This page is a collection of comments from amazing, beautiful people who have taken or observed Tamara's class/TAMJAMS events and want to share their experience.
PROFOUND DANCE COMMENT HIGHLIGHTS:
I have been profoundly influenced and transformed physically and
emotionally by working and living Tamara's program. The knowledge I have
gained has helped me create healthy eating habits that are now second nature
and allow me to be successful anytime and anywhere. What has made my
experience with Tamara lead me to create a loving, healthy, positive
lifestyle was the focus on flipping my negative internal dialog and core
beliefs and replacing them with positive ones. It was deep, hard work that
has improved my life dramatically. The very best part of Tamara's approach
is that it is based around dance. It feeds my soul and Tamara's positive
energy, wonderful choreography for all levels of dancers (and dancers at
heart) shines through and touches us all. The other benefit of her approach
is that I have been able to attain fantastic physical results as well. I
have developed long, lean, cut muscles and my cardio endurance has increased
greatly so I can dance my heart out! Tamara's love and devotion to her
students, fellow humans and dance radiates from her and elevates those
around her. Love you Tamara! Thank you.
- Shokai, FLiP: Start With Happy Intensives at TAMJAMS. Dance & Fitness.
I feel profoundly blessed to have received a gym membership for my first year ever going to a gym from my mother a couple years ago and finding Tam Jams! It was after my last baby, when I needed nurturing time for me. It has changed many things for me especially my love of life. I am hooked by the love, expression, and healing offered with each class. We've laughed and cried to songs as we have given it our all to dancing. We truly put it all on the dance floor! Tamara's expertise is so amazing and has helped my posture, frame, and confidence as we work on our "dancer's body". Her stretching and floor work is what I call delicious as we lengthen everywhere in our bodies through dance. Her dance instruction and that loving who you are outlook has helped me find more inner strength to handle daily life, passing of loved ones, divorce, remarriage, and raising 5 children. Her "flip it" philosophy helps us turn our mindsets to positive thoughts and to always be improving. I love her infectious smile and the love she shares with us everytime we dance together in class. It is a lifetime love now that I never plan to give up as it raises me to a new level of being when I participate in this form of expression. I danced growing up in my younger years until 12 and some in college/community classes but never has there been an inspirational teacher come along who makes class feel like family until Tamara. Thanks for all you are & do!
- Lisa, FLiP: Start With Happy Intensives at TAMJAMS. Dance & Fitness Classes.
Our daughter Maren has been dancing at Robin’s for five years and this is her first year as a competing company dancer and therefore her first year with the whole TAMJAMS experience. She loved it! As we were running to the car (before we froze our booties off) she asked me what I thought of the production number and I told her I loved it and thought it was beautiful and that she did a great job. Once we were in the car she turns to me and very intensely says “yes, but did you FEEL it”. I was very impressed that she came away with this and was quite impressed with the experience as a whole! I have always told Maren she needs to dance just because she loves it and I am grateful that you and your instructors seem to have reinforced that. I appreciated the beautiful choreography and the new skills she learned, but as a mom, I appreciated your positive and realistic attitudes about dance much more. And to answer Maren’s question did I “feel” it…yes, I had to swallow hard and maybe blink repeatedly at times during the production number. (That’s about as much as my stoic midwestern roots allow.) It was good to see their instructor do the same. :) Thanks for all you do!
- Shannon, Dance Parent. Experienced TAMJAMS National Conventions
Never before have I been asked to embody Jazz technique in such a deep, emotional, and vulnerable level. I am so happy Tamara gave us the opportunity to express and grow in Jazz, both in physical and mental harmony. I absolutely loved and found it most beneficial that we religiously stuck to a cardio/static stretching warm-up routine at the beginning of every class; Tamara is one of the very few professors I take dance under that cares about improving the muscles required to execute the advancing technique. Tamara's emphasis and insight on Jazz in the professional world was very helpful in learning how to tailor our practice to better prepare ourselves for auditions, performance, TV commercials, and alike. I truly feel like I would not be at a confident place with my future in dance if it was not for Tamara's class. I am so grateful for her teachings, that I made it a must that I continue taking her classes next semester.
- Madeline, Student at University of Utah Int. Jazz class
I first met Tamara when I was a young 13 year old girl. She
started teaching at Tracey's Dance Academy, and without knowing she was
about to change our young naive lives forever. She taught us so much more
than just technique. She taught us how to express our emotions and FEEL the
music. She taught me passion.
Skip forward 20+ years and after baby #2, my husband instructed me to find
something that would make me happy. Apparently he knew I was missing
something. That very next day, I found Tamara. Little did I know she was
right next door and about to change my life once again. I am still being
taught that same passion as an adult and I am incredibly blessed to be able
to spend my mornings with new friends and new opportunity at the TAMJAMS
- Kami, TAMJAMS Life-long student, faculty & friend.
