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MEET THIFFANY FERNANDES: DANCER AND SINGER

This is Thiffany.

Thiffany, tell us some more about how you got into dancing.

That’s kind of a funny story.


I took my first dance class when I was four years old.


I was an only child at the time so my mom thought it would be good for me to have something to do.


She was also a dancer so she was very excited.


However, I stayed for only two days taking ballet because I was so terrified and extremely shy.


I would cry and try running away from my teacher.


So I ended up quitting.


I got back into it when I turned seven years old because I was inspired by one of my friends who loved dance.

But, I think the main reason was because of my love for the arts at such a young age.


I grew up with movies, music, and tv shows, and seeing people dancing, singing, and acting excited me so much and it still does today.


So for over a year, I became very persistent, annoying my mom until she finally put me into dance… again.


I started with ballet and flamenco and the rest is history.


I ended up studying dance for twelve years, taking over 13 different dance styles; tap, jazz, pointe, hip hop, contemporary, samba and so on.

What would you say is one of the most difficult aspects about being a dancer?

I think dance is one of these things that if the individual does not try it for themselves, they don't realize just how difficult it is in every sense.


There's this idea that dance isn't hard because, for example in a ballerinas case, it looks easy.


Little do people realize that's the whole point of dance.


Making something that's hard look easy.


It’s an art and it’s a sport.

The art aspect of dance can be challenging for dancers because they have to master their craft, be vulnerable at all times, learn who they are, and what they have to say to their audience.


This isn't easy because, in my case, I've always been extremely shy.


But because I pushed myself to be open and vulnerable in my classes, I was able to break out of my shell and do my job, which is to make your audience feel something.


Dance is about telling a story without words, so that's why one's artistry is so important.


The sport aspect is just as hard as the art.

There's of course technique which is crucial.


There is a high amount of stamina required because of the hours and hours of training plus performances.


Dancers are athletes and artists all in one.


Another difficult aspect, is that dancers have to be willing to put in the work and that means sometimes not being able to participate in certain things, like going to parties or school events.


Dance asks a lot out of a dancer but every dancer I've ever met says it was totally worth it.


So even though it takes a lot from you, I believe it does give so much in return.

You've performed on stage several times in front of hundreds/thousands of people. What does dancing mean to you?

Dance has always been my escape, my therapy, my happy place, and where I felt like I could be myself.


I remember stepping on stage for the first time at my recital and that shy little girl just went away.


It was as if I felt myself transform into a performer and it just became addicting.

I loved to see audiences watching and cheering.


The energy in the room is exhilarating and there really is nothing like it in the world.


Dance inspires people, it moves people, and it saves people.


Dance is the freedom to express yourself and be yourself.

I truly believe dance, and every art form, can change the world by inspiring others and motivating them to do whatever it is they want to do.

Do you have anything new or upcoming we can expect to see from you?

Hopefully, once things start getting back to normal you’ll see me back on stage dancing.


But, I have also started a new chapter this year in pursuing music!


I’ve been singing and songwriting for as long as I’ve been dancing, but only now I’ve really found the courage to share this with everyone.

I’ve been working on a song which hopefully will be released very soon so I’m very excited to share that.


Being a dancer has inspired my songwriting in ways I never thought it could and I'm forever grateful for the arts because it has shaped who I am.


Just as dancers say, "once a dancer is always a dancer".

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