Meet the Authors: Maria Espinosa joins the AMLA
You'll be reading more and more from Maria Espinosa here on this site. As a member of the AMLA, she brings her extensive knowledge of ballroom dancing and her passion for writing, to lend another voice to our content.
Here's her interview, and a brief introduction to one of the newest contributors to this blog.
What is the AMLA? The Arthur Murray Live Authors is a collection of writers with a first hand connection to Arthur Murray. Ultimately, their unique perspective, voice, and location will help to add more content and context to this website.
AML: How did you first get started with Arthur Murray?
ME: I was actually a student at the Arthur Murray in Lexington, Kentucky. I was a social worker at the time, which was very stressful. One day, Hunter Lisle (the franchisee) called me and offered me a job. It sounded fun, so I took it. I worked part time for 9 months, and then I quit my job and went full time. I've been with Arthur Murray ever since.
AML: How did you eventually end up in Roanoke, Virginia?
ME: When we moved to Chicago, we always knew it would be temporary as we had no family close by. Chicago was a great place to be because there is so much opportunity with training, coaching, competing, etc. I loved being there, but when my second son was born with a birth abnormality, something had to change fast. I couldn't afford to stay at home with him and pay for his insurance, but I didn't want to work full time when he needed so much care. We looked at several places and finally decided on Arthur Murray Roanoke - mostly because Joel's first meeting with the owner, Mohammed, went so well. We are now closer to family and we have the freedom to take leave when our son has surgeries scheduled. We frequent the Cincinnati Children's Hospital and he's had 4 surgeries since we moved here. The studio has been so supportive of us that we're feeling really blessed to have found this lovely studio in this tiny town of Roanoke.
AML: That's wonderful to hear. That's got to be a lot to juggle. So how are you managing with work and family these days?
ME: Joel is at the studio full time while I do more behind the scenes so that I can care for the boys full time. Mohammed has been great with our small family busting into the studio. I bring the boys early for staff training and the staff doesn't mind chasing them around. I teach a few select lessons and then come and go as I can. I hope as the boys get older that I will be able to spend more time at the studio. Life is super hectic, but I'm living the exact life that I always wanted.
AML: Thank you for being a part of the Arthur Murray Live Authors group. What kind of articles are you most interested in writing?
ME: I love the idea of writing to "soon to be students". Those who need an extra nudge to get themselves through the door. I'm really open to everything, but my specialty is probably breaking things down into the most basic terms. I love working with beginners, students and teachers alike. I remember what it was like to be a baby dancer and I use those stories all the time.
AML: Every write has a sort of style, or personality, to the way they express themselves - how would you describe yours?
ME: I feel like my style is to the point and with some dry humor. I guess I'll learn more about myself as I continue on this journey.
AML: If there was an article that completely fixed a problem for your current, or potential, students - what would the headline be?
ME: "Journey or Destination - What It's Really Like to be an Arthur Murray Student"
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