I had the opportunity to interview one of the most passionate, motivational & inspirational dancers I know! Not only is Jeni an old friend of mine but ever since I have known her she has been extremely dedicated, determined, driven and focused. Jeni is an amazing woman who inspires and motivates me to follow my dreams no matter what. Her dedication, hard-work and positive mindset has landed her one of the most FUN careers EVER, which is being one of Miley Cyrus’s lead dancers! I wanted to interview her as she is such a powerful role model to many women and girls all around the world. In this interview she shares her story and gives advice as to how to go for your dreams while staying true to yourself and how to deal with negative people and rejection. Enjoy and I hope this interview motivates and inspires you!
Q: How did you know dancing was one of your passions?
Jeni: I’ve known dance was one of my passions at a young age. I started dancing when I was five and although in the beginning it was mostly just something I did for fun, it quickly became something that I wanted and needed more and more in my life, until it just became my life. Dancing has been a major form of self expression for me and also a constant outlet. My own personal happy place, that while I was there, nothing else mattered.
Q: What is one piece of advice for women/girls out there who have a dream but are either scared to pursue it or feel stuck because are afraid of failure and never really being successful?
Jeni: My best piece of advice would be to never give up on your dream. Believe me, I know it can be hard at times. I am in a business that only 2% of people make it in…not very good odds right? I just truly feel that when you want something bad enough, you will let nothing stop you. I never once considered “what if” I didn’t make it…because I knew I wouldn’t stop until I was there. You would be surprised what the power of the mind and heart can bring to you when you feel something strong enough. Live by the motto ‘your word is your wand.’
Q: How do you stay true to yourself while pursuing your dreams?
Jeni: I’ve been in LA for 9 years now and staying true to myself is something I’ve found to be one of most important parts of my journey. All too many times I’ve seen people sacrifice their morals to get jobs and/or keep them and it’s so disappointing. It starts will little exceptions you make for yourself, and they just become more and more until you are doing things that you never thought you would have done and before you know it you’ve lost sight of what’s right and wrong. You truly have to know who you are and what you stand for. I believe Malcolm x says it best, “if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.”
Q: Who or what motivates and inspires you?
Jeni: I’m motivated and inspired by people that are passionate about what they do and who don’t give up on their dreams…while holding onto their values and morals in the process.
Q: What was the best advice that you were given?
Jeni: I heard someone say a long time ago, to never have a fall back plan unless you plan to fall back.
Q: If someone feels like giving up on their dream/goals because they have had to deal with a lot of rejection what would you say to them?
Jeni: I would tell them that usually right before you are finally about to reach your goal…it always seems to be the hardest time. I believe that this is when people usually give up. Meanwhile, this last mountain to climb is just a final test to see just how badly you want something…and if you just would stick with it, you would have achieved success.
Q: How did you deal with negative (non-supportive) people who did not believe in you or your dream?
Jeni: The best way to deal with people that are not supportive of your career or dream…is to remember that nobody knows you the way you know yourself. Only you know what you are capable of…it’s not something someone else can tell you. The more people that would tell me that my dreams of dancing were unrealistic in any way…the harder I would work. “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you will always be right.”
Q: What are your plans for the future?
Jeni: I am getting married in the fall to my soul mate. We met on tour 3 1/2 years ago and just bought a house together over the summer. We hope to be touring again this spring before our wedding. Also, about a year ago, I started working at a production company that produces movies. I quickly fell in love with the process of making a movie. Getting to learn the process of how a script is transformed into a movie…it’s an amazing process. It has turned into another passion of mine, a beginning to another yellow brick road:)
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