into the mic, I honestly had a full circle moment. And I was humbled now for me, I’m always concerned with the betterment of people, especially young people. So I was honestly just humbled to be there, humbled to serve. But as an educator, I’m always cognizant, or I’m always aware that.

[00:11:22]As a teacher, as an educator, as an influencer, as a leader, we literally fake life experiences. So of course I wanted to serve, , but honestly I had this moment on stage where I was like, wow, I’m actually here. Because I want to, I want to help people. I mean, for me, I love just doing it right.

[00:11:39] I’m not always concerned about the next job, the next gig. Of course, I want to level up. I always want to grow to the next level of my excellence and I always want to grow in what I’m doing just to become more sharpened at it. But honestly, this was a moment where I was like, Oh my gosh, I’m only in this room.

[00:11:54]To give. And the fact that a year prior to that moment, I saw myself on that stage. I promise you, it was like a full circle. Deja VU. I have arrived. Yes. Come through. Right. Type of moment, like uncle, I made it I’m here. And so I was honestly moved almost to tears, but I had to go, okay, I have six, seven, eight, let’s get to it on the mic, but yes, almost such a full circle moment.

[00:12:20]I’m incredibly grateful for that.

[00:12:22]Dane Reis: [00:12:22] love that. And I would love to piggyback on that question and talk about your number one. Booked it moment. Walk us through that day, the auditions and call backs. If they happen to be a part of it, what was going on in your life? And what about that moment? Makes it your favorite? Booked it moment.

[00:12:42]Jadell Lee: [00:12:42] honestly, I don’t think I have a number one booked at moment because I told myself a long time ago. I’m going to do this for me. So whether it’s booking a job, whether it’s, um, growing as a dance educator and teaching masterclasses or workshops or intensives, whether it’s traveling around the country, whether it’s consulting remotely.

[00:13:03]Um, I told myself that I was just going to enjoy the journey. So I don’t necessarily have a number one book to job, but one thing that Shonda Rhimes said that I love, she says, Act like you belong in every room that you enter into. And so for me, whenever I’m in a space, I’m just grateful to be there, but I’m also owning and I’m stepping into that posture of ownership while I’m there.

[00:13:23] And so there is a specific situation, um, that I’m incredibly proud of and just glad to reflect on. I actually did a music video for an artist, , About a year ago. And so what was so nice about it? I got the call to do the music video the day before. And what’s crazy is that this individual is a really great friend of mine, but he works on the camp or with the camp of the artist and said, Hey, do you want to do a music video?

[00:13:46]  I was in LA for two weeks. And so the day before I’m supposed to fly out, I get a call. Hey, do you want to do this music video? And I’m like, well, okay. Yes, I do. I got to move my flight. And so what happens is I show up on set and what I really appreciated, what was really cool about it was that the artists.

[00:14:05]He was so comfortable, so natural, genuine to everyone. He actually introduced himself to everyone. And he spoke to you like you were a person and not like you were a background dancer or like you were an extra, or like you were a crew member. He treated you like a human being. And so the cool thing about this video was that it was kind of set in  this cookout type setting, right.

[00:14:26] We’re barbecue. And we’re having a good time. It’s a family reunion and he treated you like family. For that moment, that day for that set, we were all kicking it laughing. I promise you. I thought I knew this gentleman for years, and so I love reflecting on that experience because you can walk on set.

[00:14:44]And the leaders of that project can treat everyone as though they’re valuable and important. It creates a positive experience for everyone. And again, I was just there to do my part, the artist himself was there to do his part. The crew was there to do their part, but we all were a part of it. And we all felt that, but they established that tone and that culture from the very moment I stepped onto set.

[00:15:08] So that was actually an amazing book. That type moment.

[00:15:12]Dane Reis: [00:15:12] That is fantastic. And I love that and I love that you had that experience. That is fantastic. And I think it’s a bit unique sometimes in this industry to have someone that really truly appreciates and not just appreciates, but acknowledges all the different facets of what it takes to create.

[00:15:32]The projects that we do, there’s so many people involved and to really appreciate that and let people know that you appreciate them a class act, man. Wow.

[00:15:43]Jadell Lee: [00:15:43] exactly. And what I appreciate in general is that when I’m creating my own content, when I’m doing my own video projects, recently, I worked with a principal dancer with San Francisco ballet, and we had to essentially storyboard this entire project. And what was so exciting about it was that I just wanted him that dancer.

