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Daily Inspiration: Meet Nancy Fernanda Rivera Gomez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nancy Fernanda Rivera Gomez.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
My journey through life has been a very grinding, tough but yet a rewarding experience. I am Nancy Rivera a dancer and choreographer. I started dancing at a young age in a hometown down there in Autlán de Navarro, Jalisco, Mexico. Growing up there dancing was fun but yet very different compare to the big city. My hometown is a very small-minded place where art was not relevant. However, my mother always taught me to think big. She erased any possibility in my head of giving up. She taught me to fight for what I want and to become the best version of me in anything I attempt to do. I rarely got the chance to go to the big cities to get dance training, never did a dance convention nor was aware of what they were; therefore, I was not fully aware of the different techniques of dance that existed until I moved to Los Angeles by myself at the age of 18. It was funny how God wanted me to come here.

I happened to come here by a recommendation of my teenage dance teacher in Autlán de Navarro to a dance program in Hollywood and also to learn English. I thought I knew what I was getting myself into, but not really. I entered to the MATA of the dance entertainment industry with a very innocent view. I thought it was like any other city and definitely did not do my research. However, until this day I truly believe it was a decision that forged my character and my whole persona into my best version. In the beginning, nobody thought I was going to last more than six months in Los Angeles. But for some reason God wanted me to go through this process because I now have been living in Los Angeles for seven years. I have experienced both the entertainment industry and concert dance and they have built my character as an artist and as a person. I recently graduated from Cal State Long Beach on Spring 2020. I am currently working as an intern at Heat Dance LA and expect to start my next dance film next year.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I see the road as the guidance of wisdom, love and maturity that will make you understand success in a very personal way. I did different sports my whole life besides dancing and I was never the most talented at first– I was the okay one. But I remember once a coach told me: “It is not only the talent that will make you strive, it is the consistency, tenacity, determination and the hard work that will take you to greatness”. I came to Los Angeles with no experience in anything that involves the entertainment industry and little English. When I arrived at Los Angeles, I could not retain a choreography of any style, like literally was a mess. When I thought I was doing great in my hometown realized I was not doing anything great at all in Los Angeles. People told me many times, I don’t think you can be a professional dancer, like how do you think you will make it in Los Angeles with no experience in the field — you get to Los Angeles ready with your whole resume to turn it in. However, journeys are different for everybody and it was hard, very hard, but I knew that I could made it happen. My mom was my main inspiration in this process. She is such a successful entrepreneur and growing up, I have always looked up to her. She was a strong woman and raised me and my sister by herself. I wanted to be as successful as her but on my own terms.

During the process, I wanted to give up so many times but the only reason that kept me going was the fact that I wanted to make her proud, and I also wanted my sister to have her big sister as an example. I was focused on them on my family. I am very tough on myself. I put a lot of pressure to accomplish so much in such a small period of time. On the journey of getting better, improving and discovering, I was always shaking in the inside, but in the outside, I had to be confident and attack the situations. When I graduated from College, I cried with my mom. For her to pay for my schooling and my life in Los Angeles was very hard, even me working in 3 jobs could not really help her much. I am very grateful for her hard work as well because without her, I wouldn’t be here where I am today. I cannot believe that now I got a degree in the states, that I have been selected to train in programs like MAJ Program, MOTUS or KM Elite with dancers of such a high caliber that I looked up when I moved here. I have been able to be part of music videos, distinctive shows like FLYGIRLS that I thought I was never going to be picked and, in some projects, I was involved in the creative process as well. I could never think I was going to be able to direct, choreograph, produce, and perform works for official selections in different venues like Blaktinx Dance Festival, Mobile Dance Film Festival, ACDA, and many works for my University.

Currently, I am one of the main creatives and main dancers in the company I work – Heat Dance, even in these COVID times. Life has so much for you, but you just have to step up and face it, stop the excuses and focus on the goals. Give it all and life will give it all to you. I am proud of myself and this is just the beginning. I still have a lot of goals to accomplish, I now trust in my intuition, I trust in the hard work I have put into my craft. I thank god for giving me the strength to never give up and for being by my side this whole time.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
As a creative, there are many parts of myself that make the artist I am today. I like the commercial venue and the abstract venue of dance. I love to fusion both in my works, but also to play with them alone. My more abstract compositions are mainly focus on narratives, it connects deeply with the state of my mind and heart while maturing as an artist. My movement is inspired by a variety of styles such as hip-hop, jazz and contemporary. I love the experimentation of new concepts that make you travel to different worlds that are not yet discovered. My purpose is to make the audience feel my story believe in it and relate with it.

What I love about this specific process is that I get to create with no restrictions a whole composition of a new world. I travel with it and I am very detailed in the way I use props and intentions behind the movements, there is always a story behind it because I love knowing the why in motions as well as the emotion behind the statement. Every single thing matters, not only the movement but the scenography, the look, the venue, the vibe and the energy within the piece of art. On the other hand, when I create on a more commercial venue, I focus on the audience, the purpose with the choreography, what is the intention with it, how is it affecting its product and how the music makes me feel. However, in this venue I am concern not only in my emotions but on what the client is asking for.

Then based on that, I put my salt and pepper to the statement. For every work I have done, there is something I am proud of. Every experience has its own purpose and will mark you differently. As a performer, I am very passionate, versatile and energetic in the way I dance. The way I express is very loud. My background, what I have been through and everything that makes me Nancy shows. My best asset is that I am me and there is only one me in the world. In this industry, what makes you stand out is the way you hold yourself up and the way you believe that there is no one like you. There is no one that creates like you. Believing that your artistry and your persona are worthy and are enough is the key. Confidence is what will make you flow the way you are supposed to flow in this journey, and that confidence comes with knowledge, spirituality, patience, trust, and peace from within.

Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
What I have learned is that there is a timing for everything. During quarantine where the majority of dance venues are closed, I have to remind myself that everything happens for a reason. Initially, I was very scared because I was able to finally move from Long Beach to the Hollywood area ready to work and things were different. I was frustrated because I knew I have one year to get into my new visa process. My mind was all over the place, but this pause has allowed me to finally take my time to heal, to understand how to be present and to do more introspection. I have always been going and going and never stopping. Los Angeles makes you be laser focus and more when you have a time limit.

However, now I have learned that pausing is crucial, so we are able to see clearly along the road. I truly believe that the storms whether they are physical, mentally or spiritually prepare you for what is coming for you in the future. Having a purpose on the things we do is very important and that will allow you to be present, to be grounded. Following my intuition is something I must do and trusting God along with it. There is a reason for our existence, and no matter the adversities, I must go and persist because after every storm there will always be a rainbow waiting for you. Life is of moments and if I don’t risk it all, I will never know what life will hold for me.


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Image Credits
Adrien Padilla Gregory Crosby Jaime Robles

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