Rachel Morrison and Joy Rodgers at Ultimate Ballroom Dance Studio showcase

Rachel Morrison and Joy Rodgers, UB students

Meet Joy. She is a cosmetologist, esthetician, and a massage therapist at the LifeSpa, Lifetime Fitness, located in Collierville, TN. She is a former competitive bodybuilder (placing 3rd twice and 2nd place in Figure division) as well as a former martial artist. Coming from such background involving strenuous exercise, Joy is now embracing a bit lighter side of physical activity by adding ballroom dancing to her workout regimen as a way to stay fit, relieve stress and simply have fun. “Ballroom dance gives me confidence, a sense of accomplishment and all while challenging me,” says Joy.

How did you discover dance?

I heard about dance from a friend.

5 favorite things about ballroom dancing

  • I like how freeing ballroom is. When I’m dancing, I forget about everything else and can just escape.
  • I love how ballroom challenges me. As a weight lifter and martial artist, being graceful doesn’t come naturally, and ballroom has taught me that. It’s also a great exercise that is a complement to my regular workout routine.
  • Ballroom gives me the ability to express myself through dance, which is an empowering feeling.
  • I enjoying performing in the showcases. Doing this fulfills my competitive nature. I no longer compete in bodybuilding, but performing in the showcases give me a sense of that. All the hours practicing my routine, finding a dress to wear, hair, nails, make-up and tan prep for show give me similar feelings I got while competing in bodybuilding. Then I hit the floor and perform all that I’ve been working towards, and that sense of accomplishment is what drives me. Every show, I strive to be better.

Mambo dance performance at Ultimate Ballroom Dance Studio

What is your favorite dance style?

My favorite dance style is rhythm. I practically enjoy Rumba.

What has been the most challenging thing in learning how to ballroom dance?

Most challenging thing is learning to how to move my body gracefully.

What benefits has ballroom dancing brought into your life?

Ballroom has given me a sense of accomplishment and makes me happy. I may be having a bad day or feel stressed, but, when I dance, all of that goes away and I have a better outlook on life after dancing. It completes me.

Name one great thing about your dance instructor

Yura is an amazing instructor. He relates to you in his teaching, encourages you all while pushing you to step out of your comfort zone and try new things. I always have fun during my lessons with him.

What’s your favorite non-dance activity?

Weight lifting, outdoor cycling and hiking.

Watch some of Joy’s Ballroom Dance Showcase performances:


by Irina McGuire

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