I am thrilled that my journey crossed with Jess Grippo. She is an infectious, charismatic lady that believes in the necessity of creativity for success in life. She is doing some amazing work, and I think you will love her guest post, Keeping Your Creative Spark Alive. Read below, and be sure to follow Jess beyond this post- you will be glad you did!

Keeping your creative spark alive

by Jess Grippo, dancer & creative life coach

If you own a dance studio or you’re in the dance industry now, chances are the childhood-you wanted to be a ballerina or a Broadway dancer at some point.

You might’ve gone for it fully – or not – and then at some point your dream shifted gears.

If you’re like me, you thought more practically. You thought about making a stable income, having a more predictable life, helping people in a more direct way.

When I left my professional ballet training to study psychology at NYU, that’s exactly what I was thinking. I got into the holistic health world and became a health coach, immersing myself fully in building a business and helping people.

I went through the honeymoon stage with the business, loving every minute of the overtime hours I was putting in because of how passionate I was about it.

But then at a certain point, I felt a void. I was over-worked and overwhelmed. I was helping other people, but felt like I was denying myself. I was missing something and I couldn’t quite place it until I found myself crying when I saw my dancer friends’ Facebook posts – they were still dancing, and I wasn’t! I more and more frequently would find myself performing All That Jazz at karaoke bars until late hours in the night. Whoa.

Something had to shift: I needed to dance again or find a new way to express myself.

And so I did.

But I didn’t figure it out all at once — It happened in small steps, by following my impulses.

I got back to dancing in my own way and it ended up revamping my career and my life.

What I discovered in the process was that my creative expression wasn’t just a frivolous daydream, it was a necessity for my happiness and for the success of my career.  And that’s what I want to share with you today.

If you’re curious to learn more about how it all came together and how your creative expression could be the missing link right now, I’d love to share my recent TEDx talk, The Dance Less Travelled:

Watch it here.

It tells pieces of this story more fully, in hopes that it evokes a creative spark in you that’s been wanting to make its way out.

If you miss the days of feeling free in your own creative expression,

If you feel overwhelmed in keeping up with business, and don’t have time leftover for yourself,

Something has to change.

When you prioritize your creative spark, it will ignite everything you touch – including the work you’re currently doing.

So watch the video, then try this for yourself:

Here’s a 3-step creative process I designed just for Dance Exec readers, that I think will have big impact on your business and life:

1. Get in touch with your impulses. Do you know what flavor of creative expression you’re craving? If not, set aside some time for free writing and see what wants to come through. What do you miss doing that you once did? What are you jealous of in other people? And if you already know you need to dance or sing or write more, for example, great! You’re one step ahead.

2. Think creatively in your business. Assess the different areas of your business and take note of anything that feels stale. If you’re going through the motions and not feeling any joy in the process, it might be time to make a shift. For example, if you hold monthly team meetings and find that your staff members need to drag themselves there and aren’t showing up in a positive way, it might be time to shake things up. Try introducing a game or a silly activity for everyone to do before talking business. Or treat them to a photoshoot, like my friend and co-owner of Sixth Street Pilates did. It creates value, fun, and connection for you and the team!

3. Make time for your spark. In life outside of business, it’s important to set aside time for unproductive creative time. This means that there is no end goal involved, other than feeling free and expressed. It will open up your mind to thinking more creatively in other areas of your life, and it will increase your sense of satisfaction and joy, which is bound to have positive impact in other areas. If you’re like me, you might want to try dancing or making dance videos in your home. Or follow whatever impulse you discovered in Step 1. Whatever your flavor is, I recommend setting aside a consistent weekly time slot to do this in. Start with Fridays and join the Creative Fridays Community— It’s something I put together specifically for this purpose in helping to hold us accountable to our creative selves.

Tell me how it goes!

Share your thoughts in the comment box below!

To lighting the spark,


jess grippo
About Jess Grippo:
A recovering ballerina, Jess discovered true self-expression and creative fulfillment through making her own dance videos. She integrates this experience into her work as a creative life coach by helping others revive their passions through inspirational classes, programs, her Creative Fridays blog, and most recently, her TEDx talk, “The Dance Less Traveled.” She would love to stay in touch: http://jessgrippo.com/subscribe/.

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