We had the good fortune of connecting with Whitley Green and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Whitley, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The most important factor behind my success is redefining what success means to me specifically then aligning my goals with that. Also doing what feels good and “right” rather than what is expected, safe, or makes the most sense.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Woahh..this is a loaded question lol. I am currently a full time dance teacher for at a middle school in Dallas, TX. I am also an adjunct professor at the University of North Texas Dance & Theater Department. I started dancing for an official team my junior year in high school and then studied dance performance in undergrad. I was originally a Kinesiology major because I did not think I had the training to be accepted into the dance program at UNT. After not making the University dance team, I decided to go for it anyway and I was accepted on a probationary basis. I spent the next four years wavering in and out of confidence and not knowing exactly what I wanted to do. My original dream was to be a background dancer but it seemed at the time that reality was getting further and further away seeing as though I trained in modern everyday and had no connection to that world. At the end of my Junior year I got a job teaching 3 year olds dance at a recreation center and fell in love with teaching even though I didn’t know what I was doing. At the same time, two of my linesisters were graduating with their Masters Degree and it inspired me to continue studying (not to mention I still didn’t know what I wanted to do but I enjoyed studying dance) so I set out looking for programs. While attending New York University for Dance Education, I realized that I really enjoy teaching. Of course I love performance and creating but there is something that draws me to this profession. To be honest I never wanted nor intended to be a teacher it just kind of happened like most things in my life. If I’m really honest I’m still exploring and discovering what this new dream is, as I work out the kinks that I like and don’t like to experience the life I really want holistically.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Really, I would not have an itinerary because I’m not that organized or specific when it comes to fun things to do- I just go! Also, even though I grew up in Dallas, I am just now exploring it as an adult and I am still finding things that excite and entertain me so I think it would be an adventure for my visitors since I often still feel like a tourist. What I like most are places with live music, a good dj, a dance floor, and good food!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There have been many people who have contributed to my success from my Mom, Dad (s), close family, to my linesisters as it relates to personal support, love, and encouragement. Professionally, my mentor Kim Elliott (NYC), who showed me how to have integrity in my work and the weight of bringing quality dance education to public school. Also, Deborah Damaste (NYC), who believed in my ability to be an educator and provided me with the hands on knowledge to be confident and effective.
Dale Fields – on african print photos (the orange & blue)