Bonnie Hotman-Pehl, 34, has two dream jobs - being a full-time mom to her two young children, and owning her own business.
Her dance studio, Artistic Dance Concepts, 1828 East Southeast Loop 323, is a second home for her two children, who share Mrs. Pehl's same passion for performing.
"I teach around 20 classes, and I do alot of private classes on the weekends as well," Mrs. Pehl said. "I was 2 years old when I started dancing, and I just never stopped."
Mrs. Hotman-Pehl said God blessed her with the ability to tell stories and bring awareness to important issues through dance choreography. She has choreographed dances for multiple social issues, such as bullying, doubting one's faith and racism. One of her next big choreography projects will feature a dance promoting awareness on body image issues, which she feels affects a large portion of youth and young adults.
"I honestly think that it's a God-given thing, and I think that God blesses us with talents that He's going to use for his good, and I think that this was how He decided to use me," Mrs. Hotman-Pehl said. "I like to tackle things that nobody else is talking about."
One of Mrs. Hotman-Pehl's dances - a choreographed piece on human trafficking - recently garnered mass attention when it was posted to YouTube and within two days, received nearly 3,000 views.
Mrs. Hotman-Pehl said the video titled "Trafficking" was inspired by her own passion to promote awareness on this cause. After being directed to Chip Hale, a local videographer based out of Kilgore, the video process began.
"The average age is 12 to 14 years of age, which is younger than my girls, who are in this piece," Mrs. Hotman-Pehl said. "Here in East Texas, because we are an interstate town - along with Longview and Lindale - we have a higher rate of it," Mrs. Hotman-Pehl said. "I think people here especially in Tyler feel like we are in our own little bubble and that we are all safe; they don't realize that it's in our own backyard."
The trafficking dance video was shot in an empty building that currently is under renovation to become a safe home for women and girls who are runaways or are involved in trafficking and are seeking a way out. The organization - Rahab's Retreat - will be run by a former victim of trafficking.
"The building made for the creepiest warehouse, just stale and old," Mrs. Hotman-Pehl said. "If you were to think about women who had been abducted, and who were being housed, I think just walking in the place you would know this could be that place."
DANCE PERFORMANCE FOR A CAUSE
Bonnie Hotman-Pehl's professional dance company, "The Collective," will host a show at Liberty Hall, 103 W Erwin Street in Tyler, date to be determined. Tickets are $40 each and can be purchased online at www.artisticdanceconcepts.com or by emailing Bonnie Hotman-Pehl at Bonnie@artisticdanceconcepts.com. Mrs. Hotman-Pehl said the proceeds will go toward local sex trafficking organizations such as Rahab's Retreat and For the Silent. During last year's event for The Collective, they raised nearly $11,000.00 for a family battling cancer.
"Basically instead of buying a ticket to the show, you're actually making a $40.00 donation to the cause- we are hoping to raise even more this year," said Mrs. Hotman-Pehl. "I know it's just a drop in the bucket but we want to help people who are trying to help and give back too."
Link to Mrs. Hotman-Pehl video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeh0hVV5BA8