SO I MARRIED A DANCER
All I knew of dance was that in high school, dancers were the cute sexy
chicks. I never thought I’d ever be blessed to marry one, or that one
would ever love me. I didn’t understand dance as an art form. It was just
entertainment. I didn’t understand the complexity of a pas de bourre, a
chaine, a jette, or a pirouette. Fast forward to 1982, when I met and fell
in love with Heidi. I found out she was a dancer. I thought certainly 20
year old girls had retired from dancing. She was dancing professionally, and
I being the chauvinist I was, sitting next to her parents at a show, said,
“Once we’re married, this is going to stop.” They both looked me
square in the eye and said, “If you don’t want her to dance, do her a
favor and don’t marry her. It’s a big part of who she is. It’s not
just something she does.” I back-pedaled like crazy, but I still didn’t
understand. I’d played football in high school. It made me agile, mobile
and hostile. But when it was over, it was over. I looked at dance as the
same thing. But the more I got to appreciate Heidi’s amazing talent,
slowly but surely, I started appreciating her gift and the soul-enlightening
process of dance. At first, when I watched her face when she performed
on-stage, and her amazing smile, I have to admit I was a little jealous, and
asked her if she loved me as much as she loved dance – a question I
thought surely I knew the answer to – and it was “no”. She responded
that I was comparing apples and oranges – two completely different things.
Again, I didn’t understand what that meant. Being a guy, I had very linear
thinking. You work, come home, hang out with your wife, go to sleep, wake
up, repeat. Since my eyes have been opened to the amazing blessing and value
of dance in Heidi’s life as well as mine, I’ve found that the investment
in every way has paid off immeasurably. I can always tell if she hasn’t
been able to make it to dance – she isn’t grumpy or anything, there’s
just not the same light in her eyes. I’ve actually learned about myself
through dance. I’ve learned I need something more than work to make me a
better husband and father.
As I immerse myself in Heidi’s dance life, I can now appreciate every
chaine, pas de bourre, jette, and pirouette – I even know what jazz hands
are! Sure, I can see what she is doing mechanically, but most importantly, I
have truly come to appreciate how she is feeding her soul, and defining
herself in so many ways. I now love watching her shine when she dances.
Surprisingly, I realized the time she spends dancing enriches our marriage,
it enriches our family life. When Heidi dances, she is simply able to give
her life and the life we share together, well – more.
Recently, I joined her in a dance class at Tamara's TamJams studio in
Draper. I decided that if I was gonna do it, I was really gonna commit,
throw caution and ego to the wind and let my artsy bad self out! My favorite
part was the freestyle (I have patented my own move called the
“AirBrad”). I watched Heidi as much as my neck would allow. Watching
from the audience is a much different experience than actually sharing the
space with her. It was a bonding experience for me to truly immerse myself
in something she loves so much. I never felt judged, embarrassed or
evaluated while I was there. It was a safe place for a 54-year-old
unflexible but fun-loving guy (FYI the next morning, I found I had muscles
in new places that had lain dormant since dinosaurs walked the earth). At
the end of class, we stretched to a song called “Marry Me”. I love Heidi
with my entire heart. I love living with her, being with her, and it’s an
honor to be able to love her. That song speaks so clearly about the depth of
love and respect I have for my wonderful wife. So having only endured dance
for five years, but then finally immersing and valuing dance for 26 years, I
would highly recommend investing in whatever good things your wife loves and
wants to share with you. Because the return on that investment is one of the
most enriching and rewarding things you could possibly do for yourself and
So I married a dancer. And I’m so glad I did.
- Brad, takes TAMJAMS Studio and Couples classes.
Tamara is such an amazing teacher! Every time she teaches
choreography she doesn't just teach choreography... She teaches a whole new
way to express yourself and a whole new way to see yourself as the person
you are dancing as. She hasn't just taught me about dance either... Tamara
is my inspiration to become a better person than I am today. I want to be a
person like Tamara to inspire others to be just like her. I love taking
classes from her every year because I always learn one more thing than
choreography from her. And I hope to take many more classes and to work with
her later in the future.
-Callie, Student. Experienced TAMJAMS National Conventions
I first started dancing with Tamara when we were kids... Mostly in
our bedrooms in front of the mirror. Little did I know then what an amazing
opportunity I had at the time to be dancing with one of the true and great
artists to live and breath dance from every ounce of their soul. Even from
those simple moments she sparked something in me that I never felt
before...something that I may not have had the courage to find on my own.
From there I started dancing at her Mom's studio with her as my teacher,
mentor and friend. Tamara has always been one to stand out exceedingly above
so many. Not because she wanted the spotlight ... But because the spotlight
could not help but be drawn to her beauty and effortless expression of
dance. I still remember a solo that she dedicated to her mother and watching
her come alive and just breath the music through her soul on that stage. It
was breathtaking. Tamara has something that takes your breath away when she
dances. And when she teaches she only aches to give a part of that to
everyone who is ready to take it. I've had the amazing opportunity to not
only have her as a teacher as a child but also as an adult... And in so many
more ways than just dance. Tamara LIVES LOVES LAUGHS and BREATHES dance. She
has since the day I was blessed to meet her. I feel that she dances more to
bring joy to others...than just for herself. The fact that it fills her with
as much joy is only a plus. There are no words to describe her dedication,
her strength, her love, her courage, her PURE TALENT! DANCE...just dance.
