moms in the mommyhood - jordan thomson

i started this blog when my daughter was born and it has followed our little family from 2007 until now. only recently did luvinthemommyhood truly start on it's path of what i had envisioned for it when i started a few years ago in my jammies with a baby on the boob, chores piled up and a significant lack of sleep. i have a lot of exciting things that i would like to feature on here, so new things will be popping up every few weeks. i am sincerely hoping you are all enjoying all the new changes and will continue to stay with the mommyhood as we grow and learn, just like we do as parents.

there are a lot of things that us mom's do along our path of parenthood and starting a business is one of them. mompreneurs are a huge part of the business world and a force to be reckoned with. i have always been fascinated by the behind the scenes of these incredible women's lives who are pursuing their passions and dreams and i have longed to read what normal press releases or simple interviews don't ask. so i decided to see if i could get a sneak peek myself. i pictured myself sitting with the mom featured today, having a coffee, as we have in the past, and what questions i would ask her if i had the chance today. i have been blessed to meet a lot of great moms since mackenzie's birth and this post is written about one of them.

jordan thomson is a beautiful, kind, funny, loving, and talented mother and wife and she is also a business woman. she runs brightstars, a dance school for children aged 1 - 13, in vancouver, bc. besides running the regular classes at brightstars she is also one of canada's newest producers/choreogrpahers working on her musical extravaganza for "tweens". she brings 28 years of dance education , music and performace experience and qualifications to the brightstars program.

brightstars offers parents who are looking for a fun dance, music and movement class instead of the scary, big dance school a place to enroll their child. they are the perfect "little" dance school made just for "little" kids. jordan's newest feature at brightstars is the unaccompanied 2 years and up dance class, something that i have yet to see anywhere in our province. the chance for mom's to get a rest while their young ones boogie is a welcome relief and a sign that jordan herself truly understands what a parent/child are looking for from a great dance class.

when did you start brightstars & what prompted you to start your own performing arts school?

brightstars started in vancouver in october 2007 but was born out of "dance america, school of performing arts", the business i created in sydney, australia in 1999. i started brightstars specifically because it filled a gap in the market here in vancouver and i absolutely adore dancing and working with children!

i think i met you when hennessey was about 5 months old and you definitely did not look like you had just had a baby. how did you get back into shape after the birth of your daughter? and did you continue to dance while pregnant?

i continued to teach dancing into my 41st week!!!! in fact, i was the lead choreographer/judge on a reality dance tv show at 6 mths pregnant! i went back to an exercise routine shortly after the birth of my daughter hennessey which included walking 10 days after birth and jogging from 6 weeks or so.

what's an example of your normal exercise routine?

i dance 6 days a week for at least one hour, run 3-4 times per week (mostly with hennessey in the stroller) and do weight training 2-3 times a week. i also really like doing pilates and yoga and love squash and tennis.

being a mother and a wife while running a business is sure to be stressful. how do you manage the balancing act of all three?

for me, balancing the 3 things is about prioritizing, constant planning and great organizational skills! i consistently evaluate what is important to me and what makes me and my family happy, and then go with that. i follow my heart more than my head sometimes and make sure to take some time for myself to regroup. for me, all of these roles are as important as the other so i must make sure to work on each one.

most of us only dream of having our own business, never mind starting one while you are a new mom. do you have any tips for new mom's thinking of starting their own business?

identify your skill set and do what you love. if you can combine these things, the money should follow. however, it is essential to do your research and make sure there is a market for your product service. keep educating yourself about your industry, new skills, products etc and network with other mompreneurs/business owners who are where you want to be! finally, take a look at franchises as they have done the hard work for you in the start up and are normally cheaper to start.

there are a lot of dance school's out there all offering different things and it can be overwhelming to pick the right fit for your child. what should parent's look for in a dance school and what should they avoid?

for the young ones, say 2-5 parents should look for a fun, nurturing and age appropriate environment that encourages these values over competition. in the beginning, it is better to provide littlies with a broad curriculum to identify what the child likes/is good at. often, it can be "mommy" who wants the child to be the budding ballerina rather than the child!! avoid a very strict structure, really large classes and an impersonal approach by the teacher/director.

