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

Hi Dominique, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risks are one of the top factors in being successful and/or becoming successful. I was unhappy with my full time job. Initially, this full time job was something that I was extremely proud of accomplishing. But then as time went by, I realized that I wanted more. I wanted more but was so comfortable with my routine, my pay, my life, etc. I was unstable for awhile due to unforeseen circumstances. Prior to that I was working at least 3 jobs. However, I was also focused on one thing, dance. Anyways, because I was unstable once I had a job where I didn’t have to and couldn’t work 3 jobs and I was finally stable I ran into the same problem. I realized I wanted more and could have more and I was starting to become unhappy. I was unhappy with having to answer to people who did not truly care for my success 24/7. Once I took the risk in leaving my job, although I went through some hard times, I’ve been more stable mentally and physically than some who were once in my position – working many jobs to just live paycheck to paycheck. I may not be where I want to be and I still have more to go, but I’m so grateful that I took risks that not the ordinary person will take.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
In addition to being a dance teacher, coach, and director I also created a makeup line. It is on hold but I have met some pretty “bad” models along the way – these models have made my product look flawless. I have been part of fashion shows, music videos, live shows, photoshoot, and more. Every one of them was a learning experience. Starting a makeup line and wanting everything to be a certain kind of way has been challenging. I understand that it may not look hard but if you’re like me and you want things to be exact and when finances comes into play, it’s challenging. I’ve also had people ask me how did I start? Well, a lot of people don’t know but I used to stay up all night and research successful makeup brands, marketing, influencers, branding, and more. I even researched how to create makeup from scratch. That was just one part of it. When I started a dance team from scratch it wasn’t easy putting myself out for the world to see and being vulnerable. Why? When I was already dancing? Well, when you are taking on a project where you’re working in a field where you had to research because you wasn’t actually hands on in the field, well, you get nervous asking yourself, “Will people trust me to lead them to their dreams of becoming a professional dancer when I haven’t made one myself?” Well, I’m pretty sure people thought that, I would to, but not only did I do my research but I went to those who were on those aspiring teams and pulled them into my vision. Which I am really thankful for. They didn’t have to do it but all of them have been so helpful and inspiring. I want people to know that we all deserve a chance and I’m simply just doing what I love and trying to make the world a better place.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend came to visit me and we could go absolutely anywhere, I would take them to Colorado, Austin, and Hawaii. I would say Austin first because that’s where I’m from and if I’m being biased it’s the best place ever. Haha! My favorite food spots are Top Sushi and any authentic Mexican restaurant. I also love scenery and the park is the best place to go to for a early morning jog and to talk and catch up. I almost forgot about Vegas. We would HAVE to go to Vegas and party it up! You can’t go wrong in Vegas. But people don’t realize that what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. LOL!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There’s quite a few people who I can give credit to such as business partners, friends, family, and more. Honestly I will even give credit to those who tried to bring me down. I will say that the two people who I would give the most credit to is my mom and grandmother. My mom from day one supported my dreams even when I wasn’t fully aware of my dreams myself. My grandmother has contributed to my success in my creativity and although she had a different path in mind for me, she has supported me all the way. Although those two are the ones who I give the most credit to, I also give credit to those who I have coached next. They have shaped me to become the person who I am and I am forever grateful for that. Yes I am a director and coach, but people don’t realize that students have to trust us to be their mentor as well. We are part of their journey and I don’t think any coach should take that lightly.

Website: www.thestudio918.com
Instagram: @dominiquecherisee
Facebook: Dominique Cherise
Yelp: The Studio 918

Image Credits
Matthew Roberts

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