Hello everyone! My name is Chyna Lee Wesley. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Idaho and I’m currently living down under with my amazing husband Tai and our sweet baby boy, Major. My sweet cousin Mel (one of the brilliant ladies behind Soel Dancewear) asked me to write a little about some of my experiences dancing and teaching internationally and I love any excuse to discuss all things dance so I gladly accepted.
SCHOOL, DANCE, SLEEP REPEAT
I’ve loved dance as long as I can remember. I come from a long line of dancers, three generations to be exact, and was taught everything I know about dance by my beautiful mother. I grew up dancing at her studio DSDS (now Alliance Academy of Dance) with my two older sisters and I’m not kidding when I say I was at the studio more than I was at my house. They called me the studio rat. It was home and where my love for dance was cultivated. My childhood consisted of dancing six days a week for multiple hours a day and I absolutely loved every second of it. In fact…I LIVED for it! My schedule went something like this…school, dance, sleep, repeat! Most of my weekends were occupied by a convention or competition of some kind. I had the best group of dance friends and together we supported, lifted, encouraged and pushed each other to be the best dancers we could be.
FROM STUDIO TO TV DANCE AUDITIONS
After high school I joined a dance company, Odyssey Dance Theatre in Salt Lake City and had two amazing seasons with them. I also spent time in around the country studying, auditioning with ,and learning from, the best of the best. When I was 18 I also auditioned for So You Think You Can Dance and although I didn’t make the top 20, it was an invaluable learning experience that I will never forget. And yes, all of those experiences were intimidating and down right brutal at times, but I truly had the time of my life. Welcome to the life of a dancer. Easy? Nope. Fair? Nope. Worth it? ABSOLUTELY!
I’m very lucky to be able to do what I loved for a living and although it wasn’t always easy, it shaped me into the dancer/ person I am today and for that I’m grateful. So thank you to everyone who ever cut me from an audition (there’s a lot of you lol), told me I was no good, or just wasn’t very nice…Thank you.
DANCE LIGHTS MY SOUL ON FIRE!
After I met and married my husband we moved to Europe for his job. We lived one year in France and another in Holland. Unfortunately I didn’t speak French or Dutch so I found it much harder to be able to dance strictly because of the language barrier. No one could understand me and that was hard but nothing, I repeat nothing, would stop me from dancing. I continued to take casual classes, teach at a studio and experience new things as a dancer that I never would have been able to otherwise. It was an honor to dive into the different cultures and meet new people. Even though we didn’t speak the same language, we could always communicate through dance and I thought that was pretty incredible. Turns out dance IS a language? Who knew?
After our time in Europe we spent two years in Auckland, New Zealand where I had to opportunity to dance for the Skycity New Zealand Breakers and worked for a commercial dance company. In between seasons I was able to come back home to the USA for the summers and teach at my home studio and others in surrounding areas.I even returned for a season of Odyssey's Thriller with my company and best friends. It was a great reminder on why I chose dance as a profession, because I LOVE IT. I love entertaining. I love learning. I love pushing myself. I love making people smile, laugh and if you’ve seen thriller, you know I love to scare them too. I love sharing the stage with brilliant souls. I love those moments on stage that we get to share. I love it all…it lights my soul on fire!
As the seasons of life have changed and I’ve taken a step back from performing, I’ve learned I have another yet another love…teaching! I love seeing a students eyes light up, I love seeing them work hard and sweat, I love when they get a step they have been working on for a long time, I love seeing things “click” in their brains. I learn so much from them. I take pleasure in seeing them succeed and being able to share with them the little bit of knowledge I have in hopes they take it, and become better than I ever could be.
MY GREAT LOVES: DANCE + MY FAMILY
As of right now I am thoroughly enjoying motherhood. I’m a full time mom and wife and find incomprehensible joy in seeing my family grow. That same high I feel from hearing applause, I still feel every time my boy hugs me. It is such a precious stage of life and I don’t wanna miss a second of it. We are currently living in the vibrant and energetic city of Melbourne Australia and have already grown to love this land and people. And although I’m not exactly sure what my future holds, I know for certain dance will always be a part of my life and a huge part of who I am. It has taught me so much.
DANCE HAS TAUGHT ME...
to work hard
to never give up or quit to achieve goals
to handle disappointment
to push past fears
to be vulnerable
to be a part of a team
to work well with others
to deal with stress
to express myself
to have confidence
to let go
to have fun
to be comfortable in my own skin
to understand that I have something great to offer the world
that I can do hard and great things because of dance
And if there is a young dancer out there reading this, know that you can too!
1,2, LOVE YOU!
Thank you for reading a little bit about me and my life! I am excited for the growth of Soel and I have to say....my favorite leo so far is the Flips Leo! I love black, long sleeves and anything with a little bling bling! Here is a special discount code for you if you love this leo as much as I do! Flips25 (for 25% off).
Work hard dancers! You can make your dreams come true <3