So, listen. While some have been sitting at home telling themselves it’s too late, Denise has been busy these last 3 years making her dance dreams come true.

Learning a dance in grade school to September by Earth, Wind & Fire, Denise knew that wouldn’t be the last time moving to a piece of music would exist for her. Today, we dive into what it’s like to claim your spot on the dance floor later in life- get ready to be inspired if something is holding you back!


Denise Shea

although Denise is originally from the East Bay Area and spent time living on the East Coast in Connecticut, she identifies as a San Diego dancer .
(all credits at end of vid)

Shea used the time we were forced to stay home in 2020 to grow her dance skill set (fierce)- when the doors to dance studios finally opened again, she was ready.

Denise has made 54 trips around the Sun, but her dance journey has only begun.

as we set-up the room before the interview, I got to meet DS’s cute kitties Maya & Lea! totally can picture them cheering her on when she decided to dip her toe into a hip hop dance class (LOL).

getting her stride

choreo: Ashlee Cinco
location: MBDY.BE
music: “Love is a Bitch” by Two Feet

fave class

choreo: Ashlee Cinco
music: “Skate” by Bruno Mars
location: MBDY.BE

“heels has become my favorite…allowing me to move my body in a way that I’ve never really been able to do, wasn’t necessarily supported that way; and be sexy, and stand tall, and it has helped me be confident, and it’s fun- it’s a lot of fun.”

DS on the power of heels dance in her life.

developing trust through being on a team

“It shaped me quite a bit. It really taught me about team work, because dancing at my local studio you’re doing it individually, but when you’re on a dance team, it’s certainly different. people require you to show up even when you don’t want to- you need to be there and help people. It’s also helped me trust myself; a lot of times we were practicing and had to record ourselves and they called it “homework” turning it in and being critiqued and that’s a scary place to be. But, it did help me really improve my technique in general and getting more comfortable in front of the camera.”
stage performance singer: @portiasymone
DS dancing with Team 3XT (2022)
song: “Gonna Get It” by Sean Van Der Wilt

where she’s at with dance today

“I’m taking a little break from the team, I took a break this last quarter and allowed myself to focus on trying different teachers with good reputations around here [San Diego]. And even trying something new like pole dancing which I hadn’t done before- trying new things like technique and studios and being focused on being brave in front of the camera…what I’m really pushing myself to do is be at the front; to me I was always like ‘I can’t do that I don’t know the choreography.’ But it’s really trusting myself.” (we think you’re killing it, D!)

choreo: @the_dollhouse_fitness
music: “Collide” by Justine Skye feat Tyga

before we go…

DS’s mission statement for the dance community

“I want dancers to stand tall, to ask for what they need- I think it’s important to say ‘hey, I don’t really understand that move.’ I’d like people to be more generous with their time and their words; I think there’s possibility with that. I’d like to see all of our community get there.”

If you desire to start dancing, start now. Denise mentioned she wished that she hadn’t waited so long but she’s glad she’s here now with massive personal growth added to her life through this art form. When I asked her the positive thing dance adds? “It leaves room for relationships to develop.” What the dance community could work on according to DS’s perspective? The cliquey aspect. She reminds us to “stay in our own lane and tune that part out, or else it gets hard to stay motivated moving around.”


Fiona Fox Ryan

image credits: Lisa Flory

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