Strong Girl Spotlight
Dancer with Cirque Du Soleil’s The Beatles LOVE
Las Vegas, NV
Tell us about yourself!
Born and raised in Orange County, CA, I began moving at a young age. After dancing both competitively and artistically, this past May I graduated from the University of Arizona with my BFA in Dance and a minor in business administration. I thrive off of music, dance, yoga, cinema, and teaching. I just recently began dancing with Cirque Du Soleil this August and am enjoying every second. While pursuing a career in what I adore and have worked incredibly hard to get, I have also enjoyed finding the incredible things in my life that make me happy outside of my career: family, friends, meditation, and obviously Beyoncé.
When did you discover dance & healthy living and decide to pursue a career within the industry?
To be honest, dance was always thought of as hobby growing up; something that ignited me to my core. But the fact that it was a fitness activity did not occur to me until late high school. Then I finally realized what a huge benefit it was for my heart, my health, my personal discipline, and my mental toughness. I always felt the desire to pursue dance as a career and once I majored in its entirety in college, I discovered the infinite amounts of ways and angles you can approach it as a life-long opportunity. Watching my peers, respecting my mentors, and constantly keeping an open mind on my passion allowed me to understand that I could be whatever I wanted if I practiced: a teacher, a modern dancer, a jazz dancer, a tap dancer, a choreographer, a director, a producer, an implementor, or simply an inspiration. Now I have come to a point where dance, although can be a job, is also my personal therapy and I am truly blessed to act upon it whether I am in the shower, in my living room, or on a Cirque stage.
What do you wake up looking forward to and excited about everyday?
I have recently embraced the idea and truth that every single day is a new opportunity to better myself. Even on my lowest days, making some type of accomplishment like a few extra push-ups, holding a bit longer in plank, or getting through a show successfully is the progress that makes a difference that you do not even realize, until a month later when you look back and say, “wow, I got through that.” Every day is a chance to move forward, not in reverse. The cliché, “you learn something new every day,” could not be more true! When your eyes and ears are open, an impression is made on you either by yourself or your peers that is able to live with you forever. I firmly believe in being present in the amazing things around us and every day is a new realization that can change your path and perspective. That is my motivation upon waking up in the morning as well as the possibility of coffee and peanut butter toast.
Do you have any daily rituals?
Daily rituals include breakfast ALWAYS. I cannot function without it. Even if I am meeting up with friends for a late breakfast (which is often with our generations’ busy schedule) I always have a cup of coffee or tea and some fruit. Meditation has also recently joined my daily schedule. Achieving focus and giving at least 5 minutes of honoring yourself is so incredibly necessary for anyone who breathes oxygen. For me, it is a vital way for me to organize my thoughts, reduce stress, and hone in on what is important for that day. In the end, YOU are what comes first and you only get one “you” so I have made making peace with myself a priority.
What’s in your dance/gym bag?
My gym/work bag includes a towel, a theraband (the best way to loosen and strengthen my feet, especially before dancing barefoot), a water bottle, chapstick, headphones, carrots, a Cookie Dough QuestBar, a banana, a UA Dance sweatshirt, and my Nike Frees (ha I have a lot in there).
What challenges and/or injuries have you had to overcome on your journey?
Most of my injuries are short term such as a weak ankle, a stiff hip, or pulling my left shoulder. The only thing that ever solves the pain of these short term challenges is rest. I never take sleep for granted anymore and whenever my body is in pain, rest is best way to come back strong.
What keeps you motivated when the going gets tough?
One: A sense of humor is absolutely invaluable. Whenever I make a mistake, I always picture how off or silly I may have looked and transform it into a funny anecdote (obviously not in front of my boss). That way I always remember what I did wrong, laugh about it, swallow it, and never do it again.
Two: I try my best to remain in between being thankful for my experiences and recognizing that there is always someone completely superior to me. There are people who have been dealt a lesser hand than me and I constantly give thanks to the incredible opportunities presented to me through hard work, dedication, and support. I am surrounded by some of the most talented and strong acrobats in the world. When the going gets tough and “giving up” wants to slip in, I remember that if my co-workers can master their craft and train as Olympic athletes, I can work harder. I practice being thankful as well as pushing for more.
What do you love about your body?
This question always seems so difficult to answer, but it is important to have self-love. Physically, I love my hands and my stomach. But more importantly, I love that I have control over my body and I LOVE having the ability to balance. Nothing makes me feel stronger than utilizing the center line of my own body.
Who are Strong Women in your life that inspire you?
A Strong Woman I admire is Julianne Hough. There is nothing she cannot do, and with all of her fame, she still manages to live true to what she loves and shows all women that being natural and owning yourself is everything. More personally, a Strong Woman in my life is my older sister. She is the most perfect role model for any woman and I know she inspires incredible amounts of people every day with not only her teaching and hard work, but also her undeniably strong presence.
What does Strong mean to you?
Strong to me means realizing the infinite potential both physically and mentally inside yourself acting upon it. It also means understanding that each of us can live a long life by choice and you can start any time you want.
What makes you a Strong Girl?
I think that my enthusiasm for life and determination to grow makes me a Strong Girl. Even on my worst days, there is some light to be held on to in order to get me through the next. I am able to see the potential of my future and I am focused now on making my ideas and dreams into reality.