On the Road with Carla Catherwood

by Emma Hackwood

We have a lot of great clients that travel for pretty cool reasons, which is why we’ve started our On the Road Series where we get to sit down with them between their travels to talk about the cool projects they are working on, and hopefully inspire you in the process. This month, we’d like to introduce you to Carla Catherwood.

Carla is a well known Choreographer and Producer who has worked with many top artists around the globe and is also the creator of Nuvo-Burlesque Dance and the Army of Sass Performance and Training Group. Nuvo-Burlesque is not only a dance style and a lifestyle, but it is a feminine movement that is taking over North America. Carla’s program runs in five locations across Canada and she’s constantly on the move keeping an eye on the hundreds of women in the program.  She has been working with our Travel Consultant Vanessa Young who helps take care of all her travel needs so she can spend more time concentrating on other things.

Vanessa is a dream to deal with! Since I’m on the fly so much she keeps my bookings tight and organized and the prices right!  -Carla Catherwood

She is truly an amazing woman leaving her “high heeled” footprint around the globe and we were excited to have a chance to sit down and pick her brain. With that, we give you 10 questions on the road with Carla Catherwood:


What inspired you to start Nuvo-Burlesque Dance and the Army of Sass?

I started Nuvo-Burlesque Dance almost 10 years ago and it was inspired by a 2 min snippet of the Pussy Cat Dolls on Much Music from when they were a dance review in L.A. at the Viper Room and thought… well I want to do that! So I did! It all started as a female dance troupe with me and my best friends in Vancouver and then naturally evolved into classes for the everyday woman. And since i’ve been teaching dance since I was 13 years old it was a natural progression.

Army of Sass was started after I was in a car accident and tore all of the muscles in my ribs the day before I officially moved to Toronto. My mother actually gave me the advice to start a performance and training group and to put the trainee’s in my production shows I was already producing. I thought… sure why not! It turned out to be the best decision that I ever make. The program and classes I have now across the country wouldn’t have been there had I not started the Army of Sass! I guess you can say i’m grateful for that car accident. Everything happens for a reason!


Your motto is High Heels, High Hopes. What are you hoping to achieve with this message?

The message through HIGH HEES HIGH HOPES is simply to keep your head high, heels higher and your standards to the top! If we don’t love, appreciate or take care of ourselves, who else is going to do it?! It really is about self love and acceptance.


What’s the biggest misconception about Nuvo-Burlesque?

That there is stripping and nipple tassels involved! Ladies there is NO NUDITY at all involved with Nuvo-Burlesque Dance! It’s a classy and sassy jazz, street-jazz and cabaret jazz style that is taught by professionally trained dancers. Our motto is to Be Classy. Be Confident. Be YOURSELF!


You travel quite a bit for work, which city do you wish you could spend more time in?

Out of all of the cities I travel to for work I would say Vancouver. It’s where I’m from and my family is from there. Not to mention they don’t have winters like the one we are having here in Toronto!


How do you balance all the travel with family/personal time?

I’m learning to say no to things and not feel bad about it. I’m also learning to have patience with the timing of certain projects. Just because I have a good idea doesn’t mean it’s a a good time for me to see it through. Sometimes you just need to bank them and pull them out when you’re good and ready!

Carla in costa rica

What 3 things can’t you live without when you travel?

– My “Lady Danger Lipstick” from MAC
– Chanel Perfume
– My high heels of course!


What’s your favourite vacation destination and why?

Oooohhh there’s so many! I’m a big fan of Cuba. It’s beyond affordable, friendly and the beaches are… AMAZING!


Serious question: Window or aisle seat?

Window. I want to see it ALL!


What travel destination is at the top of your bucket list right now?

South of France 🙂


What tips would you offer an Entrepreneur looking to grow their business nationally?

1. Start with a master plan and make it detailed!
2. What are your values? Bottom lines?
3. What kind of impact do you want to make socially? Globally? Economically?
4. Re-visit your business plan once a year (it always changes, even if it’s just slightly)
5. Get a good bookkeeper and accountant (keep your money tight and right!)
6. Figure out what you can do and what you can’t do to help build your business, then outsource everything that overwelhmes you
7. Get a good assistant or intern
8. Everything happens one step at a time… patience is everything.


A big thank you to Carla for taking the time to chat with us. We’re honoured to be part of your journey and look forward to planning and following many more of your adventures! 


For more information about Carla’s program, visit: www.nuvoburlesque.com