SARAH BRECK + LINDY LOFT
I've known Sarah for as long as I have lived in LA. From the time she hooked my model friends up with runways shows at LA fashion week, to shooting a lookbook for her jewelry line, Sarah has always been someone who is constantly busy. She's had her hands in so many different things. When I heard she decide to follow her true passion of dancing I couldn't have been more excited. Life is that journey of discovering what you're truly passionate about. Like myself and I'll dare to spectacle, most of us, it takes a while, and a lot of trial and error searching for that one thing we were born to do. Many of us settle and never find it, few of us find it but don't follow through or give up, and just the very select 1% find it. Do it. And thrive in it. Naturally we lost touch over the years, however in the time she's spend touring the planet, meeting an amazing dude named Dax, marrying him and having a kid, it seems just like it was yesterday catching up with her for this interview. Of all the awesome people I've come across in my life Sarah stands out as someone who found what she wanted to do and did it. She now owns and runs a dance studio in downtown LA with her husband. Life moves so quickly, our day to day schedules constantly challenge us to prioritize what's important. To better ourselves. To follow what we love and want to do. It's not horrible to give up a passion for a well paid job with health benefits and a consistent paycheck, but sometimes following your dream and doing what you love gives you more security than a 401K. Sarah is doing it. She is following her dream and didn't take the road most commonly traveled. She runs a studio in Los Angeles called Lindy Loft. What does that mean? I had no idea either. But trust me. It's rad.
After scheduling and rescheduling (she's that busy) I was finally able to meet up with Sarah and talk about her life, her two year old son, meet her husband Dax and check out this famous Lindy Loft the entire dance community talks about. Sarah and Dax have been dancing in front of the cameras for tv shows and movies, teaching couples to swing dance and kill the dance floor at weddings. But most importantly, Sarah is following her true passion for dancing and that's nothing but inspirational for those looking to ditch the safety net. Sarah you're a true encouragement. I'm sure your interview below will inspire and motivate as well. Cheers.
JOSH: Who you are, where you’re from, what do you do? SARAH: Sarah and Dax and Huxley! We both are from So-Cal but have lived in New York, Montreal, Japan and France. We travel the world teaching swing dance.
How long have you been dancing? About 16 years. Teaching together for about 6 years.
What is the style or type of dance you do/teach? Swing (20s-40s).
Where has competitive dancing taken you in the world? Russia, most of Europe and the UK, Argentina, S Korea, Istanbul, Israel
The studio you co-own with your husband is called the Lindy Loft? To someone who knows practically nothing about dance, what does Lindy mean? Lindy, comes from the name Lindy Hop, which is the term used to describe the original form of swing dancing that originated in Harlem during the 1930s. Rumor has it that the name came from a newspaper headline “Lindberg Hops the Atlantic”, while a reporter was asking a dancer “What’s that step your doing?” and the dancer spotted the news paper and threw out the name Lindy Hop. Beyond the name, Lindy Hop is a really sophisticated form of social dancing that draws its character, rhythm and feel from the authentic swing music from the 1930s. It is an improvisational dance where the leader and follower communicate in real time forming harmony between the music and each other.
What advice would you give someone who has never danced before, I’m talking two left feet? Do swing dancing! Seriously this dance is the most friendly because you can be yourself. It takes a lot of work to become great but you can have so much fun right away. It's raw and you can be yourself. Theres not pressure to be sexy or sophisticated (unless you want to be). Men can dance like men. Women can dance like women. Women can dance with women...men can dance with men. 80 year olds and 10 year olds are welcome. No one gives a crap. Dax and I also teach is a way that supports this. We believe that you need to start with moonshine first. Don't try to get a pear martini in the first week. It just sets you up for failure later down the line. Start with the drunken wedding couple and work from there.
Tell me about a memorable moment that only existed because of dance? My Travels: 50 ft stories views overlooking Singapore. Smoking hookah on rooftops of Istanbul. Flamenco shows in Barcelona. Beaches of Tel Aviv. White nights in St Petersburg. Hiking over lava rock in Hawaii. Private river boat cruise under the Eiffel Tower.
Craziest thing you’ve ever seen? Oh gosh I have seen a lot but I think now a days people have become desensitized...I don't remember anything that shocked me except I broke down for a whole day when that picture of the dead Syrian toddler on the beach circulated around. He looked exactly like my son. The last- take my breath away moment was in Singapore. Stepping out of the elevator onto the 50 story deck overlooking the bay. You seriously felt like you were in the clouds. It was stunning.
