Simma X Selena
There are so many things I would like to say about this profession and my passion that burns for it, but to begin, I am here to tell you this. If as a dancer you’ve ever been self-conscious of your skills or your body or your creativity… I’ve been there and I still to this day battle with this.
I started dancing when I was four years old in Frederick, Maryland. Starting out I was a part of a really amazing competitive dance studio for three years, but my father got a new job and before I knew it we moved to a small town called DeLand, Florida. The first thing my mom did was find my little sister and I a new dance studio. I learned so much of my technique and dance foundation at my second studio but if you’ve ever been a part of a dance studio I’m sure you can understand that differences may come up (hello dance mom’s. aggressively rolls eyes). Studio three comes along and finally we found a home where I really learned the meaning of performance!
Fast forward to high school graduation and eventually college. Leave it to me to attend the only university in the state of Florida that does not have a dance team. Not to mention the city of Jacksonville has close to a non-existent dance community. I would take class here and there from the only adult drop in class studio in the city and it was great to feel the music and to dance again but I really wasn’t improving as a dancer in my technique and ability to pick up choreography. My junior year of college quickly came and went which was when I had a true epiphany and to be honest, a straight up reality check with myself when I realized I gained close to thirty-five pounds due to inactivity and feeding my body garbage.
I suddenly got a fire lit under my a** and told myself that I was done feeling sorry for myself and whisking away my dream of becoming a professional dancer.
I did a little research and found the local semi-professional dance team in Jacksonville and “lucky” for me auditions were a short two weeks away. So, picture this… (and again, this is MY PERSONAL experience) but going into this audition I felt like I was around 1000 pounds. I had no audition outfit, nor did I feel like I belonged in a two piece ANYTHING. My splits were about as tall as the Eiffel Tower. I was using jazz shoes from eleventh grade, and in simple terms I was a straight up s*** show going into this audition. Although I felt uncomfortable, the reality is that this is honestly so much what the dance community is about. Everyday dancers throw themselves out into uncomfortable situations; whether it be trying a new class outside of their normal style, going on auditions you may feel unqualified for, or freestyling for the first time (yikes). After thinking about all these scenarios, I swallowed my pride and went for it. And thank god I did!
After I got over the high of making the team was when the real work began. Day one.. costumes. Oh how I dreaded this day because I knew I was going to have to squeeze, shake it like a salt shaker, pop a few seams, maybe even switch around my costume for the ONLY bigger size available… but what I loved most about this day was at this moment I finally decided for myself I needed to change my life.
The next day I signed up for a Pure Barre class which was the start of my fitness journey. I absolutely LOVED it because it reminded me of dance and the environment of the workout was inviting as well as challenging. After about three months of Pure Barre I made a huge decision to start audition prep for a professional football cheerleading team. While Pure Barre helped me kick start my fitness journey I was still lacking the final push to really tone my body to be prepared for the PRO cheer and dance world. Next I needed to overcome the dreaded gym. Now when I tell you my behind would NEVA EVA step foot in a gym I am not kidding you. But in order to achieve the look I was aspiring to be I had to do it.
Pro tip** if you are like me and feel like you can’t go to the gym because everyone is looking. They aren’t. Bring a hat. Headphones. And you are set.
Moral of this story is THIS. If you want something and I mean really want something. Something you can’t stop thinking about for even one second of your day. GO FOR IT. Do not let the fear of what could come. The fear of hearing no. Because I sure as heck got a LOT of no’s, a lot of back row spots, a lot of “not this dance”, a lot of you’re too “thick” too “tall” too whatever it was that day but wash your face and do it, because if I can do it so can you.
I come from a small town, I never had the best extensions, I never had the best body, I wasn’t always great at picking up choreography quickly, and I truly can’t remember one time growing up I received a solo but now I can confidently say that I am a member of the Miami HEAT Dancers. The hardest working, best conditioned, strongest, most passionate, professional, confident, empowered dance team in the NBA!
Now don’t get me wrong I live in Miami, but I am nowhere living the upscale life. I struggle but having the life experience of owning my own business as a Beauty Guide with LimeLife, working as a Pure Barre teacher and of course being a HEAT dancer inspiring other through FITNESS, DANCE, and BEAUTY on a daily basis is unmatchable.
I can go on and on but until next time. Stay slaying friends and keep checking back to the Simma Blog as I’ll be thoroughly walking you all through both audition processes for the NFL and the NBA but for I’ll leave it here for now!
Please checkout Selena's wesbite below selenaivette.com, she is a Beauty Guide with LimeLife by Alcone. Selena works with women of all ranges of makeup experience and skintones. This brand is a professional all natural makeup and skincare line. Selena uses the products on her own face daily as well as during auditions and game days (they last the entire game). Please feel free to DM her via instagram or Facebook at Selena Ivette with all of your questions she would love to help you!