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Meet Trailblazer Amanda My Tran

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda My Tran.

Amanda, before we jump into specific questions about your work, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Born and raised in Huntington Beach, California, I started dancing at the age of three. I was a hyperactive child growing up (still am), so my parents thought it was the perfect idea to enroll me in dance. Moving felt completely natural to me and I loved the overall structure and discipline of such a medium. I had a difficult time in school, so dance was the only outlet I felt completely confident in.

I pursued my dance career at the University of California, Santa Barbara under the direction of Christopher Pilafian, Nancy Colahan, and Christina McCarthy, graduating in 2018 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performance and Choreography. I grew up training intensely in ballet, but my short, muscular physique didn’t quite fit the “ideal” ballerina stereotype. It was at UC Santa Barbara that I was introduced to modern and contemporary dance, which truly resonated with me. Modern and contemporary dance challenged me both mentally and physically to move in different extremities while giving me the freedom to experiment in different qualities of movement.

Upon graduation, I moved to Los Angeles and met Seda Aybay. I was fascinated by her work and choreography over the years and was eager to be a part of it. I was invited to join her dance company, Kybele Dance Theater in the Fall of 2018. While a part of KDT, I found myself changing, growing, and learning about my body and its capabilities. During my time with KDT, I achieved my dream of performing locally for the Los Angeles Dance Festival at Luckman Theater and Ford Theaters, as well as performing nationally for the Harvest Dance Festival in Chicago and Chop Shop Dance Festival in Washington. These opportunities have been so rewarding and I am humbled to finally do what I love the most!

Along with my dedication to dance professionally, I found my new passion in pilates. I noticed myself getting stronger not only physically but emotionally and mentally. I became a pilates instructor at Coreology Fitness in the Summer of 2019. Boy, has it been a wild ride! Training individuals of various levels, abilities, and passions has been challenging and incredibly inspiring. My goal in teaching fitness is to help people become the absolute best version of themselves, whatever that means to them. I want my clients to feel confident and happy on their journey toward achieving their fitness goals.

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?
It definitely was NOT a smooth road, but that is more than okay. If my journey with dance and pilates were easy, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. As I reflect, I find the majority of my struggles came from a lack of confidence in my abilities to perform and teach. I tend to shy away when it comes to being in the spotlight because of my fear of feeling unworthy– Which is a far cry from my typical persona in social settings. What I have learned along the way is to operate from a place of self-love: to trust myself, to value my worth, and to approach life without fear. Who is going to believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself?

My biggest advice to anyone overcoming self-doubt is to exaggerate the strengths of your confidence. Remind yourself about the amazing qualities you have and utilize that to put yourself out there. Stop judging yourself and start loving yourself!

We’d love to hear more about your work.
I am a dancer, artist, fitness instructor, model, and free spirit. Dance performance is my main priority at the moment as I am currently in the process of learning new works and repertoire with my dance company in preparation for our various future performances! When I teach at Coreology, I take pride in my positive, upbeat personality while motivating my clients to push to reach their highest potential. Once, I had a client come up to me after class and thanked me for “putting him in his place.”

I’m most proud of my ambitious thirst for learning and expanding my knowledge through life experiences. As an optimist, I take on every opportunity with an open heart and an open mind. That part of me helps motivate my drive in the career paths I take and helps me find my truest self. My bold nature and enthusiastic approach to life is what sets me apart from other people. I take on any opportunity with a fresh mind. Some people would even say I am very youthful. I trust my gut and seize opportunities without taking a second guess. Life is too short to be comfortable and what life is worth living if you don’t live it to the fullest?

Do you recommend any apps, books or podcasts that have been helpful to you?
Some apps I find myself constantly using are Pinterest, Reddit, The Pattern, and Depop. Of course, Instagram, but it can get too toxic sometimes.

“The Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson has definitely helped me live my best life. It helped me understand that the key to living a good life is not to give an F about other factors but to make choices for yourself. That is how you live your happiest life!

Podcasts for dance; Beyond The Pointe, The Dance Union, and DanceWell Podcast.
For Fitness; Fitness Career Mastery.
For self-help; The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos and Highest Self Podcast.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Alexis Hunley, Annie McElwain, Chung Huynh, Lex Gallegos, and Uni Sea

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