Hello, my name is Nathalie Blais. I was born on March 4th 1967, and work as a line dancing instructor in Montreal, Quebec.
I started dancing in 1998 at a gym I used to go to, where they began offering trial line dancing classes. In the beginning, I did not even want to try the classes, thinking stereotypically that it wouldn’t be fun, or that I would feel embarrassed because I felt that “line dancing is for old people”. However, my friend Angie finally pushed me to try it out, and within two classes I was hooked. Then, in the spring of 2005, two of my dance teachers were no longer going to teach in my area. I actually wasn’t there that night this news was announced. The next day, I was told the very bad news, but I was also told that many of the other students in the class felt I should start teaching. Although I didn’t think I’d be any good, my friends kept convincing me that I should go for it, and that I would succeed. So, I had a job interview with the city of Dorval. I began working as an instructor in September of 2005.
I have now been teaching for 11 years, and I can honestly say that I love it more and more every day. I really think my students can feel the passion I have for line dancing, and I think they perhaps feel inspired, because now four of them have gone off to become passionate teachers as well. I love my supportive students and I’m lucky to have the best of them – they are an extension of my family. What I love most about my job is when they leave my class with huge smiles on their faces.
I guess you can say that I am totally obsessed with line dancing. No matter what I do during the day, line dancing is always on my mind. I practice in my head while driving. I practice with my fingers (moving them around as if they were my legs), and I dance around in my house as I put on my makeup. I also call my dances in my head at night when I am trying to fall asleep. Some would say that line dancing keeps me sane, however I’m sure others (my husband – lol) would argue that it could sometimes make me a little bit insane. But in my opinion, line dancing is the greatest pastime.
There are many people who help me each and every day and make my life a great one, and I cannot thank them enough. For this reason, I’d like to thank Robert Labelle, Kate McNeal, Linda and Steve Sheehan, Patricia Nahorniak, and Lynn Sonada Harris. I’d like to thank these people for always being there to help me out, whether by coming in early to help set up for my dance parties, for greeting other students and giving out tickets, for assisting with the cleaning afterwards, for helping with my bags, and so on. Also I want to thank Lana Major, Shirley Madew, and Michele Tanguay for sticking with me from the start and for being very supportive, encouraging, and loving. To my friend Andre Boyer from the Surrey Center, thank you for your honesty on that very first night in September 2005, for letting me know that wearing jeans for so many hours was not for me ( I was too sweaty – LOL!). I’d also like to say a special thanks to Steve Sheehan for replacing me when I’m in a jam or when I am on vacation. I really do know how lucky I am.
I would like to give a special dedication to my inspiration, my friend, Marlene McIntyre for giving me the confidence to always do better, and for constantly pushing me to do so. Marlene started line dancing with me in 2007, and has been an instructor for a few years since then we’ve both shared our obsession for line dancing (she is also crazy-obsessed!). She has attended many workshops and she even got me hooked on them – and it will be my 5th time attending one in October. I’m starting to teach Advanced classes on Friday nights – also her idea!
But most of all, I’d like to thank my amazing family, for they are my best work. My 3 beautiful daughters Gynet, Mercedes, and Moranda. They turned out to be amazing young women I wouldn’t be where I am right now without them. I am truly grateful for having not only the best family, but also the best career I could ever ask for.
I look forward to seeing where life takes me next!