Six Weeks To Fitness

Welcome to Six Weeks to Fitness, I'm your host Vince Ferguson. Thank you so much for joining me today. Now, for those of you who are used to listening to my audio podcast, you can now watch my show on our Six Weeks to Fitness, YouTube channel and joining me today on as my very first video guest is Carmen Carriker. She's a graduate of Fordham University's Alvin Ailey Bachelor of Fine Arts program, She is a professional dancer, a fitness instructor, she's an actress, she's an educator and creator of Crown Soul Yoga. And I am very pleased to have Carmen Carriker on my Six Weeks to Fitness program. Carmen, how are you today?

Carmen Carriker:

I'm great. Thank you so much for introducing me. I'm happy to be here.

Vincent Ferguson:

It's such a pleasure having you. You're so full of energy and vivaciousness it's just a joy to have you here today. Thank you so much for coming on the show.

Carmen Carriker:

Thank you.

Vincent Ferguson:

But before we get started talking about your illustrious career, let's talk a little bit about your early days. Where did you grow up, Carmen? And what was your childhood like?

Carmen Carriker:

Well, I'm originally from Detroit, Michigan, so I'm from the Midwest. And I come from a family, I was raised by my mother, single parent, and she was a musician, a singer and a songwriter. So she had her own band. So I grew up in an environment surrounded by music. So it was a very fun experience having a band, rehearsing in my house as a toddler.

Vincent Ferguson:

Yes.

Carmen Carriker:

It was introduction to jazz music, and to instruments. And that was where my love and passion for music began. It was a great experience. Nice growing up somewhere where you have trees and I grew, planted plants and vegetables and fruits with my grandfather who had a garden.

Vincent Ferguson:

Nice.

Carmen Carriker:

Because I come from the Motor City, there are lots of engineers in my family, so everyone worked or retired from Ford, GM, Chrysler. So I grew up working on cars. I helped out [in my youth.

Vincent Ferguson:

Really?

Carmen Carriker:

I was a girly-girl, but I was also a youth who dibbled and dabbled in working with machines, engineering and designing things. So I like to work with my hands and put things together and that began my interest in textile design because I'm also a fashion designer. So my love of music came from my mother and my love of engineering and design came from the men in my family.

Vincent Ferguson:

Wow. A good combination, I would say, huh?

Carmen Carriker:

Yes.

Vincent Ferguson:

Wow. So although you came from a single parent home, you did have family around you to help you, male figures, female figures which makes for a well rounded environment? And it made you the person you are today, which is absolutely amazing.

Carmen Carriker:

Yes.

Vincent Ferguson:

Yes. You've been teaching dance for about 25 years, I understand, am I correct? Right. Now that would make you about 30 years old because I've met you and you look like you're in 20s actually, but you know what I'm saying? So-

Carmen Carriker:

Yes.

Vincent Ferguson:

... you healthy lifestyle is really paying off, right?

Carmen Carriker:

Starting dance from the age three and continuing on into my 30s, I've been dancing and I've been an athlete nonstop. I started teaching when I was 14 years old assisting ballet classes and helping the studio owner run the studio after she had a baby. So I started early.

Vincent Ferguson:

Yes, and I believe if you introduce children to activities like the dance and fitness at an early age, they continue as they get older. You are exposed to it, you know?

Carmen Carriker:

Yes.

Vincent Ferguson:

And look what you're doing now, you made a business, a career out of it. Amazing. Yes.

Carmen Carriker:

I tell my student that [crosstalk 00:04:45] what you do in studio, what you're doing in school, when you're assisting teachers and helping out it pays off because you end up being the one that's hire for the job. Having the skills and the information and the knowledge to start your own business based on all of the experience that you've had growing up.

Vincent Ferguson:

Beautiful. Now you studied at the Fordham University's Alvin Ailey Bachelor Fine Arts Program. How was that experience?

