We had the good fortune of connecting with Lizette Desiree Rivera and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lizette Desiree, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I pursued a creative career because I love the feeling it gives me. I am a student at Texas Woman’s University. I dance Monday through Friday, and on weekends, I teach at a dance studio and perform professionally with the Texas Lonestars Dance Team in Arlington. Being able to be a student, teacher, and performer has long been a goal of mine. Having the opportunity to see things from other perspectives has helped me to convey my enthusiasm for what I most enjoy. Something about dance intrigued my interest from the start. It did not come naturally to me, and there was clearly room for growth. I’ve been a part of teams where I was able to train and grow as a dancer. However, I wasn’t the best. Something about knowing I had goals to achieve motivated me to keep going and support others on the same journey. I’ve always thought of dancing as a social activity, but it’s more than that, and everyone has their own reasons for doing it. To this day I continue to find ways to improve and motivate others who want to pursue dance. Your journey may look different as well as your destination but the passion for it will always be authentic!

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am currently a member of the Texas Lonestars Dance Team and a student performer at Texas Woman’s University. Balancing the two can be challenging at times, but it is something I am learning to do and has helped me keep focused on my goals. Before making the team, I tried out for several others, and it was difficult to comprehend why I didn’t make it. I realized TXL was where I was destined to dance; the diversity, style, and environment are so distinct that putting it into words would be insufficient. It wasn’t easy getting to where I am now; I stayed up late every night attempting to grasp the mechanics of specific dance routines. I frequently attended classes that are comparable in style or that are outside of my comfort zone.

I didn’t start dancing until I was about 16, so learning at an age when people around me can pick it up rapidly was often overwhelming and intimidating. I never gave up on my aspirations, and I always remembered how happy I felt while dancing. When I originally considered dancing professionally, I ignored all of the negative comments. Several people would remind me of how I “used” to dance when I was just starting out on my journey. It has helped me relate to and assist others who desire to pursue dancing. I learnt numerous lessons and continue to do so. One of the most important is that many people can bring you down, but you can prove them wrong in a number of ways. As I continued to progress, I became a better person. I never failed to treat others with kindness when I achieved my goals.

Something personal I have never shared was having health issues all along and not knowing it. I had a mass in my stomach that was over 20 pounds and affected me in many ways. It was very difficult for me to understand why I did not look the same as my peers especially in an atmosphere where there is body stereotypes for dancers. It was a challenge because I was not able to fully execute certain movements at times and would beat myself up about it. I was body shammed in many settings and it made me stronger mentally because I knew what my purpose was. Before knowing what was wrong I had made changes to my diet, routine/ lifestyle to “fit” the image of a dancer. I knew that I could only get so far with dance because their certain expectations that need to be met in certain environments. For example in the “pro” world your appearance is super important and if I never would have had the surgery for the removal of my mass I would not be where I am today. One thing I took away from this life changing experience is, the way you look will never be a reason why you should stop doing something you truly care about. As a future dance educator in a public school, I will be educated in my students health physically and mentally. I plan on finishing my Psychology degree to be able to inform those who struggle with recovery of unsafe dance environments and unrealistic dance expectations. Everywhere I go I create positive environments and room for differences! Dance is for everybody and every BODY.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Some of my favorite places to be at are Texas Live of course! you will always find me there performing or spending time with my family and friends.

Some of my favorite places to eat at are Graffiti Pasta in Denton, TX
My favorite places in Arlington would be FatBurger, HteaO and Salad and Go & Torchys Tacos
I love to take walks at the Katy Trail in Dallas

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Many people played a role to my achievements. My family has always been very supportive, attending all of my performances. From high school to now, they have witnessed my  failure and beautiful dance journey and will always understand what I do and why I do it. For my current director and founder of the Texas Lonestars Dance Team, Alexandra Benavidez, I applaud all of your accomplishments and contributions to the Texas Rangers. The atmosphere during a baseball game would not be the same without the organization.

I came across this art while attending Sunset High School, where Leah Huggins was the dance instructor. She will always be the best role model and everything I aspire to be as a dance teacher. She will always be someone I can come to with no hesitation. Thank you for your honesty and guidance.

Kaleigh Kelley thank you for always going the extra mile for me.  Whether it was coming super early to school or staying after school, it went a long way! I appreciate how patient you were with my progress. Thank you for always believing in me from the start.

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Instagram: Swiftielizette

Facebook: Lizette Rivera

Image Credits
Christian C. Onuoha

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