[00:16:03]I wanted him to enjoy the experience from start to finish. Why? Because I didn’t have to worry about his talent. He was a principal dancer. He’s incredibly talented. He’s a professional. His professionalism went far beyond his skill. It was his posture. It was the way that he warmed up. It was the way that we rehearsed.

[00:16:20] It was a way that he contributed to the project. But what was so amazing beyond that point was. Again, going back to, I want him to have a great experience. I wanted my team, the videographers, the editors, everyone, a part of the project to have  such a great experience, even though it was my idea, even though it was my initial thought to say, Hey, let’s all get together.

[00:16:39] Let’s do this. I still wanted to have an experience for myself. Now, of course, I didn’t want to Rob anyone of their experience. And so I loved. My book that moment with that artist, for that music video and how I contribute it moving forward is that. I can go into things, establishing a culture, establishing where everyone feels valued.

[00:16:59] And then of course, everyone feels like they can contribute because I need that thing is that when we were coming together with him, that type of creativity, we all need everyone to feel empowered and Bolden. We need everyone to be operating in their element. We need everyone to be at the top of their game.

[00:17:13] I’m sorry, but it’s a positive attitude helps that a great inclusive, enthusiastic environment helps that. So. That positive leadership. I’m learning to just attribute that into every area of my life too, again, yeah. Affect the outcome. And have something that people can reflect on and say, Hey, you know what?

[00:17:33] I enjoyed that that was good, right? Because I want people to continue to work with me and vice versa. I wanted to continue working with that artist and continue working with this team. And so it was nice to respond in that way. And I want people to kind of respond to me with my projects and anything that I’m doing, even with my students that I teach.

[00:17:49] So it’s all really great. And I love how it comes full circle.

[00:17:53] Dane Reis: [00:17:53] I love that. And let’s take a moment to talk about the present. What projects are you working on now? What are you looking forward to? And look, it is a crazy weird time. We are a midst of this global pandemic. How do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of years?

[00:18:12]Jadell Lee: [00:18:12] So the really cool thing is, again, I travel as a dance convention faculty member. I travel as an adjudicator with dance competitions. And so what’s really great is I’m meeting dancers. Of many experiences of many styles. And my initial goal, my only goal always is just to add value and just to support, sharpen their skills, but then also prepare them for the next stage of their excellence or the next phase of their experience, whether it’s their career, whether it’s a show or an event or whatever it is, I’m always looking to, again, equip people to go to the next level.

[00:18:47]The next stage, the next phase. And so in my thinking, okay, what do I want to do? What lane do I want to be in? And what type of value do I really want to offer dancers? Not just within my community, but across the country, not just across the country, but across the world. And so recently I actually launched a deli coaching, which is a simple program that I developed.

[00:19:08]After years of already serving as a mentor and helping creatives around the country advancing the areas of vision strategy and of course both personal and professional growth. And so I created and devised this program that helps dancers become teachers, teachers become more effective teachers all with the objective of building a sustainable career.

[00:19:28]Again, when I started dancing, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I of course discovered it along the way, but after a while, all I wanted to do. Was enjoyed the experience. And so in that I had to learn how to just, okay, build this to where it’s sustainable. So everything from my coaching to my traveling, as an adjudicator, to my master,  two intensives to workshops.

[00:19:52] My goal for myself was to just do something sustainable. And I said, well, how can I help other people do the exact same thing? And so one of the things that I’m always excited to coach people on. Is leadership and really help them connect the dots regarding the leadership and seeing how it, it tributes to their communication, to their organization, to their professionalism, either going from no time to part time to full time.

[00:20:15] These are people that I love  helping going from weekly to locally. Teaching locally to nationally and of course, teaching nationally to internationally. But of course what’s been amazing so far is watching their growth because it’s measurable and it’s amazing. And one of the things that I always share with my clients on what they can expect is just simply developing a successful strategy.

[00:20:39] That’s through personalized one-on-one coaching feedback, learning to network with talent agencies, dance, conventions, competitions, workshops, whatever it is that their particular goal is, we always work towards , bridging that gap. And then of course helping them grow to the next level of their excellence.

[00:20:59] Is that it’s always fun. Where I see the industry going in five years. What’s so amazing is that this industry is always evolving. It’s always growing. I love tuning into social media, Instagram. I love tuning into what choreographers are doing, what dancers are doing to just simply innovate what I love about where the industry is at right now.

[00:21:18]Is that we’re learning about the names behind the major artists, the names behind the major television shows the names behind the major tours. And so what’s really nice is that you’re able to tune into what these dancers are doing, tune into what these choreographers are doing, tune into what these creative directors are creating.

