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.
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 so I have autoimmune conditions; I have Sjogren’s syndromeI 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, 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. t’s funny because I was a dancer even think this but my work for yourself would be celebrate your body and your your being more not don’t be so hard on yourself I you know I was a dancer and I was very upset have been said most of my life and it’s funny because I was always in Perris to show my legs if I didn’t have to I mean since as a dancer question often have to say like that I didn’t have to have that they’re not good enough they’re not sending out there not the musculature is not the way I want them to be and now in the back and I got what I wouldn’t give to have those like to get and so when I look back at that and I think and it says please say but it’s really true what I wish I would have celebrated my body more when I was younger because as we get older we go I think we’re less in our body and more into like a mind or spirit because you don’t it’s a like a body HM we don’t put much the word attention body tech to look inward and I wish that when I was younger but I just had had more fun with my body and been more freaky with it I think because I was a dancer in it with my tool I was it was very protective or my body like I never I can do a lot of crazy things because my body and my house for my well my job you know what I needed to be fit and say and never get injured I never with a lot of things when I was younger and I wish I think I would have loved to have been a little bit more like taking more risks with my my my physical body I’m I’m more than sure thing I was under if that …. and you have a great that body and that like all that you are at 20 like yeah it’s okay not now you know it’s okay to not know everything and celebrate that celebrates and knowing to celebrate the mistakes and I go like headfirst into the mistakes as opposed to doing like you have to get it right a young age.”
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 and I think I’m not alone in the morning on the top and I hear feedback from the people that watch the show the fans of the show and you know I interact a lot with people on social media on my own pages and people feel alone in their struggles and so what I really trying to do is there are my own self openly the good the bad the vulnerable to Messi all the parts that are quote unquote in perfect and I claim them in hopes that I inspire other people to claim their own input quote unquote imperfections because actually I, think we have it backwards that our quote unquote imperfections by other people Sanders is are not imperfections at all they’re what make us devine and special and unique and that’s our goal. The more we talk about that with other people will connect in a heart to heart way as opposed to on a surface waiting and in a way that sort of like I have this what do you have a competitive and superficial way it allows us to connect as human with all the dimensions that we have and all of the quote unquote flaws action not flaws that guess that help us grow into being the person that were meant to be you know all those things that we have to work you know printing system as ADHD like that that could be considered a flop but actually that’s it yes because they probably have to learn we need to focus that other people don’t have in their thinking patterns are different within everything that we have to get like within my health struggles I’ve had so many get one of them being I know now how to check in with myself I know now how to take care of myself I know now that you cannot take your body for granted and I’m lucky I learned it before it was too late so I feel that you know trying to accept ourselves as the complete packages and what I want.”
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 Cher openly I think we can help each other we learned through sharing our stories with other people you know I think women are so devine and so special because we have so many parts of ourselves that have already been developed like compassion all the emotions these are all incredible tools for us to grow ourselves in the work. page and just in general and I love so let me go back because this is this is that going to question yeah yeah the beginning of the need to movement it’s sort to meet represented the world trying to understand how we’ve been specialize and 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 and I think once we all start to feel connected in the struggle as opposed to suffering at all alone and this is why I go back to that I want to discuss the accident less amounts because when we struggle a struggle the loan we can’t create any any energy to change the situation was to meet soon will that happen that we offer it connecting and talking about and it came out to the surface and now women women’s voices are being heard and as more more women’s voices are heard we’re getting more and more companies out there and then what’s interesting I think and it’s I think have is happening now is that it’s not just about our strength a voice and a courageous voices speaking out I want to also to start speaking out with our vulnerabilities and our fears and all the other.”
Do you have any current projects that you can share with us? “I have been working on creating a show that I did that I have in my mind since I was a child and the show is alive like biggest extravaganza kind of like a circus 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 just under very well maybe people don’t know that yet.”
Credit: Photography By: John Russo