It all began when I stepped into my purpose without even knowing it.
I didn’t know that the Susan B. Anthony class presentation I gave at 8 years old would lead to being a Women’s Empowerment Activist. I didn’t know that the “Tootsie Roll” piece I choreographed at the talent show at 10 years old would lead to being a Choreographer. I didn’t know that teaching my own dance classes at a studio at 15 years old would lead to being a Dance Educator. I didn’t know that being President of the Filipino Club and Officer of my Dance Team at 17 years old would lead to being a Creative Director.
Who knew that these experiences would lead to my life’s purpose? Sounds a bit meta to have a purpose of helping others find their purpose, but I have accepted the responsibility and want to create a world with intentional people doing great things.
cuddling my pup boba, drinking tea, working on my “1 sweat a day” rule in boxing class, versaclimber class, or megaformer lagree class
traveling to a place of paradise, relaxing at a day spa, coaching calls on zoom, in my office with a million post-its, at the studio creating movement
fake people, cross-branding outfits, hustle culture to the point of burn out, bullying
having real, honest conversations, scheduling in self-care downtime, making room for the people I love and support, creating art that shares stories and activates change
I didn’t always have confidence in myself.
At 20, during my “starving artist” days, I'd been living in LA on my own for a year. I was signed with a dance agency going to audition after audition trying to “make it” or in other words book a gig to prove myself and pay my rent. I was building my reputation by taking 10-12 classes a week at LA’s famous studios, working as a work study at Edge PAC, and assisting Tabitha & Napoleon, aka NappyTabs, while trying to make ends meet by teaching 18 classes a week.
The audition that changed my life was for a burlesque show in the Bahamas that was casting 5 dancers for a 6 month contract. I walked into the studio with 300 girls dressed in very little clothing and heels and I was feeling very uncomfortable. We learned the choreography and went in groups to either get cut or stay for the next round. After 2 hours, I found myself as 1 of the 7 dancers left thinking “this would be great to book, I can pay my bills and my rent!” The director asked us to do the choreography 1 by 1. Again, this was very uncomfortable, but I danced solo and was asked to stand there as the director and production company quietly whispered.
They said “We love how you dance and perform. We love that you add a very unique hip hop style to burlesque. But we were wondering if you could lose some weight?” At this time, I was at my most physically active point taking up to 12 classes a week, teaching 18 classes, and working out morning and night. I asked, “How much would you like me to lose?” and they said “15 pounds in 2 weeks.” Surprised by this, I told them, “I could probably lose 5-7. I’ve already been consistent in my fitness and training.” And then they said, “We want you to lose 15, by any means necessary.” The only option I thought of was starving myself, but I knew I wouldn’t bring my values down for this. I told them, “I’m sorry, but I won’t be able to do this for you. I’m physically at my best right now and was born with these thick thighs and booty. Thank you for your time.” and I picked my things up and left.
After the audition, I cried in my car and called my best friend. I felt defeated and didn’t think I’d make it in the industry by being myself. For the next year after this audition, I got an opportunity to showcase my choreography for the first time on an LA stage at a show called “Choreographer’s Carnival,” which led to starting my All-Female Dance Company, Essence, and led to getting my first opportunity teaching Master Classes out of the state and out of the country.
The audition that I had to walk out on with my values on my shoulders changed my life in finding the confidence to be myself and gave me the purpose to teach being value-driven to the future generation of dancers.
to 90s R&B and Hip Hop
Sushi all day every day!
Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo
Matcha Latte with Oat Milk
Marvel Movies in chronological order
Some Beautiful Experiences
Establish Your Empire
Revel Dance Convention
my happy place!
Working with Madame Ghandi on the Top Knot Turn Up music video
So You Think You Can Dance
My Favorite Things
Sunshine. Wayfarers kickstarter semiotics, quinoa godard dreamcatcher hexagon pop-up hoodie.
Ice cream. Microdosing gochujang keffiyeh salvia. Hoodie knausgaard art party.
my guilty pleasure
Photos! Hashtag fashion axe palo santo fanny pack, ramps cornhole messenger bag asymmetrical.
Where I stand on the super important stuff... Agree / disagree?
- Kris Zabinski, Gg Visionaries Mom Volume I
let's work together
I’m all about aligning purposes when it comes to the people and companies I work with. I teach dance, I mentor the next generation’s leaders, and I guide artists towards their purpose. Along with what I do, the most important thing I’m about is to help artists find confidence in their mindset and strength in their movement. When human beings are at their most confident, they are capable of achieving amazing things.
Does who I am and what I stand for align with you?