[00:21:37] What’s really nice is just how the industry is evolving when it comes to dancers and choreographers, and you’re knowing them by the work. Not just necessarily the following, but the work that they create, you can see choreography and say, Hey, that’s Trisha Miranda. That’s Brian Friedman. That’s Loriann Gibson.

[00:21:54] That’s Fatina Robinson. That’s Travis wall. The fact that artists they’re getting known for what they’re creating outside of the singers outside of the TV shows. I love it. Um, in terms of five years from now, I see that getting even better. I see that growing even more. And I see dance being everywhere. I mean, it’s already in our homes.

[00:22:13] It’s already on our social media. It’s already on YouTube. It’s already, , on every major network. It’s great. I’m actually excited to see where it goes in five years.

[00:22:22]Dane Reis: [00:22:22] I love that. I love your positivity and your insight on all of that. And I could not agree more. And it is time to move on to one of my favorite sections in the interview. I call it the grease lightning round. I am going to ask you a handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible one after another.

[00:22:44] Are you ready?

[00:22:46]Jadell Lee: [00:22:46] I’m ready. Let’s do it.

[00:22:47] Dane Reis: [00:22:47] All right. Question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer?

[00:22:54]Jadell Lee: [00:22:54] Hmm. I don’t think it was one thing, but my goal was always just to continue to love my dance experience.

[00:22:59]Dane Reis: [00:22:59] Love it. Second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

[00:23:05] Third question. What is something that is working for you now, or if you’d like to go pre COVID, what was working for you before our industry went on? Pause.

[00:23:17]Jadell Lee: [00:23:17] . Ooh. That’s easy. Regardless love on people.

[00:23:21]Dane Reis: [00:23:21] Beautiful. And the fourth question, what is your best resource? Whether that is a book, a movie, a YouTube video up podcast, maybe a piece of technology that you found is helping your career right now.

[00:23:33]Jadell Lee: [00:23:33] Ooh. I love that. Okay. I technically have two, the first one, my published book, which is called your first position. It’s an amazing, enthusiastic read focused on social, emotional learning. It doubles as a strategy handbook, and it focuses on vision casting and goal setting. Number two for me that I’m reading right now that I’m loving and it’s taking me to the next level of greatness.

[00:23:55] John C Maxwell’s 21 irrefutable laws of leadership. 

[00:24:01] Dane Reis: [00:24:01] that multiple times at this point. Beautiful. And the fifth question, if you had to start your career from scratch, but you had all the knowledge and experience that you’ve collected from your career in this industry.

[00:24:16] What would you do or not do? Would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same?

[00:24:21]Jadell Lee: [00:24:21] That is so great. I love that question. Number one, I take my time. Number two, I train more in certain areas and number three, I will not allow the what ifs to hold me back.

[00:24:32]Dane Reis: [00:24:32] Hmm, so good. And the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge drop you’ve learned from your successful career in this industry? You’d like to leave with our listeners.

[00:24:44]Jadell Lee: [00:24:44] So good. Um, your gifts are always designed to make room for you. My career is not something I do. It’s something I’m skilled at. I’m gifted with people, so we don’t need to impress people, but just simply impress upon them. So just remember that your gifts

[00:24:59]Dane Reis: [00:24:59] I love that. And to wrap up this interview, Jadelle it is time to give yourself a plug. Where can we find you? How do our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to promote?

[00:25:12]Jadell Lee: [00:25:12] Of course, if you’re a dancer seeking to build a sustainable career, or if you’re a teacher seeking to build a more effective sustainable career, go ahead and visit my website to jadellleecoaching.com and schedule a free 30 minute strategy call with me. I’d love to work with you.

[00:25:28] If you want to just tune into me and see what my updates are and what I’m doing now, what I’m doing next. Go ahead and add me at Instagram at Jadelle Lee.  and of course, if you ever want to see what’s going on with me in general, I have my main website 

[00:25:43]Dane Reis: [00:25:43] Beautiful. And for everybody listening out there, I have put the links to everything Jadelle just said in the description of this episode. Jadelle thank you so much for all of that amazing information and insight that you gave throughout this entire interview. It has been an absolute pleasure having you on the show.

[00:26:02]Jadell Lee: [00:26:02] Thank you so much. I love everything that you’re doing. Thank you for the opportunity to share and of course, to serve.

[00:26:08] Dane Reis: [00:26:08] Thank you. That means a lot to me. Thank you.