What’s in a name?
I often get asked how we got our name “Free to Be Me.” The story is one that I hold close to my heart.
Several years ago, while working for another company, I directed and produced a variety show. While brainstorming with our students about a theme for the show, it became apparent that the kids were passionate about celebrating individuality. That show had a variety of acts, including songs, dances, and slam poetry. That Slam Poetry was something I wrote and had some students perform, and it became a hit.
The students loved it, the parents loved how much the students connected to it, and so “Free to Be Me” became a phrase I felt kids could relate to and embodied what I was trying to inspire through my teaching, which was self-love and acceptance.
Fast forward to a few years later, I knew I wanted to start a program, but I needed to figure out what to name it. I often get stuck on details like a name, so if I had been left to my own devices, it would have taken me months to decide. Luckily, I had a close friend helping me with all the legal paperwork and applications. She had a son in my program and decided to take the name I had used in that slam and from previous shows and reuse it for my company. It was and is the perfect decision.
“Free to Be Me” was born officially in June 2017 and has served more than 500 students in Orange County, Long Beach, and surrounding areas through after-school programs, summer camps, dance classes, performance troupes, competition teams, and productions. We pride ourselves on being a place where performers of all ages can get triple-threat training in a nurturing environment that prioritizes individuality, self-expression, and self-love for all.