Carmen Carriker:

Wow. And it's been a good 17 years since I graduated. I graduated in '04, I think. Something like that so when I was a part of the Alvin Ailey and Alvin Ailey is one of the most or the largest African American modern dance company. We were the Guinea pigs of the program, so I was a part of the first graduating class as far as them having a joint program with Fordham University. So we were the first classes. So it was new to have professional dancers at Fordham taking liberal arts classes and then walking over to Ailey and having a full dance conservatory experience. So I had a very long day. I had like four academic classes and then I'd have four dance classes and then I'd have rehearsal in the evening and then I'd have a job working at the university. So 22 credit hours, a semester, lot of hard work. If we started off with 20 students in our class, by the end of four years, there were 10 of us.

Vincent Ferguson:

Really, really why?

Carmen Carriker:

Because it's very demanding on the body. It's costly to live in New York. So coming from Michigan, moving here not everyone could deal with the transition as well and a lot of dancers found that, oh, this is just too much on my body. Only the strong survive. So if you think, oh, okay. You know, let me go do this BFA program. Yes. Do the BFA program, but research it, make sure that it's something that works with you because it's a very demanding program.

Carmen Carriker:

So I'm glad that I went through it. So many connections, so many performance opportunities. Working with all of the major choreographers and having the opportunity to apprentice, to be a guest performer. I'm so blessed and thankful and to work with some of the company members had been taking class with Alvin Ailey dancers every day. Ballet class, modern class, African dance class, the conditioning classes, yoga, Pilates. They were the first and second company members were living with us. And then you had the PPPS, the afterschool kids were in the building as well. And this was when Alvin Ailey was on 66 and Amsterdam. Now it's the larger building. So the larger building was not there in 2004. In the year 2000 when I joined it wasn't until four years later that that building was finished. So when I graduated the institution that everyone knows of now that huge building, which is called the Joan Weill Building, which is named out to the person that funded it, wasn't there. It wasn't there yet. So all the hard work that all of the students and teachers and everyone, the Ailey family, all the hard work that we did contributed to continuing the legacy of Alvin Ailey having that large institution where people from all over the world are coming to learn.

Vincent Ferguson:

Yes, amazing.

Carmen Carriker:

[inaudible 00:09:25] experience, but it definitely made me who I am. I'm a stronger dancer, a stronger, a more experienced teacher have a lot of knowledge and information to share. And I have a lot of connections, always have all of those dancers and teachers as support.

Vincent Ferguson:

You can't put a price on that support, you know, those connections. Can't put a price on that. And speaking of dance, what type of dance do you now teach? I know you teach children and adults. What type of dances do you teach?

Carmen Carriker:

Well, I teach everything. Well, mainly right now I'm teaching yoga, teaching kids yoga classes from the ages 18 months to like five and six. That's the group that -

Vincent Ferguson:

18 months.

Carmen Carriker:

Yes. The mommy-baby classes, the baby.

Vincent Ferguson:

Wow. And what else? Okay.

Carmen Carriker:

And then I also teach adult classes.

Vincent Ferguson:

Adults.

Carmen Carriker:

Yeah. All the way up 80.

Vincent Ferguson:

Up to 80. Yeah. There's ton of time for me. Oh, good. But again, so you're teaching yoga, you're teaching ballet. You're teaching... What else?

Carmen Carriker:

Teaching jazz. I'm teaching [inaudible 00:10:45]. I teach swing, wing dance, the Lindy hop.

Vincent Ferguson:

Lindy hop.

Carmen Carriker:

Yes, I teach SoCo fitness, I teach African dance in afterschool programs. And I love to share African history history, so that people know about the culture. That's very important especially when I'm teaching kids that they know where the movement comes from, that they know what instruments are and they know what places that these dances come from, especially in this time when TikTok videos and social media, there's so much information, visuals so everyone sees movement but they may not know where these dances come from. So good that they have the history and they know the knowledge and the culture behind.

Vincent Ferguson:

Now let's talk about yoga because that's where I first met you, when you did a yoga class from my organization, Body Sculpt of New York and with the children. Now, where did you learn yoga?

Carmen Carriker:

Well, I started yoga, yoga was a part of my curriculum at Alvin Ailey.

Vincent Ferguson:

Okay. But didn't you also learn yoga in Jamaica?

