Jocelyn’s story – How internships can lead to a professional dance career

If someone were to tell me many years ago that I would become a ballroom dance instructor, I would think they were crazy. Prior to the start of my dance career, the only dance experience I had was 2 years of ballet and 1 year of tap when I was about 3 or 4 years old. Throughout my life, my primary focus has always been horses. Not only were horses my passion, but they were also my lifestyle. But that all changed about 3 years ago when I was in college.

From 2015-2017, I studied Equestrian studies at the University of Findlay. While there, I saw a sign up sheet for a dance club. I thought it sounded interesting, and it would be something new to try. I had heard a little about ballroom dancing from watching dance shows, but I knew nothing about it nor anything about the dances. After the first day of dance club, I was instantly hooked on ballroom dancing. Plus, I knew that if I kept doing this, dancing would help me with my posture for horseback riding. And surprisingly it did!

In 2017, my family and I made the decision that college was not for me, so I returned home. Once I came home, ballroom dancing came to a halt for a while because I did not really know of any dance studios in the area. Fast foreword a few years later, I was looking for a job, that did not involve working at a horse barn, and I saw an ad online for a dance specialist at the Westerville Fred Astaire Dance Studios. The ad said, “do you like to have fun, sleep late, travel, no experience necessary.” This sounded like something that I would be interested in, so I decided to apply.

February of 2020 is when I officially became a part of the Westerville FADS family as a part-time intern. In the back of my mind, I knew my goal as an intern was to become a dance instructor because I enjoy helping people. As an intern, under studio owner Amy Jordan, Jocelyn can clearly hear Amy’s words, “if you show dedication and work hard, I can help you become a ballroom dance instructor.” And from that point on she kept her word. Through lots of hard work and dedication, I eventually became a full-time intern.

In November of 2020, I reached my goal. I passed my teachers permit and I am officially a certified full-time ballroom dance instructor! I could not have met this accomplishment without my family, the Westerville FADS staff, instructors, and of course the students. In just 9 months, I went from a part-time intern to a full-time instructor. I have also already danced in my first showcase back in September, and competed in my first competition in October, earning first place in each entry. I am a firm believer that good things come to those who work hard and are dedicated to accomplishing a goal. Ever since joining the Westerville FADS family, I have become a more confident person. I am not the same person I was 9 months ago when I first walked through those studio doors. I look forward to continuing to learn, grow as a person and a dancer, and experience new things as well as new opportunities that come my way.