Today we have the pleasure of featuring not one, but TWO incredible women. This week our #FEMMEFEATUREFRIDAY is Julie Gabriele and Christina Morgani! The best thing about this dynamic duo is how big their hearts are! What is most important to them are the people they get to share their time and their lives with. When life gets busy, they accompany any situation with a positive outlook and their team mentality ensures that everything gets done. It is so inspiring to see how Julie and Christina have implemented the values that dance has taught them throughout their youth into the business they have built today as adults.
These boss ladies, who also happen to be sisters, have been dancing together since they were kids. Today, they are the Co-Directors of Be Dance Competition, which just celebrated its 10th anniversary this past year! Through competitive dance, Julie and Christina provide a platform where the next generation of dancers can be educated by the best of the best in the dance industry. They wanted to create an environment where dancers could experience what dance is all about at its core, to BE Inspired, BE Motivated, BE Athletic, BE Friendly, BE Gracious and BE EMPOWERED, all means to “BE” dance! Additionally, Julie and Christina joined forces with two other regional competitions in Ontario called MOVE Dance Competition and Fever International Dance Championships. Together, these 3 competitions created ONE National Dance Finals, which just celebrated its 3rd season this month in Florida.
What we love most about these sisters is how they keep it real! Julie and Christina believe that ANYTHING is possible… as long as you’re willing to do the work. It is evident that they don’t take being able to do what they love for granted by their success as young entrepreneurs. They remind us that if you work towards your goals each day, in time you will build your dreams. Their experiences also show us the challenges that women still face today as business owners and leaders, but they prove that with passion and hard work, it’s undoubtedly possible. Together, they are setting an example for all aspiring moguls as they continue to break the status quo for women in corporate roles. Thank you ladies for empowering us to be all that we can BE!
Written by Alessia Rotino
Why is it important for women to pursue their passions?
As you grow older a lot changes. We experienced the most significant changes when we became mothers. Being a mom is all encompassing. Every moment of each day is devoted to the needs of another human being. There are no breaks, no pauses and no excuses. It is easy to become overwhelmed, and often work can feel much more like an “obligation” rather than a fulfillment. We are thankful everyday that we followed our dreams and continued to do what we love. Our passion for our careers fills us in a different way. We are able to be the fierce dynamic women we know we are, who also happen to be mothers. We always have a creative outlet and a release from the day-to-day routines. We feel rewarded, recharged, refreshed for our families, and everyone is happier.
What challenges have you encountered as women in leadership roles?
We started our business in our early 20s. I guess you could say we had rose colored glasses on when it came to our business interactions, because we approached every engagement with extreme optimism, trust and professionalism. After a few years of experience it became apparent that as women we were being spoken to and addressed more casually – even in a flirtatious manner at times. Being called “sweet heart,” or “honey,” or being complimented on our physical appearance didn’t immediately register to us as offensive or unprofessional, but when we realized that we were uncomfortable it became a problem. The realization that we were being treated differently was a true turning point for us. Our approach in business quickly changed. We always knew how to assert ourselves however, this skill noticeably moved to the forefront of most, if not all of our interactions. We are thankful for the challenging encounters that we have experienced because we feel that we are setting a strong example for young women. We like to think that perhaps, we are positively influencing the way some people interact professionally with women.
Tell us about your journeys in dance. How has it shaped you into the women you are today?
Dance has given us confidence, discipline and balance. Just those three things alone have defined how we have modeled our family life and business. We know how to manage our hectic day-to-day lives, while staying on time and on task. Dance also showed us a tangible example of reward. In our competitive years as dancers, we would walk away from competitions sometimes with trophies sometimes without, but each time having trained and worked hard for our performances. When we moved into adulthood the rewards were no longer in the physical shape of trophies, but we understood that our efforts could and would be rewarded in other great ways.THE single greatest lesson, if you ask us.
What piece of advice would you give young girls who aspire to pave their own path?
Go for it! You never know if you don’t try, and when you DO try, give it nothing short of 150%. You owe yourself that much!
What’s your definition of a YGTGirl?
Strong, confident women who support and cheer on other women for their accomplishments. A community of educators and believers, helping the next generation of women to see the value in coming together and building each other up.