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Meet Romina Valenti

Today we’d like to introduce you to Romina Valenti.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am an actress, dog trainer and dancer from Uruguay, a small country in South America, below Brazil. I was born there and a few years later, I moved with my family to Virginia where I did my elementary school years and learned English. After elementary, we moved back home with my mom and my brothers. Transitioning was a bit hard due to my parent’s divorce, thats when I got into dance and acting spending most of my time after school in class.

From the age of 11 to 18, I took every class you could possibly think of, from ballet to hip hop and everything in between, multiple instruments, singing, acting, gymnastics, you name it. Finding most of my enthusiasm in hip hop and acting, at 18 I got into acting school and with a group of close friends at that time, we opened the first dance school of hip hop styles in Uruguay. I juggled going to acting school and teaching dance while competing and traveling in different countries from South America and Europe. In 2016 I went to Europe for three months and after coming back to Uruguay, I decided that I wanted to live somewhere else for a while to continue my growth. That somewhere else was Los Angeles, still focused on dance and acting it seemed like the perfect place to be, and I had never been here, so I was intrigued. I knew no one! It was just going to be me and my pitbull girl Tas, that I had just adopted. We didn’t know how or when but I put my desire out there, and a few months later, a guy from Uruguay living in LA, that I now call friend got in contact with me and told me that I could stay with him until I figured everything out, crazy right?Next thing I know, I was on a plane to LA on March of 2017 without knowing what was in store for me.

First year was a struggle! I think many people can say that about LA. I bounced from job to job, house to house, homeless a couple of times while attending a UCLA extension course for acting for the camera, all while with my dog. By the end of the first year, I had found my own place here in downtown LA which I’m still currently at. If you meet my dog, you’ll probably say “wow she’s so well trained”. I’ve always been passionate about animals and specifically dogs, training my mom’s dogs when I was younger from everything I learned watching Cesar Millans show “The dog whisperer” little did I know that I would find work in that area. A dancer and barber friend of mine was having trouble with his new dog and desperately asked for help, he convinced me to give it a try and referred me to more people, next thing I know, I was the dog trainer of the block. That leads me to today, I am currently training dogs and enrolled in SMC for dance and film. I started writing my own scripts and hope to not only act but direct and write in the film industry. I am so grateful and honored for the people I’ve met here in LA that helped me be in the path I’m in, I don’t know what I would have done without them and my dog of course. Funny story: I was about to meet Cesar Millan before the pandemic hit, hopefully that’ll still happen someday. And in regards to dance, I’ll be dancing my whole life, that’s for sure.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I think moving to a different country is never a smooth road, it’s just something that comes with it. The hardest part of it all is being far away from my family, everything else is manageable, even the period where I was homeless sleeping in a car I had. My mom always reminds me that I can always go back, so that keeps me pushing, here I can send money to her, something that would be difficult back home. What makes everything a little easier from those hard moments is my dog. Those moment where everything seems to be falling apart she’s always there to make me smile and laugh and take me on a walk, and keep me company, and show off and make me look good, not once did I feel alone, she’s really my everything and if she can’t come I’m not going haha.

Other struggles besides my homeless period, which was the hardest, would be meeting some not so friendly people that use and manipulate you for their own benefit, but that’s also something that happens in any place you live and I can honestly say I learned a lot from that experience and all the struggling experiences. Another struggle would be when money is low, but it’s a blessing to always have options, I used to ride my bike all through downtown LA delivering food, from 7am to sometimes 4am just to make ends meet, now I’m in a better place, but I know if I ever need, that option is there.

Alright – so let’s talk business.  What else should we know about you and your career so far?
I do multiple things, specific business and website I’m working on is my dog training services. But then I’m also working on myself as a business, as an artist, trying to create content not only in film but in dance. What sets me apart is just me being me and true to myself. I’m proud to have learned that I can do all these things, that there is no need to choose one, and that by doing all the things I like, I get inspired to continue developing each craft.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
My plan for the future is quite simple. Continue growing as a human, continue growing in my craft, becoming a little better everyday and knowing that when the work is put in everything else will follow. Remaining humble, helping others when I can, always be eager to learn and open for whatever comes my way.

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Image Credit:

Khalid Farquharson @lord.farqu, Eduardo Acosta @leicajockey, Paige Freier @paigeafreier, Osvaldo Rios @osriosphoto

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