carrie_ann_inaba

An award-winning creative choreographer, actress, host, writer, producer, animal advocate and voice of the personal empowerment movement. She is most recognized as a judge on ABC’s Emmy Award-winning “Dancing with the Stars,” as well as for her choreography work on popular series including “American Idol, ” “So You Think You Can Dance,” “Dance Wars: Bruno vs Carrie Ann” and several others. She has a long history of aweing audiences, from her performances with Madonna on “The Girlie Show World Tour” as a dancer and as a Fly Girl in the Emmy Award-Winning “In Living Color.” This luminous star is also best known for her role in Austin Powers in Goldmember. Carrie Ann is more than one of the most recognizable faces on television, her most recent project, The Carrie Ann Conversations, highlights her purposeful empowerment platform, sharing personal stories for women to be uplifted with her vulnerable and enlightening discussions with the “desire to heal, feel understood, and to grow.”  Carrie Ann Inaba shares with L.A. STYLE Magazine the secret behind her many energized successes, for women everywhere to use as a model for finding their inner strength and empowered voice. 

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In this candid interview, Carrie Ann shares how she finds balance despite health challenges and the realizations that come from reflecting on her younger self. 

Q: How do you define success and balance for yourself? “When I was younger, in my 20s and 30s, I had very specific goals and now in my fifties, as I’ve matured and learned is about having the right balance between achieving things that are meaningful to me, whether it be in a career or personal or friendship or spiritual or creative. I’m also making sure that while I’m doing that I feel good and vibrant and not overwhelmed, because when I was younger I think I pursued so many specific goals that I wasn’t really checking in with myself. Now success has a lot more to do with how I’m also feeling while I am pursuing these things. So it’s about balance. Balance has a lot more now to do with not only following my intuition but making sure that my help is intact I’ve learned to use health is a really good gauge of how I’m feeling and how if I’m balance or not. I have autoimmune conditions; I have  Sjogren’s syndrome; I have fibromyalgia; I have spinal stenosis. I struggled with my health in my forties. It’s giving me a new perspective on how I look at things my ambitions have not died down or lessened. I learned that ambition alone for me let me to push too hard and not take care of my body… it’s not only listening to my intuition but it’s also listening to my body. I really check in a lot now with my breathing. If my breathing is shallow, I’m not taking deep, full breaths, then I’m stressed, and I’m not going to perform as well. Also, if I’m not feeling healthy, it doesn’t matter what my dreams or what my goals are because I won’t be able to achieve them. Health is now the most important things to me.”

Q: Who inspires you? “I’m always inspired by creative thinkers people who think outside the box and pursue them to pursue their goals for hardly anybody who’s very authentic the people that come to mind …”

Q: What message or words of advice do you have for your younger self? “Celebrate your body… Don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s funny because I was a dancer… celebrate your body and your being more- don’t be so hard on yourself. I wish I would have celebrated my body. I wish that when I was younger, I just had had more fun with my body and been more freaky with it. I think because I was a dancer and it was my tool, I was it was very protective of my body. Like I never did a lot of crazy things. I think I would have loved to have taken more risks with my physical body.  At 20, it’s okay to not know everything and to celebrate the mistakes.”

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Q: What is your intention for women who follow your work? “You are not alone. I really feel that most of what I do and my deepest message it’s pressed to be more connected and not feel alone in our struggles because I really do believe that I mean for myself, I struggled a lot in my life and I think I’m not alone. You know I interact a lot with people on social media and on my own pages and people feel alone in their struggles and so what I am really trying to do is share my own self openly, the good, the bad, the vulnerable, in hopes that I inspire other people to claim their own ‘imperfections’ because actually I, think we have it backward that our quote-unquote ‘imperfections’ by other people The more we talk about that with other people, it will connect in a heart to heart way as opposed to on a surface waiting or competitive and superficial way. It allows us to connect as humans with all the dimensions that we have and all of the quote-unquote ‘flaws.’ Flaws are not flaws, they help us grow into being the person that we were meant to be. I know now that you cannot take your body for granted and I’m lucky I learned it before it was too late; I feel that you know trying to accept ourselves as the complete packages and what I want.”

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Q: What is your message to people who follow your work? “My message to the world I want us all to really accept ourselves. I know that we’re not alone in our struggles and then the more we talk about that and share openly, I think we can help each other. We learn through sharing our stories with other people. You know, I think women are so divine and so special because we have so many parts of ourselves that have already been developed, like compassion. All the emotions are all incredible tools for us to grow ourselves in the work. The movement, it’s sort of represented the world trying to understand how we’ve been objectified and as more and more women came out and spoke about their own experiences, myself included, we got to see that wow a lot of this has been objectified and sexualized and not appreciated for our true full value and work. I think once we all start to feel connected in the struggle, as opposed to suffering at all alone. When we struggle a struggle the alone, we can’t create any energy to change the situation. Now women’s voices are being heard.”

Q: Do you have any current projects that you can share with us?  “I have been working on creating a show that I have in my mind since I was a child and the show is alive like the biggest extravaganza, kind of like a Cirque du Soleil show, incorporate all the philosophies I feel about the people and animals and all being interconnected. I’ve been working hard on that and I guess I could say also that I play the piano.”

Credit: Photography by John Russo

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