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AS IS | Lisa Martin

Founder of the Real People of Ballroom

Co-owner and Executive Director of Believe consulting

Competitive ballroom dancer

We talked with Lisa Martin, founder and chief marketing officer of the Real People of Ballroom (RPOB) about her dance journey, the inspiration behind RPOB, the stories that every dance carries, and how to approach it for the first time.

Together with the creative director, Lexi Lyric, she brings the fascinating stories of real people in the ballroom to the deserved spotlight - enjoy!

A: How did you come up with the idea of RPOB?

L: Ballroom images and performances are so beautiful, glamorous, and well performed. It made me wonder about the stories behind those images. I was curious to know about the realities and the journeys of how ballroom dancers got there. Ballroom dance had started as a lifeline for me and ended with a passion for the art of ballroom. I knew similar life journeys would need to be shared in the ballroom world. We wanted to hear and share the stories behind the Real People of Ballroom (RPOB).

A: What would you say is its mission?

L: Our mission started as a passion project. To give a forum for ballroom dancers to share their stories. It quickly evolved into a platform to share our passion and love of ballroom dance with children and adolescents who may not have an opportunity or the resources to immerse themselves in the ballroom culture. Real People of Ballroom will soon become a not-for-profit organization raising funds to offer ballroom classes and summer camps to children and adolescents who want to explore the beauty and culture that ballroom dance provides.

A: How do you think it will change the relationship with dance?

L: Real People of Ballroom will show the human side of the ballroom world, and we hope that it will inspire others to start their ballroom adventures.

A: Who are your guests?

L: Our guests are from varied and diverse backgrounds. They are amateur, and professional dancers, coaches, judges, designers, consultants, and franchisees. They represent a full spectrum of the ballroom world.

A: What is dance to you?

L: For me, ballroom dance is a beautiful expression of life. It is an outlet to show your emotions through movement. It's an inclusive community filled with support, love, and connections.

A: How to approach ballroom dance for the first time?

L: When approaching ballroom dance for the first time, one should do so with courage and an open mind. Ballroom dancing can be intimidating at first, but once you realize ballroom is an expression of self, the rest will come naturally.

A: Your top three adjectives related to dance?

L: My top three adjectives for dance are ever-changing. Right now, they are interconnection, reflection, and performance.

A: If you could change one thing about the dance industry, what would it be?

L: If I could change one thing about the dance industry, it would be the stereotypes affiliated with the body images of dance. All dancing bodies are beautiful.

A: Please, share your favorite quote.

L: My favorite quote is the one we chose to affiliate with Real People of Ballroom. “Dance your love, dance your joy, dance your dreams.” It is a culmination of quotes that have inspired me in the past, and this version I made my own.

Thank you!


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