Born in the beautiful islands of the Dominican Republic and a native of Miami, Florida, Ana Dominguez began her dance education at the age of 3 and continued on to graduate from the University of Florida, with a B.F.A in Dance and a specialization in Costume Design with high Cum Laude honors. Ana later moved to New York and since then has taught and implemented dance programs at over 45 public schools and continues to devote herself to empower younger generations through the arts.
Ana’s passion and devotion for the community and the arts led her to launch Hands of Hope Global, Incorporated, a non-profit arts organization making visual and performing arts an option for inner city youth and communities. Through her organization, Ana has been awarded two grants through the city of New York allowing Hands of Hope Global to service over 100 people in the community. She is currently working on their upcoming yearly initiative “Kaleidoscope” a day of arts for children and families.
As a curve model, Ana continuously aims to be an advocate against the injustices facing communities of color through her work and a source of hope and inspiration for individuals who have shared similar life experiences. She says, “I strive to be an inspiring force, a mentor to younger generations and women while using my platform to help individuals believe in their dreams and pursue their passions in their truest form. As a public figure, a mover and shaker and a mogul, I am a conduit for change and a beacon of light. My mission is to continue to advocate for minorities through my work, develop partnerships with inclusive brands that believe in human rights and are changing the world through their missions, in efforts to make changes that will make for a better world. It is with passion and vigor that I take a stand as a model, artist, activist, and humanitarian to use my platforms to create spaces for us all to take up space.”
Soulivity Editor D’angelo Thompson had the chance of spending time with Ana to discuss her journey to living her passion and purpose, including being an advocate for her community.
DT: Ana, I had the pleasure of meeting you through a mutual friend and mother agent, Eric Stern. We also did an article on him last year.
I am very inspired by your drive and activism in a business that likes you to “look pretty,” but not speak. We all know that is changing, which is a leap forward for young adults of all genders.
Did you always want to be a model? If not, what was your first love?
AD: I ran away from modeling as much as I could. My first love is dance; and, helping others (which I was doing in NYC). I started an organization called, Hands of Hope Global, which is an Arts non-for-profit.
DT: What have been challenges in this business?
AD: My biggest challenges have been allowing others to work for me and allowing them to dictate how I move and work. I had to learn to trust in the process.
AD: To be honest, it feels like a great accomplishment. It is all about breaking barriers and creating a space for women who look like me.
DT: Where do you see yourself as a “brand” in the next 5-7 years?
AD: In the next 5-7 years, I see myself as a multi-dimensional activist and running an empire, an umbrella organization.
I see myself having an art center for inner city children to have resources around the arts.
I see myself as a successful mogul.
DT: I know for me, it’s been a challenge to get clients to be transparent with how they pay us. I can’t tell you on how many occasions I found out a less qualified MUA or HMU was getting more than me. Have you encountered this as a model? And how do you combat it?
AD: Yes, I have encountered this, and it keeps reoccurring. Thankfully, there is transparency among fellow models who believe in transparency when it comes to rates. So, when the same client approaches to book me, my team and I have negotiating power. I am determined to preserve my brand/image and clients who support me and my work.
DT: What advice would you give to younger creative artists or models?
AD: For creative artists, create to commit to who you are and allow room for expansion. Be open to the bigger picture and allow the expansion to happen; allowing the universe to take you where it wants you to go.
Never stop showing up for yourself, be present.
DT: Ana, what are you grateful for?
AD: I am so grateful to be living during these times.
I am so thankful for my relationship with Jesus.
I am thankful for the spaces I have been able to walk into, my global community, and my support system.
I am so grateful that I am fully alive and not just existing.
DT: Ana, thank you so much for chatting with me/us. You are definitely on our radar here at Soulivity and can’t wait to see all the amazing things you are doing – now and in the future.
Follow Ana on social media!
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