Carmen Carriker:

Yes. By the time I graduated I was condition my body by doing Pilates and bar and gyrokinesis anything like that, that would help keep my body fit.

Vincent Ferguson:

Yes.

Carmen Carriker:

It wasn't really a spiritual journey for me until I went to Jamaica and I wanted to learn specifically a style of yoga that was more ancient, more meditative that connected to me as an African American. And that's where I found Kemetic yoga. So I was like, I'm going to go straight to the source. I'm going to go to Jamaica because I had the time and I was available to do the 10 day retreat and training. And I've been doing it ever since and it's my favorite. It's something that I really connect to spiritually. I'm a Kemetic yogini if you want to say that. I practice a Kemetic diet. So Kemetic, all of it, living, according to the laws and principles that the Ancient Egyptians practiced. Learning the history, learning the language and incorporating that in the modern day lifestyle has been easy for me and it has kept me grounded.

Vincent Ferguson:

Really? And you say Kemetic, which is Kemet, in Egypt, right? And so when you're training, you're teaching yoga, you're teaching Kemetic yoga are you also teaching the language to your students?

Carmen Carriker:

Yes.

Vincent Ferguson:

Wow.

Carmen Carriker:

There are learning poses in the Metu Neter language.

Vincent Ferguson:

Give me-

Carmen Carriker:

So if we are combining for example, the Sphinx pose or the lion pose is Heru Akhet. So I'll say it in English and I'll also say it in the Metu Neter language as well.

Vincent Ferguson:

Do you have any space to go to do a pose or two that we can see?

Carmen Carriker:

Sure. So we all know of the monument in DC that's shaped like an obelisk?

Vincent Ferguson:

Yes.

Carmen Carriker:

Okay. So in Egypt of it is called Teken which is spelled T-E-K-E-N.

Vincent Ferguson:

Teken.

Carmen Carriker:

So this is Teken pose so you're standing with your feet together.

Vincent Ferguson:

Yes.

Carmen Carriker:

You're connected to earth, and earth, the Egyptian word for earth Geb and then [inaudible 00:14:57] up and you're connecting to the sky, which is Nut

Vincent Ferguson:

Huh. Nice.

Carmen Carriker:

So this pose is called the Teken pose so you're feeling connection to the earth and the sky.

Vincent Ferguson:

Wow. Wow. That's powerful. That is really, really powerful to see that, you know. And you said the Kemetic lifestyle. Okay. Now, does that involve also nutrition as far as eating healthy? Because you're a vegan.

Carmen Carriker:

Absolutely. I'm vegan. Kemetic diet is a plant-based diet. So if you're choosing a lifestyle and you're choosing to practice Kemetic yoga, you're also choosing a plant-based diet.

Vincent Ferguson:

And why is that important?

Carmen Carriker:

Well, if you look at the hieroglyphic, even the ancient Egyptians, you see lettuce, you'll see greenery around them so those are examples that that was the way that people were living. And that was their source.

Vincent Ferguson:

Okay, so they didn't eat the chickens and the cows? They weren't meat eater? No?

Carmen Carriker:

Well, I mean, as far as I know, there're of course are going to be people who do different things depending on where they are. But the tradition and the Kemetic practice that I'm practicing and that I've learned from teachers before me we're practicing plant-based.

Vincent Ferguson:

Excellent. I think that is an excellent way to eat, to live. I do believe that. I believe that it also helps you to connect more with spirituality, because you're not weighed down by meat eating, you know?

Carmen Carriker:

Yes.

Vincent Ferguson:

So I applaud you for that and I think it gives you a lot of energy and that's why you're all over the place doing so much. I am so impressed with you. Now you call your company, Crown Soul Yoga. Where'd you get that name from?

Carmen Carriker:

Well, you know, Crown Soul Yoga it came to me in a dream. So a lot of times things that I do artistically, I may have visions. So it came to me and the Crown is your crown and you know, I think of ancestry and the kings and queens before me. So when you take care of your crown you're protecting yourself, protecting your connection to spirit, connection to the higher powers. And then Soul is your heart. So anything that I do, I'm giving from my heart, my soul and I'm giving. So by helping others, I'm feeding my soul. And so [inaudible 00:18:09] and in creations, which was my first, is also my business, Crown Soul Creations. Everything that I make is that connection mind, body, spirit. So whether it's Crown Soul Yoga, which is the business of yoga, Crown Soul Creations, which is the business of jewelry and the knit wear, and the soaps and the products that I make, the t-shirts and the hoodies and all that stuff that I make, those are my creations.

