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Emily Istre has experienced an artistic life blessed with adventure, travel, and now, the opportunity to encourage and inspire the region’s music community. In this episode of Discover Lafayette, Emily shares her journey of moving from Crowley to Las Vegas and her touching realization that success wasn’t truly meaningful if not shared with family in her beloved South Louisiana. She now takes her passionate drive for performing and promotes local songwriters by providing them a quiet and respectful space to perform and tell their stories at the Listening Room at The Pearl in Lafayette.
Emily Istre grew up in Crowley in a musical family that always supported her love of dance. From the time she took her first dance class at three years old, she knew she had found her passion. After attending UL – Lafayette, Emily moved to Las Vegas when she was 23, not knowing a soul or having a job lined up. Her family has supported her every step of the way.
After an entry-level job in Vegas, Emily was hired to dance with the renowned Pussycat Dolls, and eventually helped run the girl group and dance ensemble, and served as their lead singer for a while. She also performed as Dance Captain for the Las Vegas show put on by English singer-songwriter Matt Goss.
Emily has performed as Cleopatra for Caesars Palace and appeared on the Oprah show in Chicago with Celine Dion to announce her new show at The Colosseum. She’s danced on The Billboard Awards twice and performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London twice. Through the adventure, she soaked up every minute of it. Meditation and quiet contemplation about the enormity of her experiences kept her grounded and appreciative of each and every experience.
In 2012, Emily realized that family was important and she yearned to return home to Acadiana. She moved close, to New Orleans, where she created a small production company, acted on NCIS New Orleans for a couple of seasons, and worked as a makeup artist and dance teacher.
“My goal is to encourage and inspire our amazing music community. We are so blessed to have such a vast and impressive talent pool. I want them to know how valuable they are to our community and culture. I just want them to feel supported.”
In October 2017, Emily moved to Lafayette where she has gotten very involved in the music scene. She has started a songwriter series called The Listening Room at The Pearl that showcases songwriters in a respectful quiet space where they can share their songs and tell their stories. She is also a dance teacher for Basin Arts, teaches gymnastics to little ones, and provides elder care.
Emily’s goal is to help make Lafayette a sustainable place to live for our creatives. I want to thank Taylor Marie Swift for being a part of this podcast and for bringing Emily Istre to my attention. Emily promoted Taylor’s art at a showing and brought the same level of respect and encouragement to the event participants that she brings to the musical community. Thank you, Emily, for lifting up others with burgeoning talent by sharing your heart and soul.