Megan Bowen: Dance From the Heart
Hi, all! Happy Monday!
I am SO excited to share my first Passion Piece Feature of 2021 with you! To kick off the year we have dancer, entrepreneur, and all around badass woman, Megan Bowen!
Here’s a little about Megan:
Megan Bowen is a performer, creator & entrepreneur in NYC. Alongside her professional performing career, Megan founded Dance From Home LLC, an online company that helps Broadway lovers reconnect with the joy of live performance through musical theatre-themed fitness, dance & industry workshops. Megan believes the dance space is for everyBODY and is excited to reenter the industry post-pandemic. Stay connected via Instagram @MeganBowen__ & @DanceFromHome_
Like many of the people I have featured in the Passion Piece series, I have only ever connected with Megan online, and she is just a powerhouse. I’m not even sure how I came across Megan’s profile or the Dance From Home account, but I am SO glad that I did. Back in November, I took part in Dance From Home’s 14 day Get Up and Dance Challenge and the rest is history. It was during this time, taking Megan’s classes, that I started to truly feel connected to theatre and dance again, and this can really only be attributed to Megan, her instruction, and her class structure. Through the computer screen, states away, I could feel her infectious energy, her support, and her desire for me to succeed. Yes, I got that all from a fitness class. But that’s how I knew that Megan was someone I wanted in my corner, leading and guiding me toward my fullest potential! I signed up to be part of Dance From Home’s Ensemble Membership in the New Year, and it’s one of the best investments I’ve ever made in my personal and professional life.
Megan is such an incredible inspiration. On her personal social media, she openly speaks about the joys and struggles of being a business owner, body image in the theatre, her own journey back into the dance studio, and much, much more. She is real, she is raw, and it’s so refreshing to follow and invest your time and energy in people who are just real people with real lives. That’s something I admire and would like to aim to bring into my own online space in 2021.
It’s such an amazing feeling when you know you’ve got people on your side, holding space for you, and aiming to help you reach your fullest potential. Megan is one of those people in my life, and I cannot wait to connect with her in person! Check out our chat and get to know more about Megan below!
Who are you, where are you from, and where are you spending your time these days?
My name is Megan Bowen and I am from Temecula, CA. I moved to NYC a little over 4 years ago and I currently reside in Brooklyn!
What are you currently doing for work, if anything?
I am the Founder and CEO of Dance From Home LLC. We help Broadway lovers reconnect to the joy of live performance through musical theatre themed fitness, dance, and industry master workshops!
Tell me a little about your journey as a performer and how it has brought you to where you are today?
My parents put me in dance class when I was 3 years old. I was a very shy kid (I still identify as an ‘extroverted’ introvert) and stood in the back of my first dance class for 3 months until I decided to give the class a try and, well, here I am 23 years later still doing it!
I was a competitive dancer throughout my middle school and high school years. I also LOVED to sing so I started voice lessons when I was about 10 years old. My dance studio often let a local community theatre use the studios for rehearsals which was how I started to get involved with musical theatre. I did a few productions with them in middle school and absolutely loved it, but when it came time to high school, I had to make the choice between dedicating my time to theatre or the dance team, and I chose dance.
During my senior year of high school, I began auditioning for college dance programs (I thought I was going to end up being a classic modern or jazz dancer in a company) but I had a horrific experience during the college audition process. I was rejected from every single school I auditioned for, I was even told by the director of the NYU Dance Department that I did not have “the ideal body type that they were looking for” and felt very defeated. Luckily, I was very smart and had great grades/qualifications to get me into The University of California, Irvine as an Undeclared Major. During my first week at school, I reauditioned for their Dance Department and got accepted! It was the best feeling of my life.
During my Junior year of university training, I started falling out of love with modern/contemporary dance. I also couldn’t find any companies or space for women with my body type in that portion of the industry and was confused on what I wanted to do. This is when musical theatre started coming back into my life…
I was in a sorority, (shoutout Delta Delta Delta) and each year the sororities would be paired with one fraternity to compete in a schoolwide musical competition called “Songfest”. The musical assigned to our cast was Pippin and during that creative and performance process (yes, we won the entire competition), I fell back in love with theatre.