Vincent Ferguson:

Wow.

Carmen Carriker:

So the branding.

Vincent Ferguson:

Yes. Branding.

Carmen Carriker:

[inaudible 00:18:44] queen, so I want people to feel royal and to embrace who they all are and to have a lot of soul in whatever they do.

Vincent Ferguson:

Most definitely. So you're more than just a professional dancer, a professional fitness instructor or educator. I mean, you are business woman, you're an entrepreneur and how has that journey been for you?

Carmen Carriker:

It's rewarding. It's rewarding to look at the things that I've done. Look at my resume, look at the timeline that Facebook shows me like this happened 10 years ago.

Vincent Ferguson:

Yes.

Carmen Carriker:

It's mind blowing to know that so much time has passed and so much I've been able to do and share as far as fashion shows, as far as vendoring and doing different events. And now focusing more on online yoga business and sharing medication and sound healing, Reiki, which is energy work. Even the energy I do holistic health and wellness is based in Kemetic tradition as well. So shout outs to Ra Sekhi Arts Temple, which is where I studied, which is based in Atlanta and the Kemetic Yoga School in Chicago under Yirser Ra Hotep. So YogaSkills Method. And I'm so thankful. I'm thankful to [inaudible 00:20:18], and I'm thankful to Queen Afua and all the Sacred Women who have led the way to healthy living and [crosstalk 00:20:28]

Vincent Ferguson:

Yes. Most definitely. Definitely. Now I know you live in Brooklyn, New York, right? And that's where my podcast is hosted in Brooklyn, New York. Shout out to Brooklyn. But now prior to the pandemic, most instructors like yourself and dancers, they would train their students in-person but as you know, New York was hit very hard and during the pandemic they shut all that down, so most of you guys had to pivot and start doing online instruction. How has that worked out for you? And are you still doing online?

Carmen Carriker:

I'm still doing online. It's been two years of online teaching. It's hills and valleys. It's been hills and valleys.

Vincent Ferguson:

Yes.

Carmen Carriker:

At the beginning I think that there was definitely influx, numbers going up everyone was at home and just needing to have connections so they were Zooming in, however, WhatsApp, whatever people could use to connect with me through private sessions, through small group sessions and group conferences. But as things have opened up in New York, it is slowed down. I also feel like teachers, as well as students, clients have experienced a little bit of Zoom burnout. I'm spending so much time online. I think that people need to take a break from it and do in-person things. So I'm glad that this summer I was able to go into schools so we were able to dance outside the playground areas, or I was able to teach in Central Park or Prospect Park. Do some outdoor or public space events. But it hasn't been easy because now there are a lot of restrictions.

Carmen Carriker:

There are a lot of restrictions in New York and based on your status of vaccination, non-vaxxed, you know, it limits who you're able to access and then who feels comfortable going back into spaces. So even depending on whatever your status is there are people who are just would rather do online. And then there was others who are very happy to be back in all the public spaces. It's a... I guess I'm a person that goes with the flow and I follow my intuition. So if I feel that something is telling me, no, wait a little while longer, and then open up more opportunities then I do that. If I feel like, okay, let me hold back. Maybe we'll do hybrid for a while, maybe we'll come in, do some online, you know?

Vincent Ferguson:

Yes, yes.

Carmen Carriker:

And to see how things go until before winter season.

Vincent Ferguson:

Yes. So I would imagine, well, online will be around for a while.

Carmen Carriker:

I think that it is now a way of life for instructors and it is now a way of life for, I think it's convenient in a lot of ways save a lot of money as far as transportation. I'm someone that boots around a lot and I found that by being a online for two years and not having to ride the Metro and taking public transportation I saved tons of money.

Vincent Ferguson:

Yes.

