Hi everyone, so for a while now I have received requests wanting me to share my story and who I am and I will be honest, I have been putting it off as talking about myself isn’t really my top priority lol! But I feel ready now, and will be happy to share a bit of who I am up to this point.
The Early Years
My name is Jennifer, I was born and raised in Queens, N.Y. by my awesome hardcore Colombian parents and am the second oldest of four siblings. We are a big, blunt with each other family, and while I am American, I feel very connected to my home country as the rest of my family (all 100+ of them) are in Colombia, so visiting every few years is a must.
I am a complete nerd and proud of it! I always loved school, always got A’s (graduated 6th in my class, would have been 4th if not for senioritis lol). Played clarinet for 10 years, was the captain of our champion state marching band, my roommate was the color guard captain (where I learned about spinning flag and rifle which influenced my isis wing work) and became involved with drama my senior year.
After graduating I moved to Orlando with my family to go to college where I would complete my Bachelors in Art and a minor in business. I tried belly dance at a local dance studio in 2007. You can read about the start here. I did various internships during my undergrad years working with local businesses and even an Art Center. Our team helped these companies to re-brand their image, better their financial position and taught them how to better market their business.
When The Belly Dance Business Took Over My Life
I was not really into college. I didn’t go to parties or go through “that wild phase” like most of the people around me. I felt out of place as if I were 30 surrounded by teens during that time. I worked hard instead and worked as an event supervisor for a catering company and as a belly dancer at night instead and loved it!
Belly dance took over my life and so I soon quit the catering job and made belly dancing my sole source of income while I finished my bachelors. Once I graduated I went off to do my masters in digital art and took up the small business consulting courses as I always loved business and working with small businesses in my undergrad. I think I was crazy though because I also enrolled into the web development program at a technical school at the same time to learn basic coding and other fun bits of nerdiness.
Once I received my certification in web development I left graduate school as my heart was not into it, and instead entered into an internship which turned into a job with a web marketing firm here in Orlando, FL where I sharpened my skills in online marketing.
I loved the job but my belly dancing business was really taking off and I had to make a big choice: compete in World or stay at a regular weekly job. Being 25 at the time I said “screw it” and quit my job and went on to win World in 2013.
Now I am hoping to open up my own dance studio and continue to grow my business so that my costuming, party entertainment, and soon to come online courseware can have a place to call home.
The road has not been easy; while I am proud of the progress so far, I am still trying to better my finances to equal that of what a “normal business job” would pay me as opposed to the lower income belly dance earns. I still long for a home to call my own as I have been somewhat of a gypsy the past 6 years traveling between two homes, and traveling for events and work around the world.
The concept of HOME is really what I most long for, so hopefully in the next few years, this can be attained.
15 Random Facts About me:
-I can’t eat sweets without milk. I will literally sit there at a restaurant until the milk arrives.
– I am a little OCD… ok maybe a lot! I need cleanliness and order to feel happy. So clutter and messes will make me want to scream inside lol.
– The more comfortable I am with a friend the goofier and sillier I get. Only my inner circle sees this side of me.
– I am very shy at heart. While I have become comfortable on stage I still have small panic attacks right before performing and have major issues with allowing my inner self to be “sexy” on stage.
– I am probably the pickiest eater you will ever meet. It is a headache for my loving boyfriend who never knows how I will react.
– I don’t like veggies. I can only stand them in soup or in stir fry, but salads and raw veggies are a HECK NO in my book!
– I can’t breathe out of one side of my nose.
– I am a sock thief lol! My boyfriend is still waiting for me to return like ten pairs jiji
– Grandma has nothing on me when it comes to being sensitive on the cold. I am always cold, all the time. I sleep with comforters in the summer and sweaters even.
– My friends say I am the energizer bunny. I just keep going, I’m a bit of a workaholic, and If my day is not full with something to do I feel like a failure. I can’t feel stuck or I’ll be sad lol!
– No food= problems. The inner daemons will come out from inside the depths of my soul and not make me a pleasant person to be around lol!
– If I see a roach I will scream and run like a little girl!
– I do not watch t.v. none. The only t.v. I watch is recorded episodes of the shows my honey has gotten me hooked on over the years. That is it, other than that I am pretty much under a rock as far as what is popular.
-I am pretty private about my private life, so blogging and this blog in particular is a big thing for me.
-Speaking in different accents and being a human jukebox is a common daily activity. Every action has a song and my awesome soul-mate of a boyfriend is the same way thank goodness!