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How I Got Here

Capitol Records - Paul McCartney and his famous bass guitar with us lucky

staffers (me second from right)

Throughout your life, you may get signs along the way that let you know, you are walking down the path that is right for you. You could say that happened to me.

When I was a little girl I knew every song on the radio by heart. I wouldn’t sing much, but I learned every dance I could from the teenagers who did swing, jitterbug and be-bop. My mother would send me to our recreation center to take free ballroom classes. I absolutely loved learning how to cha-cha and do the waltz, to add to the other dances.

My love for music and dance never waned. To me, there is no world without either one of these. I was blessed to be able to learn how to write well from fabulous teachers in high school, giving me the ability to communicate with others who share my passion for dance and music.

I spent decades working in the music business and the film business too. I often refer to Capitol Records as my ‘home away from home.’ The record business was amazing in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, and I learned how to work in many different departments of a record company. I am sharing some of my artist photos with you. Throughout my career, I met many famous recording artists and actors. That was fun, for sure, but for me, it was always about the music!

I became a published and recorded songwriter myself, and earned gold records. Songwriting, especially writing lyrics is a special skill and I reflect on how my love of music and songs led me there. I have had other jobs in my life, as twists and turns in life occur. I am happy to say, right at this moment, “I am right where I need to be.”

Enter, Marilyn (Winkie) Fordney. One day, while I was working as a sales girl in a clothing store, I met this charming lady. For some reason, I kind of got this vibe to engage this lady in conversation. I asked her about what she did and when I heard the magic word dance in her conversation, my ears perked up. I felt like I already knew this lady and even guessed the date of her birthday, really! I also asked her (for whatever reason) if she had any jobs available, and she said she needed a blogger for her dance organization. I said to myself, what’s a blogger? When I assumed that it had to do with writing and dance, I asked her if she would consider me. Winkie gave me an assignment which I completed and presented to her. So, here I am, I’ve been the Media Specialist for Fordney Foundation since 2013.

Capitol Records - Tina Turner and me when Tina dropped by to visit

The association with Marilyn (Winkie) Fordney, founder of Fordney Foundation, and her husband, Alex Havasi, the founder of Havasi Wilderness Foundation, has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. I have learned new writing skills and gained more confidence as a writer. It’s a pleasure to work with people who give back. Winkie and Alex are creative people who share their passions. So many young boys and girls get opportunities to dance and become aware of the beauty of nature through both of these non-profit organizations.

There is one more piece of my career that probably would never have happened without my association with Fordney Foundation. Alex one day gave me a compliment that I took to heart. He said, “You don’t even know what a good writer you are.” That got me thinking, what is it that I need to do that I’m not doing?

Of course, I needed to write a book! I am now an author. Writing a book is the perfect culmination of my love of music, dance, songs and living a good life. I share this quick video that represents my book, Essential Outtakes by Frieda People.

See if you can link the threads of your life as close to your passion as possible. What could be better than doing what you love to do!

**We have received contributions from individuals who would like to have a dear relative or friend who passed on remembered that loved to dance or was a dance aficionado. We call these memorial contributions. Perhaps you would like to have someone memorialized in this manner. Make a donation and give us their name. We will soon put on our website a yellow brick road to add their name to a brick as a memorial to that person. This contribution will assist future generations of dancers and help keep young people more positive and healthy.

Thought Of The Week:

“Your dreams are life’s inspiration” – Frieda People





Shane Meuwissen is the Media Specialist for Fordney Foundation.  He is a former dance instructor who know works with his company Slow Motion Dance Videos capture the beauty of dancing. If you would like to learn more about Shane and his video work, visit his website

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