Carmen Carriker:

And the stress of traveling and commuting and coming in contact with so many people because it's a busy city, there's so much going on that can be drained alone.

Vincent Ferguson:

Yes.

Carmen Carriker:

So I found that I was more at peace, just kind of being in my own space and that I still feel that, but I'm definitely love being connected with nature. So you will find me at the beach teaching or just experiencing yoga meditation for myself out in the open and sharing it online.

Vincent Ferguson:

Yes. Most definitely. And we will also be sharing you online because we are going to be doing some Six Week Fitness programs again. And you'll definitely be one of our preferred instructors, as long as you have the availability we want you.

Carmen Carriker:

I can help with that.

Vincent Ferguson:

Now, this is my podcast, my program is called Six Weeks to Fitness. Okay. It's a subsidiary of my Body Sculpt of New York nonprofit organization. But if you had six weeks to get fit, what exercise activities would you do or recommend people do to get in shape in six weeks?

Carmen Carriker:

Well, I would say at first, look at your diet and come up with a food plan. You might want to consider fasting diet. Start with a fast, it could be a seven day fast juice just to clean your body out, just to help. We a colon cleanse out everything now, before you start your six week journey, you want to start off fresh and clean. So your body is rejuvenated. So I would suggest do a juice fast. And if that's new to you, you can start easy. Maybe you just cut out your carbs, cut out the heavy foods, the process foods. Only eat lean meats if you're eating lean meats and just gradually increase that. But I think that you should have definitely include healthy eating in your program and which you start the six weeks, have a calendar and then set up, have a meal prep for each week.

Carmen Carriker:

And then analyze, maybe do measurements to see where you are at the beginning of your fitness journey, see where you are and be kind to yourself, but do those measurements. Get a measuring tape measure your arms, measure your weights, measure your thighs and record that and then set up work workouts for each parts of the body. I know that's what I do. So I have a leg day. I have a arm day. I have ab day. I have, you know? Total body workout day, and then I'll have a day of rest. A

Carmen Carriker:

nd then that continues on for the full workout. I'd say it's easy to also have a buddy, have a fitness buddy. Somebody that can hold you accountable. Somebody call and say, "Hey girl, are you still doing your workout? Did you do your 25 minutes today? Or did you do an hour? Did you work out today or I'm about to do these workouts?" All right. Let's do a challenge today. Let's do 10 pushup." You know, whatever. 40 today. Whatever the challenge is, but I think it does help to have someone or have a group. It could be an online group or a group of friends or co-workers that will support you, say, "Hey, this is what I'm doing. I'm going to be working out for six weeks. My goal is to lose five pounds." And maybe even have like a money pot. So for every person in your group that loses the five pounds, they get $10 or something like that, or you do a gift exchange or something in a sense for people to really not only yourself, I know I've done it with my family members like my brother.

Carmen Carriker:

We did it with a group of friends and I found that it helped me and it helped them because we sometimes we were so busy and it's easy to forget, oh, I was supposed to do this today. Oh. Or I forgot like, or, you know, you might have a cheat day. Okay. I really want to eat, I want to have cupcakes today or whatever it is that you love, I'm a sweet lover. So for me vegan treats or something that you might see me eating vegan ice cream. So we all have a day that we might cheat, but just know that if you have a group or you have goals that you set for yourself, you look back at that, look at the calendar, the agenda that you set out for the workout plan that helps you kind of stay on track.

Vincent Ferguson:

Most definitely. Awesome advice. I appreciate that. I'm sure my listeners and viewers will take some of that into consideration. I want to touch on very briefly, the fact that in addition to all this, you are also an actress. Have you been in any shows and what's the plan for acting going forward?

Carmen Carriker:

Well, this was the first year that I was invited to the Tribeca Film Festival. And because of the pandemic, the festival was online. I would've loved to been invited to be on the red carpet for my first film festival as a principal dancer. But it was online. It was a Zoom call and wow, it was an amazing experience. Tessa Thompson was the lead actress in the film that I was a part of trying to remember the name of it, that's crazy.

Vincent Ferguson:

Oh, so that happens.

