The Dancing Accountant
Jenny Duffy, BCom’04, has a good head for business and a passion for dancing. She’s combined both skills into a career she loves.
My name is Jenny Duffy and I am probably Vancouver’s only dancing accountant. I sort of have a dual life. I work as a professional accountant – I’m a CPA. I’m also a dance professional, so I teach dance and choreograph. And I also got hired, two years ago now, to work with the BC Lions team. My path was, when I was trying to become an accountant, I was actually cheerleading for the BC Lions. I would often be leaving the office in my suit, and then underneath my suit I would have my uniform on, and I would be driving madly to get on the field and shake my pom-poms.
I’ve always danced. I’ve danced since I was four. It’s like there’s a compelling force in your heart that just makes you jump out of bed in the morning. It’s like a force of nature. So I guess what I’m saying is “I didn’t really have a choice.”
There was a period of time where I was afraid that people would find out. For example, if I was sitting with a client, advising them on their taxes for the year, they may have concerns, they might worry that this person is not competent. There came a point where I realized that it’s not either-or. You can be a great dancer and a great artist, and you can have a great mind. So for me it was realizing that, well, OK, I’ve always had something odd about me, this dichotomy, this unique skill-set…I better get busy doing something about it. And that’s when I decided to use my business training and create Jenny Duffy Dance Services.
The trademark style that I’m known for is called “sexy street jazz.” On the surface it looks like I just teach them some sexy dance choreography, but actually, beyond that, there’s a lot of work going on. The women that come to my class are often there for a reason and I ask them. I say, “Think about the reason that you’re here today. Take ownership of your body, because there are so many mixed messages in media, culture and business. So in the studio, this is our safe space. You can move your body however you want.” And it’s just dancing. They develop that self-confidence – which is awesome – which is why I like what I do. Actually I love what I do.
When you’re moving, jumping and sweating, and the adrenaline is pumping and you’re smiling – that’s a really great feeling. And that’s an experience that I wish for everyone to have in their lives.