Busy Entrepreneur says ‘Dancing’ Appearance was on her Secret Bucket List
Recently, Lighthouse teamed with Honey Space for Moms, a three-year-old business in Ferndale, to raise funds to bring its support services to women in our PATH program, which helps women recovering from homelessness or domestic violence (you can donate to the effort here).
The partnership traces its genesis to Lighthouse employee Angela Gill, who is a client at Honey, a clubhouse and co-working space that provides programming including prenatal yoga, breastfeeding support and toddler art classes for new and expecting mothers.
During a meeting to hash out details of the partnership, Lighthouse CEO Ryan Hertz asked Honey’s founder, Brooke Miller, if she’d like to be a contestant in the Dancing with the Detroit Stars and the rest is history. Brooke will be among the dancers at the fundraiser gala Saturday, Nov. 16 at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham.
“I danced in high school and college,” Miller says. “Never competitive and never ballroom style. I think that dancing again on a stage has been on my secret bucket list. But as a 39-year-old woman, I certainly didn’t think it was in the cards.”
Miller will be performing a mix of Latin dance styles, with a costume that projects themes of motherhood and being a strong woman.
“I’m really excited about that,” she says. “It’s been really fun.”
Miller, who lives in Berkley with her family, has two daughters, ages 5 and 7. Originally from the Detroit area, she grew up outside of Chicago, then left to attend college at the University of Southern California, later obtaining her master’s in counseling psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute near Santa Barbara. Miller also lived in the Bay Area for about 13 years.
She worked as a therapist, but shifted her focus to the media, writing advice and other kinds of columns, including one called Soapbox Therapy, which examined mental health through the lens of pop culture. She also did a lot of radio and TV appearances, and was on a few episodes of the Ricki Lake Show during the show’s final season.
Miller moved back to the Detroit area five years ago after her husband, also a Detroit native, was offered a position here. She was pregnant with their second daughter at the time, and the couple viewed the move home as a good one for raising their family.
Yet Miller says she started thinking about the kind of resources that Honey offers as soon as she got back — mostly because no one offered them. Honey describes itself as “an emotionally intelligent workspace with onsite childcare and mental wellness services.”
“Becoming a parent is really hard and you don’t realize ‘til you’re in it,” she says. “Because you’re in it, it’s really challenging to find the resources that you need because you don’t realize what you need.”
She initially opened the business in a room at a doctor’s office to gage demand for the services, then opened in her current location in Ferndale in 2016, having just passed the three-year anniversary with an expansion on Oct. 3.
Meanwhile, she says she’s managing to get back in the swing of things with the dance instruction.
“I’m picking it up quickly,” she says. “My body’s just not used to it, so I’m sore. I’m older now and I keep trying to do things that I used to do, and my body’s like, ‘Nope, don’t do that again.’ But I’m having fun. Dance was always something that was important to me. I really missed it.”
Join us and cheer for Brooke at Dancing with the Detroit Stars, Saturday, Nov. 16 at the Townsend Hotel. Click here to purchase tickets!