Carmen Carriker:

But it was a great experience just to work, to shoot. We were still filming, of course during the pandemic there's COVID testing and all that they had to be done. It was shot in Bushwick in a church so it was nearby as far as filming and I was a swing dancer in the film and it was a club scene. So the movie took place... It kind of went from, it was based off of a book and it was about the relationship that these two women had, they were black women, but they could pass for white. So it was about the challenges they faced in Harlem, these two women who grew up together, but they separated had two separate lives. They met up again, one chose to marry a black man had kids, the other chose to marry a European and there were race issues. And what ultimately happened at the end is that the truth came out and it was [crosstalk 00:32:41]

Vincent Ferguson:

I can imagine.

Carmen Carriker:

I just thought of the name of the movie. The movie is called Passing. So if you go on, I think Tribeka Film Festivals site information about those movies, I'm not sure because of the pandemic a lot of those movies have not... I don't know if they are going to be released. But during the festival you pay for a ticket, then you can watch all the movies online from your home, which is convenient. But dancing, it was a 14-hour shoot for three days. A lot of dancing, a lot of swing dancing. It was me and the 10 dancers that were featured in the club scene. We're all friends, we all work together here in New York. So it really is about who you know, because the lead choreographer avid dancer someone that I know assists in choreographer, someone that I know is from Ailey as well. Many of the dancers in the cast are former Ailey dancers, or professional actors, black performers in New York.

Carmen Carriker:

It was such a great opportunity. It was a well-paid gig at a time when we didn't have much work at all. Shows and events have been canceled so to have a big job like that happened before things went haywire like they are now I give thanks for that. Yeah had an opportunity to work on the movie Passing before that I was working right before the pandemic, which I guess now it's been two years, I was working on the Mandela musical. So choreographer from South Africa, musicians from South Africa they chose six dancers for the project to just set choreography for the future opening of the musical. Of course, with all of this happening, there have been so many setbacks, but at least I was a part of the creative process. So we were learning Afro beats, a fusion of Afro beat dance, modern dance, house. So it was a fusion, very rhythmic movement. So I worked on that project for, I think it was like three weeks.

Vincent Ferguson:

Three weeks. Nice.

Carmen Carriker:

Yeah. And that was the in-person. That was an in-person project we rehearsed in the studio full band. Everyone was there. It was before all this happened. That was the last project I did that was in-person. Since then I worked on another project this year with a cast, Swing Out, and Swing Out is now at The Joyce. So there was an audition process, they were seeking about 20 or maybe 18 musicians, singers, tap and swing dancers to partner up with a cast member for a residency program. And the residency program was for four weeks and at the end of the residency you'll have learned music or you've learned choreography, and then you're able to present it. And this is something that I normally would be so busy that I wouldn't be able to be a part of the residency because it would mean I would have to take off for my job, but with everything that was going on, my schedule was open and I was able to work and work with really great musicians. Really great choreographers and dancers. So shout out to the cast of Swing Out for those who are going back into theaters and on Broadway.

Vincent Ferguson:

Yes, Broadway.

Carmen Carriker:

Be [inaudible 00:37:08] so I'm honored that I was able to work with them in an online performance setting.

Vincent Ferguson:

Yes, yes, yes, yes. But that's okay. You've done so much though, Carmen in your young life and I'm so impressed, but what advice, or what words of encouragement would you give to other aspiring dancers and fitness professionals who's trying to get to where you are? What advice would you give them today?

Carmen Carriker:

Well, I'd say discipline. Discipline, know your craft. There are a lot I would say people who look good on camera and they create all types of online content, but the conditioning it takes to perform and go on tour is a very different beast. So if you're choosing to be a performer, a professional who gets paid for doing what we do, longevity, if you want to still be performing, and have a career and say, "Hey, I've been on stage and I've performed everywhere and it's been 25 years and I'm, knock on wood, injury-free.

Vincent Ferguson:

Yes. Yes.

