We had the good fortune of connecting with Stacy Letrice and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stacy, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
In 2020, my life completely fell apart and I lost everything because of my unbalanced lifestyle. I was not mindful of work life balance prior to the pandemic because I was very career driven and put my career before my health, relationships, spiritual life and healing. The world stopped when the pandemic began and I had no choice but to look at all areas of my life. My relationship with my boyfriend at the time ended. My relationship with my best friend of 20 plus years ended. Majority of my meals consisted of eating out and eating fast foods. Going to church no longer felt like a fulfilling spiritual practice. And, my anxiety and depression made life feel unbearable.
I decided to partake in a 30 day program called “self care rehab”. During this program, I met a life coach which guided me to look at all areas of my life and to see what areas needed improvement. While doing the work, I gained awareness of just how unbalance my life was. Most importantly, I discovered that my self-care was at the bottom of my list, which explained why everything else was falling short.
Now, I am very intentional about making my self-care my first priority and have a better understanding of what self care really means. Prior to self-care rehab, self-care meant getting my hair and nails done. Or going to get a nice facial or massage. Self-care now means, asking for help, resting, saying “no”. having boundaries, stress management, meditating, eating healthy, letting go of things that no longer serve me and having fun with friends. Making my self care a top priority gives me the energy to show up in all areas of my life, makes me more aware when my life is not in balance, and eliminates the belief that I have to work myself into the ground in order to have a successful and fulfilling life.
What should our readers know about your business?
Jukeboxx Dance is dedicated to pursuing happiness and healing through African and Caribbean Dance forms. This dance brand inspires others to use Traditional West African, Afrobeats, Dancehall, and Soca to live in high vibration and access their highest self to manifest their desires. My mission is to inspire, educate, entertain, and heal millions around the world through the use of African and Caribbean dance. What sets me apart from others is the intention behind the brand, my teaching style, and the way I integrate healing techniques and principles into my work. My services are also available in-person and online.
I am most proud of leaving my 9-5 to build my own business. I got where I am business-wise by finding mentors that inspire me and guide me through the process of running a business. Becoming an entrepreneur is one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life. I’ve lost a lot of money, stop and started several times and funded the business by myself, I’ve overcome these challenges by focusing on my why. My why keeps me going. My team, my students, and my family keeps me going. The idea of leaving behind a family business keeps me going. I also enjoy the luxuries of entrepreneurship which includes being my own boss, having unlimited potential income, being a leader, impacting the lives of others, constantly growing, and living life on my own terms.
Lessons I’ve learned along the way include:
1. Make self-care your first priority
2. Get a team
3. Ask for help
4. Contract! Contract! Contract!
5. Networking and collaborations are essential
6. The best marketing is word of mouth
7. Create clear goals and strategies to achieve each goal
8. Be patient
9. Trust the process
10. Keep learning
I want the world to know that I am an African American woman who has dedicated her life to studying, practicing, and performing African and Caribbean dance forms. I feel in love with styles such as Traditional West African, Dancehall, Soca and Afrobeats because they provided the opportunity for me to connect with my identity as an African living in America. Every time I practice these styles, I remember where my ancestors really come from. I remember that I am a descendant of Kings and Queen. I am reminded of just how powerful it is to be Black.
I want the world to discover the mental health benefits of dance through my business. People of color have been traumatized the most while living in America. I highly recommend therapy to deal with the trauma that we face on a day to day basis. However, I understand that people of color may not be open to healing practices such as counseling due to the long history of racism and abuse in the health field. One may not go to counseling, but they can try other healing practices such as dance, music, and art which is what I provide.
Lastly, I plan to host the first Afrobeats and Dancehall conference in Chicago. Afrobeats and Dancehall dance was pretty much non-existence when I became serious about my studies. In order to train, I had to go to Jamaica, New York, LA and find conferences around the world to continue my training. Many dancers will not have the opportunity to do the same. However, I hope to make it easier for them by bringing resources as such to Chicago. I will be a dance legend and my business will establish generational wealth for my family.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Chef Cerole Sand Bar
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to shout out my number one fan and supporter, my dad. My father introduced me to dance when I was 7 years old by taking me to a celebration of African Diaspora Dance, called “Dance Africa”. I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life dancing and he has supported me every step of the way.
I would like to shout out my mentors, Latonya Style and Kimiko Versatile for inspiring me to teach dancehall and to become an entrepreneur.
I would like to shout out my staff, Courtney Coleman, Chantel Turk and Raivyn Jenkins. They do all the hard work behind the scenes and have been an instrumental part in building Jukeboxx Dance LLC.
Lastly, I would like to thank my family, friends, students and fans for supporting my company. Without you there would be no Jukeboxx. Thank you for all for believing in me.
I recommend everyone who is focusing on their healing work to go read the “Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. This book is life changing.
Facebook: Stacy “Jukeboxx” Letrice
Youtube: Stacy Letrice
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