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Alison Stroming

Alison Stroming

 

Born in Brazil, raised in New York; Alison Stroming has been taking the world by storm to say the least. As a dancer, model, youtuber and founder of her own dance-wear company, Alison's career was destined for greatness from a young age. On top of winning awards, starring in national ad campaigns and publications, Alison also serves as a mentor to young dancers. We caught up with the incredible #girlboss to see how life as a pro dancer all began.    

 

Alison wearing Sienna and Valentina Red.

 

How old were you when you started dancing and when did you decide to really try and create a career from it?

"I took my very first ballet class when I was two years old! I also trained in jazz, tap, hip hop, and ironically, ballet was my least favorite! However, I loved being on stage and competed in my very first dance competition when I was 6 years old. My mom took me to see “The Nutcracker” at Lincoln Center in New York City when I was 8 years old and the moment I saw the principal ballerina enter the stage in her beautiful costume and tiara, I fell in love and said, “that’s what I want to be!”. My ballet teacher encouraged my mom to take me to an audition for the School of American Ballet, which is a very prestigious ballet school in NYC, and to my total surprise, I was accepted! And so, I started my formal ballet training when I was nine years old and decided when I was about thirteen years old that ballet was what I wanted to pursue."

 

 Alison wearing Valentina Red.

 

What is one of the greatest highlights in your dancing career? 

"One of the greatest highlights of my career was performing at New York City’s world famous theater, City Center, with my former company, Dance Theatre of Harlem. It is amazing to be able to tour and perform all across the world, but the most rewarding experience is always getting to perform in my favorite city, to which I have called home for almost my entire life. The energy from the audience in New York City is like no other and just knowing that I have all of my family and friends in the audience supporting me, is the best feeling!"

  

You are a hugely successful professional dancer and so many people are inspired by you and your skill- I saw you have set up a mentoring programme for young dancers. This is amazing! What inspired you to do this?

"Thank you! With my new dancewear line, AS Dancewear, I have been able to share one of my new passions, which is designing with dancers across the world. I wanted to also build a program to connect with my dancers and something that was meaningful and had purpose, which sparked the idea of creating AS Mentorship.I have selected 15 young dancers from across the United States to guide and mentor one-on-one for a year in partnership with my brand. As a mentor, the feeling of paying forward what has been done in the past for me is so rewarding."

 

 

 

What challenges have you faced during your career that you have been able to overcome? What did you take away from this? 

"One of the biggest challenges I have faced during my career would be my struggle with self-esteem and believing in myself. Growing up, I was very shy and was always scared of being judged and what people thought of me. It was easy to get caught up comparing myself to my colleagues and so I wasted time and energy on things that were not necessary instead of just working for myself. It took time, but I have learned to embrace what makes me unique, and that it’s okay to just be myself and to feel confident in my own skin. I have been able to carry that grace and confidence into my dancing, which has helped me become the artist that I am today."

 

Photography by Andrew Kinder.


October

Gina Swire

This month we speak to Gina Swire, Self Love expert, mentor and manifesting queen. We believe a Power Woman is someone that tries to lift others up and that's exactly what Gina does! On an incredible mission and with an amazing story she inspires us and makes us really consider what's important. With a year like 2020 we think it's so important to reflect and make positive changes, so we hope introducing you to Gina and the amazing work she does will help that.


Q..At MERABI our Power Women are women who want to make a difference and that’s certainly what you’re doing, to start with can you tell us a bit about your mission.

My mission is to help one billion women fall madly in love with themselves and to get what they want out of life. It’s not about belittling men at all but lifting women up to be equal within the patriarchal society that we live in. It’s about empowering women and lifting them up.


“My mission is to help one billion women fall madly in love with themselves and to get what they want out of life.”


Q..It’s a term you hear a lot but what exactly is self love?

I’ll start by telling you what self love is NOT, self love is not self care. Self love is not just bubble baths and saying “I love my body.” Self love is what comes before self care. Acts of self care like going to the gym, eating well, filling out a gratitude journal, they all take will power, unless you have self love, when you have self love you work on your inner layer and these things just happen. There’s an identity shift after the blocks are removed which stand in the way of love.

