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It’s never too late to fight for your dream and that is proven through the success of Amandy Fernandez’s career. Fernandez took dance classes at the age of 21, but that hasn’t stopped her from dancing with some of the biggest superstars in the business. She has shared the stage with Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Jason Derulo and Tinashe. Through hard work, Fernandez believes anything is possible when fighting for your dream.
The Dominican dancer got her chance to dance for Queen Bey when she participated in a choreography showcase back in 2011, after the Run The World (Girls) visual released. She described being nervous to dance in front of the Lemonade artist, but made an outstanding impression that she would be a featured dancer in three of Beyoncé’s tours: Mrs. Carter World Tour, On The Run Tour and The Formation World Tour. In addition to dancing on three of Queen Bey’s tours, Fernandez danced alongside her at the Super Bowl in 2013. Her dance career has also allowed for her to tap into film, Step Up 3D, where she was a featured dancer.
“You know, not being trained and starting in a dance school, it felt like a setback. My drive was TEN times more because I felt like I had a lot of work to do”. — Amandy
The New York raised dancer is inspired by several talented dancers who are from The Big Apple as well. Fernandez grew up in a strict, old-fashioned, Dominican household. When she made the announcement that she wanted to become a professional dancer, her parents weren’t too excited. However, Fernandez was inspired by her mother who always taught her to fight for her dream, no matter how strenuous it might be. Even though the “Dance For You” dancer went to school to study cosmetology, she ended up living out her dreams on stage. When Fernandez is not on tour, she is back in New York City teaching choreography. Fernandez cited the best things about being on tour are the family she makes with her fellow dancers and what she has learned from Beyoncé’s stage presence.
“Dancing with Beyoncé has taught me how to be a confident performer and artist. What she stands for, woman empowerment, and just her as a woman in general, has taught me so much about myself. I just really respect her and look up to her.” — Amandy
I had the opportunity to speak to Amandy Fernandez about what it means to be a successful Latina dancer, her Grammys performance, and her life motto.
Dayna: Did you have a feeling you were going to be a dancer when you were younger?
Amandy: I knew I wanted to be in the entertainment industry and I loved to dance. It wasn’t until I got a little older that I knew I could pursue it professionally.
How supportive was your family in your decision to become a professional dancer?
They weren’t too supportive to be honest. My family is very strict, Dominican, and old-school, so they had a hard time accepting it. I had to disobey them and go behind their back to do what I wanted to do.
Who is the most influential person in your life? What advice have they offered you?
Honestly, I would have to say my mom. My mom is a hardworking woman and when she wants something, she goes for it. She basically always told me to work hard for anything that I want. I really follow into her footsteps and everything that she’s taught me.
Who are some of the dancers that inspired you?
I would have to say Danielle Polanco, Jessica Castro, Randi Kemper, Valentine Norton, and Marvelous. Those are New York dancers, by the way.
You took dance classes at 21. Did you feel discouraged compared to most dancers who start at a younger age?
FOR SURE. You know, not being trained and starting in a dance school, it felt like a setback. My drive was ten times more because I felt like I had a lot of work to do. As a female in the dance industry, technique is often required. I did the best that I could, worked as hard as I could, and I made it [she laughs].
What has dancing with Beyoncé taught you? How would you describe The Formation World Tour?
Dancing with Beyoncé has taught me how to be a confident performer and artist. Dancing in front of thousands of people is a nerve-racking thing. What she stands for, woman empowerment, and just her as a woman in general, has taught me so much about myself. I just really respect her and look up to her. The Formation World Tour was a great experience. This was my third tour with her, and by far, the biggest one. It [FWT] was the biggest stage, most amount of dancers, and it was amazing.
Do you feel since you were a dancer for the Formation World Tour it empowers Latinas to achieve their dreams?
I definitely do think so. I feel that it’s not too often that you see Latinas as professional dancers, and on this camp, I was the only Latin dancer. I think people always contact me for advice and recommendations. I think it’s a big thing.
Your performance for the Grammy’s this year was fantastic. Describe your experience preparing for such a huge event.
All in all, working for her [Beyoncé], she’s a perfectionist. We spent about a month and maybe about a week, rehearsing for the Grammys. It was amazing and definitely something worth remembering. It [the performance] had a different meaning this time based on what she was representing and her being pregnant. It was such a beautiful and amazing message. It was an influential performance. The preparation is always intense, but worth it in the end.
What is your favorite dance routine to perform on stage with Beyoncé?
I have more than one.. is that okay? “Diva” is definitely one of them. “Freakum Dress” is one too, even though it wasn’t in The Formation World Tour, that is definitely one of my favorite ones.
What is your life motto?
I mean, I always say ‘live in the moment.’ It’s what I have on my Instagram. Tomorrow is not promised, you just have to live it up and take advantage of every moment. Just be present.
What are your future career plans?
I definitely want to stay within the entertainment industry. I consider myself an artist, not a singer, but I have a creative mind. I’m open to all aspects of artistry, but I am interested in fashion, a lot. I love makeup. I love working on movements, so maybe something with choreographing or artist development. Honestly, I’m still trying to figure it out. But, I’m on my way to making a decision.
Lastly, describe in three words the feeling you get when you’re on stage.
Nervous, thankful, a rush. When I’m performing I just get this adrenaline rush.. such an amazing feeling.
Keep on inspiring the world Amandy with your talent, hard work, and dedication!