A dance partner is huge. You have to have chemistry, and much like acting it’s hard to fake a connection. Your partner is your husband. Talk to me about that. Dax and I are so different but so much the same. We both thrive off of working with each other. I love the feeling of doing projects with him. Every time we go out and eat it turns into a business meeting. This would drive a lot of people insane but we are never sick of each other.
What artists/bands do you love dancing to? Listening to? My current album is Rihanna's ANTI ; Dax current is Wakey!Wakey!
Taylor Swift or Kanye West? TAYLOR!!
Best part about what you do? It been a blessing to travel the world with my family doing what I love most. I have blessed to work with many artists like Paula Abdul, Gloria Estfan, and the people of Dancing with the Stars.
If you found your car from 10 years ago, what CD would be in the cd player? Spice girls.
You’ve won a ton of awards. List a few. Jr. Olympics, European Swing dance Championships, U.S.Open swing championships
Your son Huxley is two correct? Was it difficult getting back in to dancing after your pregnancy? Any tips for pregnant women out there for getting in to shape/staying healthy? Yes and no. "bouncing back" after giving birth is not easy for everyone. Your not supposed to do any exercise the first 6 weeks after so that your body can heal properly. We got the Dancing With The Stars job exactly at the 6 week mark so I had two weeks to re-train. I went all out those two weeks. I was still out of shape for the job but could manage lifts by the end so i feel pretty accomplished.
Everyone I know has a true creative passion for something, but unfortunately that passion doesn't always pay the bills. You’re living it, you’re thriving in fact, off of doing something you love. What’s that like? Any word of encouragement for those looking to do what they love for a living? I still have so much I want to cleanse from my life. My goal by next year is to fully be doing things I love and NOTHING else. It's hard. Life is a hustle. I am really fortunate and lucky but I also think we took right steps to get to where we are. I would say go for it and don't be afraid to make big life changes. That and, always be thinking about your future. Where do you see yourself in 6 months? 1 year? 5 years? Dax and I discuss this a lot and have very clear vision so we have been able to prepare. For example I got pregnant and we knew we couldn't sustain our full time traveling life. It was only 2 weeks after we had our talk (while we were on our honeymoon) that we decided to move, open a local dance studio to live in and make it all happen within a month. This set up has been the best thing for our crazy lives while raising a baby.
Any exciting up and coming news you can share? We just bought a house! It's a 1906 house that is newly remodeled in Pico-Union (close to the studio...we hate commutes). We plan to grow our family so this 4 bedroom was perfect.
What was the worst/unusual job you ever had? Nothing unusual. I moved through a lot of jobs as a kid whether I was a waiter or worked in a coffee shop. I always loved it and as soon as I didn't anymore I quit and got out of there as fast as I could. haha
Do you collect anything? Random Anthropology plates. My sister does too and it drives our husbands bonkers.
When you go to trader joe’s or your grocery store, what item do you get every single time? Grapes, yellow bell pepper, coconut mint ice cream and a bottle of wine.
What’s your spirit animal? Growing up I always related to monkeys....now ...does Pocahontas count?
Being able to fly or breath underwater? Why? FLY! Well oceans scare me. They are too powerful and I don't want to be eaten by a shark.
Worst meal you’ve ever had? Vegemite (my husband and son's favorite), Starbucks coffee and I've given up on all fast food but In n Out!
You magically have the day off, no family or work responsibilities. What would you do? Korean spa and massage.
Do you think dinosaurs existed? Yes.
What do you think about self driving cars? I think they will breed a lot of lazy drivers. Same thing happened from stick shift to automatic. But if you can design them incredibly safe it would make my life easier although you might as well take the train and save money.
Wife, mother, professional dancer, business owner, do you ever have time for hobbies or what do you do for fun? I haven't done this in a while but I love crafts (knitting, jewelry making, etc). I also try to read or listen to podcasts and I am currently learning Spanish. Dax and my favorite thing to do is go to nice restaurants and drink wine.
Everyone has been to a wedding and witnessed a guy or girl murdering the dance floor. I think it’s fair to admit we’re all a bit jealous of how awesome that is. Wedding seasons coming, go take a lesson or two with Sarah and Dax at the Lindy loft. Then go be that guy/girl and kill that dance floor. Thanks for making time to hang out with your busy schedule. Thanks Sarah.
Check out more of the LINDY LOFT and Sarah Breck here:
all photographs and interview questions by joshua caine