as children get older and they have identified that they enjoy dancing, look for a school that offers qualified instructors/classes, a nurturing environment and a wide range of dance styles. this really is dependent on how far your child would like to take his/her dancing. what it will come down to though is: is your child enjoying him/herself and are they being provided with quality tuition.

a lot of us never truly figure out what we are meant to do with our careers, when did you know you wanted to be a dancer?

i didn't know...i just am. it became evident though at 6 yrs old that i had a true talent and from that point on it has been how i identify myself.

does hennessey like to dance?

she loves music and instruments and is just starting to really move to the beat. it's not really evident though yet, but fingers crossed.

what's the one piece of dance clothing you couldn't live without?

my tap shoes! i would feel like i'd lost a limb if i didn't have them!

you must listen to a lot of kid's music throughout the day, does it ever get to you? what is your most loved/hated song?

more than anyone i know, i love kid's music!!! no, it doesn't get to me which is why i can stand listening to it all the time. i love australian hi-5 the most!! i don't know of any song i really hate though.

i'm curious to see how you fit this all in your normal day. what's an average day in your life?

7:30-8am: up with hennessy and snuggle time (i breastfed until she was 21mths, she's now just 24mths but i have kept this routine). 8:30-9:30am: breakfast, lunch packing, emails and preparing paperwork for that day's classes. 10am: hennessy off to daycare and mom off to teach. 12:30-5pm: home for a quick lunch and off to my daytime classes or lunch then brightstars administration work in the office. 5:15pm: pick up hennessy. 6pm: dinner. 7pm: hennessy snuggle and bedtime routine then off to bed. 8pm: finish up day's office work, then clean the house and do laundry etc. 10:30pm: bed with a book.

what prompted you to offer dance classed for toddlers unaccompanied?

at 2 yrs plus, children can start working on their own and can use brightstars as an opportunity to start developing this sense of self and personal exploration. toddlers are amazing and are such sponges that they can learn so much so quickly. as a teacher, i am willing to "go there" in terms of movement which most mom's feel silly doing or just can't due to physical restrictions or having another child present. i'm also finding that mom's want this time for their child to learn being on their own and following another authority figure so that they can transition into daycare/preschool better. finally, it provided an alternate to the mommy and me classes offered by most other children's programs!

working with toddlers and children should add up to a day that is never boring and definitely not the same. what's the most memorable/funny moment you have had working with brightstars students so far?

well, you've hit the nail on the head. i absolutely love working with toddlers as they are so joyous, loving, warm and can often say and do the funniest things. i am never sad or stressed at a brightstars class but often in awe of my students. a "memorable" moment shall we call it, was when i was having a great chat with one mom who was being pulled at the sleeve by her daughter. they were speaking in spanish so i was not fully aware of what was being said. as it turns out, the little girl was obviously desperate to get to the washroom which became apparent when she peed all over the floor right through her lovely pink leotard! poor thing!

do you feel that you are doing what you truly love?

i do, but i miss working with professional performers so that is why i'm producing a teen musical group call the jump kids. it combines my love of professional performance and children. check out the website

what has been the hardest part of owning your own business? the most rewarding?

the hardest part of owning my own business has been the need to always be the person in command and at this point, having to do and be everything within the business. i must always be on top of everything and constantly working toward improving and growing the business. i am not satisfied unless i am doing this. the most rewarding is definitely doing what i love and being able to earn a living following my passion! it also affords me the ability to work around my family life so that i am constantly in harmony with these things that are most important to me.

a big thank you to jordan for doing the interview - you're the best! you can read more about jordan and brightstars at and you can get a peek of them in action at the yaletown baby and toddler fair on april 14th at 11:30 am and again at 12:00 in the please mum fashion show in vancouver, bc.

look for more interviews of moms in the mommyhood to come! are you a mom with an interesting story to tell? we would love to hear about it :)

here's a clip of jordan and some of her brightstars on breakfast television.