Today we’d like to introduce you to Dani Robertson.
Dani, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Raised by a single mother and alongside my twin brother, Pierre, I started out as a little black girl from Atlanta, GA. That’s how I used to define myself and as that person, I checked all the boxes I was told to check to be successful: I graduated college from Georgia State University, got engaged to an athlete, ended my engagement to said athlete, moved to NYC to further my career and eventually ended up working in ad sales at the prestigious Nickelodeon where if my calculations served me correctly, all of the aforementioned should have made me content. It didn’t and I was out of answers. I had an insatiable desire to be fulfilled though, so I began a voyage to discover my happy. I moved to LA while working at Nickelodeon and with no family and a couple of friends, I began to build my life. Starting with my place of worship, Agape Spiritual Center, my world was rocked when I was introduced to meditation. With my meditation practice I developed the ability to respond as opposed to react, which created more peace in my life. I leaned in. I also found a place to connect with my body, SoulCycle. From my first class as a rider, I was hooked. I was in love with the explosive power I exerted coupled with the sweet surrender of being gracefully led by an instructor. I felt alive. I found myself loving SoulCycle so much that I eventually got a part-time job working front desk which later transitioned into me quitting ad sales, being recruited to audition and four years later, I’m a Senior Instructor and absolutely in love with life.
It was simple, but it wasn’t easy. Rev. Michael Beckwith from Agape always says “pain pushes until vision pulls.” The pain and discomfort of being at a 9-5 “safe” job was eating at me as I spent three hours trekking to and from Santa Monica daily. I was afraid though, I had a great job with benefits, I was in a brand-new city with no real foundation, most people would’ve thought I was crazy. The fear to leave eventually became consumed by the agony of staying. I listened and I quit and with my meditation practice I noticed the agony I felt was my intuition communicating with me. I felt negative feelings when I was around people or in certain situations that didn’t serve me, so I began to listen to my internal compass and my life started to change. After quitting I felt a relief that made life a joy to live again so I became committed to valuing my internal peace over my external ideas of what was right or wrong/good or bad. I became pulled by the vision for more and decided to listen to myself to determine where I should be and what I should be doing. As I started to align all parts of my life, I opened myself to greater possibilities. I used to doubt I could be anything more than what was defined for a little black girl from Atlanta, but as I listened to myself, I began to release my fears, doubts and worries and dream up greater opportunities. Now I remind myself daily that I know no bounds. I love my work at SoulCycle, I love pouring the Truth into people and reminding them “it feels good to be strong” and “yes I can, of course I can!” I’ve expanded my resume and am a Purpose Partner, focused on helping individuals meet their lifestyle and fitness goals. I teach people how to #ChooseHappy. I also began modeling and have been blessed to work with wonderful brands from SoulCycle, Playboy eComm, Flight Club, Beverly Hills Hotel to LeBron James’s nutritional supplement company, Ladder. With intentional time and energy focused on living a life of my dreams and simply being happy, I’ve been able to heal from childhood traumas, achieve goals I never even set out to accomplish and show any and everybody that it’s not how you start, it’s how you choose to finish.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I always say “obstacle or opportunity, you decide what you see thus you decide what you get”. Life has most certainly not always been easy. Growing up with unanswered questions for an absent father and living in the vibration of a depressed, recently divorced woman was heavy. I developed the idea of a knight in shining armor, a savior, to come rescue me just so I wouldn’t implode from the overwhelming amount of emotions I felt as a little girl. That idea carried me until I was 30. When I knew it was over with my ex-fiancé’ it felt like the ground had been removed from under me and I slammed to the pits of heart-break, it was excruciating. We dreamt up our future, named our kids, whew! It was tough. When I quit Nickelodeon, I only had a part-time job at SoulCycle and some money saved, I was scared out of my mind.
None of it was easy but if I’m completely honest, it was all worth it. It chiseled me out to be this unique human I’m honored to be. Everything I dealt with in regards to my parents made me better. I learned to love in an expanded way, I learned patience and the joys of life that only come with having patience. I wouldn’t change a thing about my upbringing. My former love and I are friends to this day and have a deep respect and admiration for one another. And every single time I’ve said no and turned away from something that was bad or even good, I have been gifted something greater. I’ve never lost, only learned and expanded.
We’d love to hear more about your work.
I like to think of my life as my business. I believe my purpose is to live my life unapologetically to the fullest while igniting others to do the same. I’m a Truth teller and I’m a healer because I am healed. As a Senior Instructor at SoulCycle, I have the pleasure of pushing people out of their comfort zone into the greatest version of themselves. I’m there to remind them of their innate strength. As a Purpose Partner, I provide individuals the tools they need to align themselves with their personal lifestyle goals, be that more peace or confidence, as well as their fitness goals. I believe what makes me unique is my genuine love for humanity. I love people, all people and I believe all people can live the life of their individual dreams if they choose to.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I think what’s been most important to my success is my honesty and determination, my will. My Spirit set its sight on a greater, more fulfilling life and I have turned over every stone trying to live it. It’s been a process but I never quit and I never will quit. I think my drive is contagious and I tend to attract like-minded, determined people I think when people see me, they see I live in integrity with my Soul and there’s a natural respect at the Soul level.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: daninirvana
- Podcast: Coming soon! Follow my IG for updates!
Image 2 (locker room)- @toddcomplex
Image 3 (Playboy eComm)- @decaturdan
Image 4 (towel on head for Bev Hills Hotel)- @audrey.e.ma