Updated: Sep 5
From her early days in Vero Beach, to dancing on the high seas and in Las Vegas, Isabel has always been driven by the power of live entertainment. In addition to her BA in Dance Performance, she holds a MS in Management from the University of Central Florida. Since PEP's inception in 2017, Isabel is honored & grateful to be able to deliver top-notch performances to Florida events. Read on for a behind-the-scenes interview with Isabel, conducted by her sister (and sometimes colleague), Hannah Power.
HP (Hannah Power): I have very early memories of you dancing non-stop through the house and repeating songs over & over again because you were trying to perfect the choreography. Do you remember why you started dancing?
IP (Isabel Power): I get this question a lot. Or variations such as "What got you interested in dance?" To be honest, I don't have a flashy answer! I just remember one day, when I was 8, telling our parents, OK it's time to enroll me in jazz classes. And jazz quickly led to ballet, pointe, contemporary, hip-hop and so on.
HP: I also remember you being gone almost every summer, studying at different schools around the country. I used to love road-tripping and experiencing the various cities you ended up in! Why did you seek out training away from home?
IP: Well as you know, our hometown (Vero Beach) is fairly small. I loved the training I was receiving there, but I knew there were many schools beyond our city and state. I've always loved exploring and challenging myself, so I would audition and then attend intensive summer programs I was accepted into, in order to improve my ballet training specifically. Having solid ballet technique creates a foundation that supports you no matter what dance genre you end up pursuing! I spent summers at The Rock School in Philadelphia, Boston Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.
HP: Speaking of ballet, why were you intent on studying dance in college?
IP: Well, I knew that I wanted to have a professional career. But post-high school, I wanted more training plus a degree. So college was a win-win for me!
HP: I know you landed in Pittsburgh to pursue a BA in Dance Performance at Point Park University. What made you chose there over other schools such as University of South Florida (my alma mater)!
IP: Oh my goodness, it was a tough call. USF does have a great dance program, and there were definitely pros to staying in state. But as I said, I've always had a zest for adventure and exploration. I wanted to experience a different state (including COLD winters!), and Point Park University has a phenomenal conservatory program. The faculty was excellent and the rigorous training really prepared me for a professional career.
HP: Let's discuss your semester studying abroad. I remember calling you when you first arrived in Paris and reaching your host parents on the phone.
IP: Oh yeah! You conversed in French with my host parents... I'm grateful you took French in high school, haha! But yes, I jumped at the chance to study there. Paris is such an arts mecca. In addition to taking a heavy course load of dance classes, I studied French language, acting, and history of French fashion. I traversed the city in order to visit museums, gardens, & opera houses. I visited Versailles and Cannes, and loved every second of it. While I did do touristy activities, I also made friends with locals and fully immersed myself in the Parisian lifestyle.
HP: So cool! And then almost immediately after that semester abroad, you graduated right?
IP: Oui! I received my Bachelor of Arts in Dance Performance, with a ballet concentration, in May of 2010. Then it was time to start my professional career as a performer.
HP: I recall you always going to auditions...
IP: Absolutely. Auditions are the name of the game in this industry. Casting directors have to see your skills and how you compare to fellow candidates vying for the same roles. These days there are a lot of virtual/video submissions, but in my era, it was all in-person. I would travel across the country to attend auditions for shows & companies I wanted to work for.
HP: I know it's hard to condense a career that spanned over a decade, but if you had to...
IP: I can try! My main opportunities were at theme parks, cruise ships, and in Las Vegas. I've had the pleasure of working at Universal Orlando Resort as well as at SeaWorld Orlando. I also completed several contracts performing around the globe on board Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines in mainstage shows of varying themes, such as Ballroom Fever and Jackpot - which was all about Las Vegas. Speaking of Vegas, I danced in one of the longest running shows there... it was called Jubilee! and had over 70 performers in it, including singers, dancers, and specialty artists. It ran at what was then Bally's Hotel (across from the Bellagio.) Additionally, there were dozens & dozens of gigs that I did on the side in order to have supplementary income, and because they were super fun! These gigs ran the gamut, such as performing in the Paul Mitchell Hair Show, other conventions, and in televised events such as the Nashville Christmas Parade. (That one was awesome because we danced alongside country music stars!)
HP: Now that we talked about your performance background... You eventually decided to attend graduate business school around the same time you started PEP. What made you want to make the transition from on stage to behind-the-scenes?
IP: Because I wanted to deliver world-class entertainment to Florida audiences. All those years working gigs/events as a performer had shown me that there was an expansive event sector comprising corporate events (such as conventions), social events (such as weddings), and nonprofit events (such as fundraisers). My 15+ years of experience in these events, coupled with my performance career in the hospitality/tourism industry (theme parks, cruise ships, hotels), equipped me with the background, skills, and know-how to create PEP and serve clients in Central Florida and all across the state.
HP: What has been one of your favorite events with PEP? (Obviously it's one of the ones I helped out at!)
IP: I love any chance to bring the Roaring 20s to life! Especially because we are currently in the 20s of this century... so it's a great time to feature this theme at an event. We have an amazing client who wanted to bring all things Gatsby to an epic 30th birthday celebration. The entire venue was transformed so that guests would truly feel as if they were entering a speakeasy in the 1920s. And our entertainers were a vital piece of the puzzle. Immediately upon entering, guests were greeted by our Flappers distributing items that would have been off-limits during Prohibition! ;) Then later in the night, our Dancers put on a show-stopping performance, after which they returned to the dance floor to keep the party pumping well past midnight. We also had our Atmosphere Dancers performing in life-size, golden birdcages, and last but not least.... we had some side antics happening. Our Coppers roamed the event interrogating guests (in a playful way) on if they'd been up to anything unlawful, such as gambling. On the opposite spectrum, our Gangster sidled around (avoiding the coppers of course) and tried to convince guests to buy his moonshine and/or play cards with him! These characters had guests engaging with them and laughing all through the night. It was an iconic event that I was thrilled to be a part of.
HP: It's been so cool watching you thrive in this industry that you're so passionate about. What is something you are really looking forward to in the next couple years?
IP: Tackling new themes and serving more clients. While PEP has been in business 6+ years, several of those years were affected by the pandemic. So, we are definitely still in our growth era! I can't wait to see what we get to be a part of. :)
To see additional profiles on Isabel, click the below images to be linked to articles in
Vero Beach Magazine and the University of Central Florida's website.