Carla knows what it’s like to start from the bottom and work your way up.
Dedicated, focused and driven to detail best describe her work habits. With over 20 years professionally in the dance industry and over 10 years experience as a self-made entrepreneur, she has worked not only as a professional dancer, choreographer, and producer, but most importantly as an entrepreneur, teacher, and mentor to many developing up-and-comers.
Her mentoring and teaching style consists of clarifying and developing the direct abilities that are needed to become a successful performer, teacher, and AOS Licensee by educating them on function, technique, and leadership skills. She has a special talent in bringing out what is natural within each individual by pushing them into what she calls “The Pocket” of each movement, teaching method, or leadership goal.
Carla’s story: how it all started
It started with a twist of fate…
About 11 years ago I was out with some dance friends and a fellow teacher from LA in Vancouver. We were having a good time dancing the night away. Next thing you know… a shootout between two gangs erupted and there were some innocent victims caught in the crossfire. Luckily I was pushed out of the way and only grazed with a bullet (but don’t worry I’m ok! I was blessed enough that all I needed was a band aid on my wrist!) Unfortunately there were a few innocent victims… one of them being my friend from LA. I was blessed to have walked away pretty much unharmed considering what had happened. At that point I knew I needed to do something to help my friend.
Fast forward to one year after the incident, I joined forces with the pretty much the entire entertainment community of Vancouver to put together a fundraiser in honour our friend to help with his recovery process and costs. PS. he’s doing great now!
With it being the first show I had ever produced… and as a dancer and choreographer I naturally wanted to put together a piece of choreography for the show… but it needed to be DIFFERENT! Later that week I saw a cabaret burlesque-style dance troupe on TV and I said “YESSSSSS I’m going to do something like that!” I gathered 10 of my girls and we did a burlesque inspired piece for the fundraiser. Vancouver HAD NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT! People went crazy! So I decided to keep doing it!
I created a dance crew called Burlesque Beauties with a few of my girls and had a ton of fun! We did everything from lounge gigs, to corporate events over the years and even performed at the infamous Playboy Mansion! As time went on I wanted to perform less and teach more so I coined the style “Nuvo-Burlesque” and started to teach the heel’s style to dancers of all levels.
The day before I moved from Vancouver to Toronto in 2010 I was in a car accident and my injury made performing a challenge so at the age of 29 rolling on 30 I knew it was time to throw in the ‘performing towel’ and go full speed ahead with producing, choreography, and teaching.
So there I was… alone in a new city and not sure where to start. I got a call from my mom and she reminded me I was doing cabaret and shows, she said “why don’t you put together a program for your students and have them be part of your show”. So, “DING”, a light went off! Great idea mom! I’ll do that!!! So there it all began!
- It started with 12 girls in Toronto under the “Nuvo-Burlesque Performance & Training Group”
- After a year I created the first satellite program in Vancouver
- I was building something and it was time to come up with a better name!
- So while in class with 25 plus women strutting towards me… “DING” again! They just looked like an ARMY OF SASS!
- And that was it; yep that’s the name! The ARMY of SASS was born and there was no turning back!
As of the beginning of 2015, just over 10 years from when I began all of this, we have over 275 registered students across the country with over 100 in Toronto and the rest in our satellite cities Vancouver, Abbotsford, Penticton, Kelowna and Calgary! I am so HAPPY to be able to share my wealth of knowledge about not only running a sustainable and profitable business but also sharing the personal lessons I’ve learned along the way…
For all of my dancers out there wanting to build something of your own but don’t know the steps to get there… I hear you and I feel you! I’ve been there… Please understand that: I know what it’s like to have a dream and not have the funds to do it, to be broke, to be on your own, to grow up in a small town and want more. I’ve lived through tragedy and setbacks, but most importantly I’ve learned to overcome all of them to get to where I am today and that is why I am doing this licensing program with a free education portion. It was built so my AOS team and me can help eliminate the struggle for you to build and achieve your dreams!
I’m here to EDUCATE, CREATE and PAY IT FORWARD to my dance community. It doesn’t matter if 5 or 500 people license this program, what matters to me is to be able to provide a FREE and strong education program to help those that wish to do what I do without the personal, physical, financial, and educational struggle I had endured.
If I can leave you with any form of advise it’s simply this… “There’s a solution to every problem and if there’s a solution… there’s no problem!”