We had the good fortune of connecting with Deneil Simone and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Deneil, how do you think about risk?
Taking risks is the most important thing you can do in my opinion. You literally don’t know what you can and can’t do until you try, there’s no way around that. And as a growing dancer the best thing you can do is just put yourself out there. Even if it’s scary or uncomfortable, because that’s where the most growth comes from. I wouldn’t be where I am today without just jumping in and seeing what happened, and trusting that I can figure it out. Being an artist is always risky and competitive. But what is for you will always be for you, so why not?

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Well, I teach Dance to people 5-50+ and it’s my favorite thing to do! Haha I believe what sets me apart is my determination to stay true to myself and also my understanding that even though I do instruct, I’m still a student first. That keeps me grounded and patient in some of those high stress moments. I’m most proud of those times when a student makes a breakthrough with something we had been working on or when they leave a class of mine knowing they pushed themselves and come out more confident. It was definitely not easy to get where I am now. I started by walking 45 minutes in the middle of one of Houston’s unforgiving summers’ to dance once a week, because that was all that was available to me at the time (besides YouTube, which I spent ALOT of late nights on) and just practiced what I learned until I went the next week. From there doors began to open up for me in teaching around 2013 in after school programs all around Houston. I went from assistant to instructor to a substitute to a director of 5 teams and teaching 7 all-levels classes a week. And really, the only way I got here was perseverance. I’m not one to take no for an answer and I’m more than willing to put in the work needed to get where I want to be, and what I’ve learned along the way is that if you’re wanting to do something in the arts, you have do it at 100% every time. Even when you suck at first, because once it clicks the foundation you set for yourself with your work ethic will be there when you “don’t feel like it” that one day. I would just want the world to know that at the end of the day it’s all about love. Love for others, for art, for self, and everything in between.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Ohhh this is a hard one, because I’m a textbook definition homebody lol. But, if I had to we would definitely end up at somewhere on Montrose having a blast, we would go hang out at a park somewhere and preferably pack some drinks and snacks to go. I would also take them to the Museum District, because it’s always a good time at the Natural Science Museum.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are soooo many people that I could Shoutout. FLY Dance Studio, SoReal Dance Studio, Centerstage Dance and Gymnastics, Topflight Dance Center for allowing me to learn and express myself in the most important ways, Wesley Holloway And Josh Perez for teaching me to trust my instincts and be unapologetically myself at all times. Aaron Callegari, Giovanni Brigida & Celeste Colón showed me true friendship and love. And so so many more.

Instagram: @deneilsimone
Youtube: Deneil Bell

Image Credits
Jay Clark Sir Matheus Edralin

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