LOS ANGELES - Actress/choreographer/businesswoman Christy Curtis Buss is known for her choreographical work on NBC's long-running soap opera "Days of Our Lives" and for her famed dance school in the City of Angels. As the former wife of Johnny Buss, son of the late Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss, Christy Buss is also known as much for turning out some of the best young dancers in the area as for her association with the Buss family.
Today, Christy Buss is celebrating the 20th anniversary of her dance school by reminiscing about her early days as a young dancer and the road that led her to Hollywood and the creation of her iconic dance studio, The Studio Art of Dance in El Segundo, located just 20 minutes from Downtown Los Angeles and Staples Center, home of the Lakers.
Having gone from a young ballet dancer and actress to cheerleader for the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Clippers, Christy Buss is today happier than ever helping children realize their dance dreams. As an entrepreneur, philanthropist and a renowned choreographer, Buss shares her thoughts on her life and career.
Question: You're celebrating the 20th anniversary of your dance school. How did you get it started and did you think back then that you would still be involved with it after all these years?
Answer: I never thought that it would be around after all of these years, I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished with my studio. I started it in a small room at Manhattan Beach Woman’s Club with two students in 1989. It took time, but it has grown into a great program that has seen students go from 3 years old to college graduation and beyond. Starting the Studio has really been an amazing experience.
Q: Where are you from originally and how were you introduced into dancing?
A: I am originally from St. Louis, Missouri. As a child my mother owned a dance studio so I’ve grown up dancing.
Q: Was it an easy transition into dancing?
A: Since my mom owned the studio, I’ve always danced. I never had to get acclimated or transition into it since I’ve always done it.
Q: What was it like growing up in a family of dancers?
A: It was great, looking up to my mom is what really inspired me to keep dance in my life. Dancing always makes me think of home and family. It really kept me close to my siblings, disciplined and hard working.
Q: What did you study besides dance? Where there any other subjects that excited you?
A: Business in college. Sports was not subject, but i love the business of sports as well.
Q: How did you end up coming to Los Angeles? Was it a culture shock for you?
A: I won a competition on the ABC Special "All American Girl." I received two TV contracts and thats what got the ball rollin. No culture shock. I knew what Iwanted and LA was it.
Q: You became an actress and traveled the world with Bob Hope's USO shows. How did you meet him and what was he like?
A: Through the L.A. Rams' USO tours. He was an amazing talented humble human being. I loved being in his presence.
Q: Tell me about how you became a Rams Cheerleader and a Clippers Cheerleader. What led you pursue becoming a pro cheerleader?
A: I was dancing at Knotts Berry Farm theme park [near L.A.]. The first tryout had a thousand girls, but somehow I made the cut. It was five years of cheerleading after that. There were a lot of shows, games and tours so I feel blessed. I was later asked to join Clippers dance squad and that was a great experience to choreograph as well as be a dance captain. I have always loved sports and I was really lucky to be able to combine my love of sports and entertainment.
Q: How did you meet Johnny Buss? Did you know from the beginning that you would marry him someday?
A: Through a friend who was a dancer on Clippers she had also danced with the Laker girls. She couldn't wait for me to me to be with Johnny. It was quick 3 months he proposed!
Q: You've been involved with "Days of Our Lives" as choreographer for over 20 years. How did you get involved in the show?
A: I had read for many small roles as well as Hope on the show. But with my resume and dance background they called me one day asking if I could be there in an hour. The rest is history.
Q: Today, you're back pursuing acting and modeling. What made you take on those challenges?
A: Passion for all I do. I love to be creative and getting older takes you realize how to recreate yourself. That's exciting and challenging at the same time.
Q: You're still a part of the Lakers family. Do you miss Dr. Buss and the success he brought to the team for so many years?
A: Dr. Buss was the most amazing man. His generosity, his passion for the arts and traveling as well as his love for the Lakers was priceless. I miss him dearly.
For more on Christy Curtis Buss, please visit christycurtisbuss.weebly.com.