This is when I started getting involved in the drama department at UCI and got accepted into their New York Satellite Program, a “study abroad” program that had about a group of 25 of us come to NYC for one month and train nonstop. We took master classes, had mock auditions, went to a few real auditions, and got to fully experience what being a performer in NYC would be like. I was IN LOVE. I knew this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I had finally found my calling.
So, I graduated college and moved to NYC 3 months later. I’ve been here doing the audition and performing grind until Covid hit and it all stopped.
If you can, list for me your top 5 passions- no matter what they are!
1 – Performing
2 – Baking
3 – Creating Content/Being a Business Owner
4 – Lifting Weights
5 – Quality time with those I love
Does the work you are currently doing fall into the same category as any of those passions?
I would say the majority of my current work with Dance From Home aligns with my passion of dancing, performing, and teaching, but I believe passion and business have to fall into two very separate categories.
Dance From Home is my business in which I must be able to detach my ego or emotional connection from in order to make it thrive and better serve my community. My passion for dancing and teaching show through my classes, but I wouldn’t necessarily say that business is my passion. It is one of my proudest achievements and has brought me closer to an incredible community that I am so lucky to serve every single day.
But passions are allowed and often do change, so with that in mind I work on looking at my business strictly as a business. I guess what I’m saying is that owning a business is not the driving force of my life. Performing is. 🙂
What has inspired most you in a time where we are seeing so much change in the world/our industry?
Oh gosh, honestly my friends and the upcoming community of leaders in the musical theatre industry inspire me. We are going to be the ones to evoke change.
What are some things you like to do in your down time to nurture your passions, so they can stay just as alive, consistent, and active as your work?
Honestly, as a first-year business owner much of my time has been consumed with my business and my passions have fallen to the side. That alongside living through a Pandemic. I have just now started to get realigned with my passion for taking dance class and going back to the gym to strength train. Those two things bring me endless joy and I haven’t really been doing them for the past 10 months, so I am excited to start again.
This kinda ties into my answer above! My passions didn’t necessarily disappear in 2020 but they were put on the backburner and that is OKAY. I wasn’t ready for them or in a mental space to bring them back, but I am now 🙂
What are your top 3 goals in your life/work?
Oh that’s rough…I guess some that come to mind are.
#1 – Be in and choreograph a Broadway show
#2 – Have a 7 figure business
#3 – Start a conversation/Change the body standards of the dance industry
What does your self-care routine look like?
Haha. Another thing that I lost during the pandemic. Right now, my self-care looks like paying off my debt and credit cards and fixing my relationship with money. THAT is real self-care. Doing the things you don’t want to do but will ultimately help you be a better and happier person.
I also ALWAYS eat breakfast.
What advice do you have for anyone struggling to make the time for their passions in their life?
My advice would be to allow yourself to take a step back. You do not and should not feel like you have to force your passion. Knowing that passions can change and finding new things to light you up is exciting.
What are you hopeful for in our industry as we enter 2021? What prospects excite you, scare you, and make your heart flutter with anticipation?
I’m hopeful that the industry will start to come back by winter. I personally don’t think Broadway will come back until November 2021, but I lean towards the beginning of 2022.
Something I am looking forward to is taking dance class in person again and having the space to create with fellow dancers.
I’d like to think about performing but I just don’t know what that will look like. I know my dreams and goals will come true; I’m just trying to not put a timeline on them 🙂
Amen to that my friends. Self-care is “doing the things you don’t want to do but will ultimately help you be a better and happier person.” Self-care takes on SO many different forms, and THIS is one form I couldn’t resonate with more!
A HUGE thank you to Megan for sharing her time and energy with me! All her social media information can be found in the bio at the top of the post- check her and her business out, give them a follow, and spread love today!
Lots of love