Lianna's Ambition - Shades Series

Lianna is a dancer, choreographer, and instructor. I chose Lianna to speak on Ambition because she is constantly working to be better in her craft and as a person. Life as a twenty-something comes with many obstacles and she has stayed true to herself through it all. She is a bright light in the lives of everyone who knows her and her motivation is contagious. I am blessed to call her my friend and excited for you all to hear her story. You can find her on Instagram @lianna.rene.

What does stand in your shade mean to you?

To me, the phrase "stand in your shade" means following your own path. When I think of a "shade", I think of two things: the color of one's skin, and the space that is created in front of you when the sun hits you. We are all made up of a unique hue, no one person's color is an EXACT match to anyone else's. In that same token, we are all made up of different abilities, talents, and interests. When we cast a light on our talents and capabilities, we are essentially creating space for ourselves in the world that we can then walk in and cultivate more ideas and more spaces. Standing in your shade is being proud of your creations and sharing them with the world.

Who inspires you and why?

My family is an inspiration. I come from a family of entrepreneurs, especially on my father's side. People who have taken their passions and the things that they love and created businesses and careers that have allowed them the ability to do what they love and not go broke in the process.

The Shades brand focuses on love, success, ambition, and joy. What do you need more of and what are you thriving in?

I would say that I could always use more love. I come from love and I do feel loved daily by those around me. However, I am noticing lately that I have a tendency to shy away from my greatness and dim my light. Even though I know that I am a talented young woman. There is a fine line between showing humility and lacking confidence, and that is a tightrope that I am constantly trying to balance on.

What's the best advice you've ever gotten or your favorite quote?

My grandmother always says: "Don't take any wooden nickels." This phrase took me a long time to understand. The more I get into the dance industry and learn, the more I understand the concept of a wooden nickel. Everything that sounds good, ain't good. Things that look shiny from far away, aren't necessarily the cleanest up close. This phrase keeps me grounded. It keeps my eyes open.

Your theme is Ambition. Please tell us about your journey and how ambition has played a part in where you are today.

Ambition: a strong desire to do or achieve something. Typically requiring determination or hard work. (Yes, I Googled the definition). But you know how you hear words and you know what they mean but don't KNOW what they mean? I needed a reminder.

My journey: I've been dancing since I could walk, and was put in dance classes at the age of 3. As I got older, I played other sports and had other interests, but in the midst of all of those was dance. I think I knew I wanted to make a career around it when I started to choreograph more after coming back to Michigan. I developed a love for deepening my understanding of how my body moves and my goal was to work on articulating how to get my points across to those I teach. My ambition comes from being a student-teacher. By "student-teacher" I understand that all teachers are students, first and that a good teacher never stops learning. The older I get, the more I am able to get out and learn from some of the best choreographers and teachers in the game. I am able to take that knowledge and use their techniques to sharpen my craft and better teach my students. I absolutely love what I do, and I'm at a point in my life where I am physically, mentally, and spiritually preparing myself to take the next step on my journey.

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