Carmen Carriker:

That's very important to say that I've danced and had a career this long and I haven't had any injuries. It's conditioned and training and listening to your body. Because we live in an environment where we're being pushed. You'll be pushed to the edge. People are going to push you to use your talents to the last little drop. But what has saved me is knowing my body and knowing my limits, knowing when I need to rest, knowing when I need to take a break and having good rapport communicating properly. Because in this world, in this industry, the connections that you make stay with you. So if you have a good reputation and you're nice to the people that you work with and people know that about you you'll get referred for jobs. If you have a bad rapport, meaning that you don't show up on time you don't have good habits. Maybe you smoke and drink on the job, or you do other types of things and I don't recommend that everyone has their choice of what they do, but when you are in a professional setting, always be professional and be yourself. Don't try to compare yourself to anyone else because there'll be people that have 10 times better than you. Then there'll be people who are still learning. So I say it's easy to look at celebrities and to look at people that you see and like, oh my God, I don't have the best social media content. I need to keep going. I need to look at what's necessary in order for you to reach the goals that you want.

Carmen Carriker:

Look at someone that you admire. I admire Camille Brown she is one of my peers, we're the same age and to see her growth and her development from Ailey dancer to this choreographer who is setting major work on all of the Broadway shows right now, her consistency and her beliefs and her vision and her branding, or her work, having her own and company and not allowing anyone to manipulate or change her work is why she is where she is. Her commitment to sharing the black experience through dance, her commitment to sharing and making sure our voices are heard as people of the diaspora is why she's doing Corey and Best, why she's doing all these different or that she's being called for the job.

Carmen Carriker:

And when you get into a position of power in the industry, keep the people in your life who support you the most with you, because you're going to need that support because if you go into an industry and you become famous and you don't have anyone around you to support you, you are vulnerable to all kinds of stuff, and you don't have people fighting for you. So I would use the people that I admire, who are very successful in the industry. You look at their assistant directors, you look at who their assistant dancers are they are people that they've been working with.

Carmen Carriker:

The same 10 people or five people that they known 10 years ago, or 20 years ago are on their team, on their board of advisors. So keep the people close to you. That's my advice because I know that I don't have a big company like that, but when I do have that kind of business and flow and opportunity, I'm going to definitely reach out to folks like you, of course, who have provided a platform for me to be on and many others that I've worked with so that we can grow and build together. Because that's what it really is about.

Vincent Ferguson:

Yes, Yes. 100%. Love that. Love it.

Carmen Carriker:

Just live your life.

Vincent Ferguson:

Yes. Live your life. I'm trying.

Carmen Carriker:

Don't be stressed out and if you are stressed out, tell people about it, meditate, pray, have a spiritual, whatever your spiritual beliefs are, stay grounded in that because that also helps you keep a clear mind, a clear focus and knowing what your purpose is in life is also important. If you don't know what it is figure that out. And that could be a lifelong journey. We're all trying to stay on the right track.

Vincent Ferguson:

Oh, most definitely. This has been so uplifting and rewarding for me. And I'm sure it will be for my listeners and viewers as well, but where can my listeners and viewers find out more about Carmen Carriker?

Carmen Carriker:

Well, you can find out about me, you can go to my website which is crownsoulyoga.com. You can find me I have a YouTube channel at Carmen Kemetic Yoga and I'm on Facebook as Carmen Carriker. I'm on Instagram as crown soul fashionista or Cecil Kemetic Arts. But you can just look up my name, Carmen Carriker and Google Search me. I'm available, you'll see my businesses and you'll see my classes. And I'm open to working with everyone and helping us to live a more healthy, happy life.

Vincent Ferguson:

Yes, most definitely. Carmen Carriker on behalf of Body Sculpt of New York and Six Weeks to Fitness, I truly want to thank you for coming on my show today.

Carmen Carriker:

Thank you so much for having me.

Vincent Ferguson:

And to my listening and viewing audience, I truly hope this program was informative, encouraging, and, inspiring and that you will continue listening in and watching our Six Weeks to Fitness program. And if you have any questions or suggestions for the show, please leave them in the comment section below and don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss any future episodes. And remember, let's Get Ready, Get Set, and let's Get Fit!

Direct download: Episode_175_Carmen_Carriker.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:18pm EST

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