Finding Inspiration Together with...Lorena Luna, Founder of Luna Nueva Choreography
You can't open your Instagram feed without seeing one of those "surround yourself with people who..." posts. And while I find the quotes to be a bit cliche, the sentiment still rings true: who you surround yourself with matters. Personally, I like to surround myself with strong, inspirational, independent women who dare to imagine better, don't take 'no' for an answer, and go after what they want with confidence while encouraging their friends to do the same. Lorena Luna is one of those women. At just 31 years old, this gorgeous gal hustles harder than anyone else I know, balancing her full-time career with iHeart Media with her part time job as a Zumba instructor at the YMCA, her role as a single mom to two beautiful girls, and her side-hustle-turned-thriving-business, Luna Nueva Choreography. How does she do it all and make it look so easy? A strong work ethic, a strong sense of self, and a strong group of girls who have her back.
What is Luna Nueva Choreography and how did it start?
I got the idea for Luna Nueva when one of my Zumba students asked me if I would help her granddaughter with the choreography for her quinceanera. Several women at the party like my work and asked me if I would help their daughters or granddaughters too. As I got more
requests, I realized there really was a need for this in San Antonio. I started brainstorming with a few of my closest girlfriends, and their encouragement and support was overwhelming. It was just the push I needed and in April 2019 I launched Luna Nueva, specializing in quinceaneras, sweet sixteens, and weddings.
How long have you been dancing?
I was a cheerleader and on the dance and drill teams at my high school in Pearsall, TX. When I moved to San Antonio at the age of 19, I took a Zumba class at the YMCA. One of the managers saw me and asked me if I would teach--they even paid for my training and certification the first year! Since then, I have led countless Zumbathons, and performed at Siclovia, SWEAT SA, and am often asked to lead classes at corporate sites including Christa Santa Rosa.
What do you love most about dancing?
I've always been passionate about dancing because it's a great way to stay in shape while doing something I love. I actually can't hear a song without immediately starting to choreograph a dance in my head--it's a blessing and a curse. It's something that's always come naturally to me, and something that has always been there for me to turn to whether I'm happy, sad, stressed...I can always dance. I believe that music connects people dancing allows them to express themselves in a positive, healthy, and creative way.
What's the biggest challenge of your role as a choreographer?
When I have to work with music that the client requests, but that doesn't necessarily go together. That can be tricky. Also, I have to work out a routine first, then teach it to the clients, and sometimes make changes on the spot--especially when I'm working with the younger kids. You have to be flexible and be able to customize to the taste and vision of the client.
What is the most rewarding part?
The applause at the finale, and knowing that all your hard work will forever be part of someone's memory of a special time in his or her life.
You are a single mom, hold down a full time job, teach Zumba, and run a growing side hustle. How do you do it and what advice would you give someone else?
It's a lot of time management. You have to be well-organized and run a tight ship. You also have to be realistic about your end goals, which means doing a lot of market research before jumping into something. Understand that it is a lot of work and you need a good support system in place whether that's family, friends, or both. I have an internal drive to be better, and I am fueled by people who say something is impossible because I love a good challenge. My life is a lot of juggling, but I'm motivated by my two daughters. I want to be the best example I can for them and show them that with hard work and determination they can have it all.