Q..Have you always felt this way or can you talk us through your own journey to find self love?

Not at all, I grew up in a family and in a school where people would say “She loves herself” like it’s a negative. I was a plus size model for 14 years and felt constantly in flux, I wanted to be skinny but the agencies wanted me to be bigger, it really messed with my self worth, I felt like I wasn’t good enough as I was and I had a mean inner voice constantly telling me that I wasn’t enough.

In modelling it’s like living in a microcosm of a macrocosm of what happens to all women. We blame ourselves for everything, if clothes don’t fit, if a relationship doesn’t work out. We’re constantly telling ourselves that we should be skinnier or curvier.

I was studying nutrition while working in NYC and I was always really busy - working, partying, everything. It got to a point where I was numbing myself with alcohol and just by keeping busy all the time and working to please other people so I thought enough is enough. I quit it all, I quit modelling, I quit friendships that weren’t right for me and I quit dating. I became celibate and vegan and cleared out space in my life for something different. I got the signs from the universe -I don’t need to change. It’s profound but so simple and that’s what I teach to my ladies now.


You don’t need to have self love to have a happy relationship, but when you have true self love that can give your relationship and out-of-this-world kind of ultimate and healthy love.


Q..Have you always felt this way or can you talk us through your own journey to find self love?

Not at all, I grew up in a family and in a school where people would say “She loves herself” like it’s a negative. I was a plus size model for 14 years and felt constantly in flux, I wanted to be skinny but the agencies wanted me to be bigger, it really messed with my self worth, I felt like I wasn’t good enough as I was and I had a mean inner voice constantly telling me that I wasn’t enough.

In modelling it’s like living in a microcosm of a macrocosm of what happens to all women. We blame ourselves for everything, if clothes don’t fit, if a relationship doesn’t work out. We’re constantly telling ourselves that we should be skinnier or curvier.

I was studying nutrition while working in NYC and I was always really busy - working, partying, everything. It got to a point where I was numbing myself with alcohol and just by keeping busy all the time and working to please other people so I thought enough is enough. I quit it all, I quit modelling, I quit friendships that weren’t right for me and I quit dating. I became celibate and vegan and cleared out space in my life for something different. I got the signs from the universe -I don’t need to change. It’s profound but so simple and that’s what I teach to my ladies now.

Power Women are women

Not at all, I grew up in a family and in a school where people would say “She loves herself” like it’s a negative. I was a plus size model for 14 years and felt constantly in flux, I wanted to be skinny but the agencies wanted me to be bigger, it really messed with my self worth, I felt like I wasn’t good enough as I was and I had a mean inner voice constantly telling me that I wasn’t enough. In modelling it’s like living in a microcosm of a macrocosm of what happens to all women. We blame ourselves for everything, if clothes don’t fit, if a relationship doesn’t work out. We’re constantly telling ourselves that we should be skinnier or curvier. I was studying nutrition while working in NYC and I was always really busy - working, partying, everything. It got to a point where I was numbing myself with alcohol and just by keeping busy all the time and working to please other people so I thought enough is enough. I quit it all, I quit modelling, I quit friendships that weren’t right for me and I quit dating. I became celibate and vegan and cleared out space in my life for something different. I got the signs from the universe -I don’t need to change. It’s profound but so simple and that’s what I teach to my ladies now.

  • Not at all, I grew up in a family and in a school where people would say “She loves herself” like it’s a negative. I was a plus size model for 14 years and felt constantly in flux,
  • I wanted to be skinny but the agencies wanted me to be bigger, it really messed with my self worth, I felt like I wasn’t good enough as I was and I had a mean inner voice constantly telling me that I wasn’t enough.
  • Not at all, I grew up in a family and in a school where people would say “She loves herself” like it’s a negative. I was a plus size model for 14 years and felt constantly in flux,
  • I wanted to be skinny but the agencies wanted me to be bigger, it really messed with my self worth, I felt like I wasn’t good enough as I was and I had a mean inner voice constantly telling me that I wasn’t enough.

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