She is an inspiration to all of us... And always with a smile from her
entire being. Love you dear friend... <3
- Natalie, TAMJAMS studio classes and long-life friend
As a mom I am always more thankful for taking the time to have my
daughter take a class where she really learns something. This past weekend,
even though she is still only considered a "mini" or junior dancer she
expressed great appreciation for the techniques she learned but also really
fell in love with profound dancing. She said it was such a warm feeling to
connect their feelings as dancers to tell a story which when performed
caught her off guard because of the emotion it stirred with the audience.
Thanks Tamara for inspiring a 12 year old.
-Anne, Dance Parent. Experienced TAMJAMS National Conventions
There are teachers who inspire your day and there are teachers who
change your life! Teacher. Yes, this is where the influence began. However,
the label of teacher no longer fit the day Tamara taught me a valuable
lesson…A lesson that resonated within my 13 year old developing mind; a
mind that needed love, guidance, encouragement, boundaries, expectations,
inspiration, and most importantly courage! Courage to be me…I definitely
didn’t have the courage to trust in my unique beauty at this point in my
life. However, this first lesson laid the foundation. It was a lesson in
resilience, strength, and forward momentum. It was a lesson about the
monumental difference between disappointment and devastation. Some may think
monumental is a heavy word for this difference. However, it hits me with
complete appropriateness…For me it is the difference between acceptance of
what is…learning from what is…and gaining increased insight and deep
peace in the truth. The truth that I remain the sole creator of my destiny.
The other option, devastation, is not an option at all. At least, this is
what I heard on this late night at Tracy’s Dance Academy surrounded by my
nearest and dearest friends of all time. Devastation would lead to something
completely different…To me, allowing the presence of devastation meant
buying into a sneaky and untrue negative core belief of “trust me,
you’re not good enough”. To me, buying into devastation was a complete
distortion of the truth. The truth that I am a magnificent human being, on
an ineffably beautiful living planet, in the middle of the universe…I
know, maybe too metaphysical for some. However, this first lesson kept me
grounded in this profoundly life altering truth. I am the creator of my
destiny. I am the spirit who decides what I learn from and how daring I am
to allow humility in my life as a means for endless growth. I am the
individual who has a choice each day in how I greet a fellow being. Do I
acknowledge and allow their unique history to resonate with me in empathic
understanding or do I judge them. Do I honor this same compassion for
myself? Do I look another individual in the eye and say are you my brother,
my sister, my friend? We breathe the same air. I suppose you are… Writing
this I realize there is so much more to say. However, for now, I will leave
it at this…Tamara was first a teacher, then an admiration, then a mentor,
then a friend, and now an equal. Oh my! I feel I am leaving so much of the
learning and growth out of this brief expression…so many more moments of
support, guidance, trust, and lessons learned. However, the overarching
message I have learned is this…I am no less…I am no greater…I am an
equal…I am an amazing human being, on this fantastically enjoyable and
tremendously painful duality of existence we call life on earth…Who would
have guessed? This lesson all began in a dance studio, with a teacher who
simply planned her day…A day she shared with us…a lesson she shared with
us…A lesson that will last a life time…A lesson I will pass on to my
child, to my students, to the individuals I work with each day. Tamara,
please never underestimate the love and appreciation I have for you. Some
say if you make a difference in one person’s life, your life has meaning.
I say…when you make a difference in one persons life you influence
generations to come…HOW FANTASTIC IS THAT!
- Michelle B., TAMJAMS Life-long student, faculty and dear friend.
Of the many incredible experiences a dancer encounters in Tamara Squires’s classes, the most captivating and inspiring are the lessons of movement quality. Without ever slighting the importance of technical mastery, Tamara ensures that the origin of movement comes from something much deeper than the context of the physical body. In doing so, she opens dancers to the possibility of refining human passion within the art form she so clearly loves.
In her classes, I have found new movement vocabularies to explore, most of which I was previously unaware. The environment she creates with her teaching provides the safety I need to experiment; she has an understanding of artistic expression and its limitlessness, which allows my most authentic attempts to discover what works for me as a dancer—as an ever-growing artist of movement.
Moreover, Tamara’s unique ability to encourage growth in each and every one of her students sets her apart from many of her fellow educators. Unafraid to put every ounce of her being into her teaching, she demonstrates the essence of absolute love for her art—a rare and invaluable quality—making her students among the most fortunate in the field today.
Sara R., Student University of Utah - Jazz Dance Class
I am writing to give my highest endorsement of Tamara Squires . I
have known Tamara for more than 30 years, and can assure you that she is one
of the most amazing individuals I have the pleasure of knowing.
Tamara is in her seventh year of teaching at the University, and I can
honestly say, she is a gift to this institution and to our students.
Tamara has implemented an incredible curriculum for jazz students at the
University of Utah. She has worked hard to create a program that is rich in
technical training, as well as in preparation for the realities of
professional networking and auditioning. She has created the Live to D