We had the good fortune of connecting with Jenna Carara and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jenna, what do you attribute your success to?
What I have learned over the years is that it is extremely important to enter into situations grateful, excited, and ready to learn with an open mind. I have been so fortunate to have worked with many different professionals over the course of my career – photographers, videographers, choreographers, other dancers, directors, and more. I constantly remind myself that there is so much I can learn and so much these amazing people can teach me. I don’t ever shy away from honestly telling these people how thankful I am to be collaborating and working with them. The more appreciative you are in situations that are offering you new opportunities, the more likely you are to have continued positive references and opportunities in the future! Someone once told me it’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know. Not only do you have to think about networking possibilities, but once you enter into situations with a thankful spirit and an excitement to learn and accomplish a task, the more momentum you will create for yourself. I have been completely blown away by the way I have been given work. Most of the time it is due to a reference from another professional I have worked with previously. It is amazing who is connected to whom in the world and I have been constantly amazed at how small the world actually is. Stay positive, be grateful! Enter into situations with a loving spirit, an excited mind, and you will absolutely set yourself up for success.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a ballerina. Throughout the course of my entire life, I have worked so hard on my technique and artistry. I continuously spend hours in the studio working hard to stay in shape, even if I have no upcoming gigs in the near future. I’ve had days that have pushed me to my absolute limit, but nothing has ever made me love my art any less. Despite any rejection, disappointment, failure, injuries, and more, my love for what I do has always kept me going. Finding motivation can become challenging sometimes as well. However, we live in a world that makes it incredibly easy to find inspiration. If I ever feel drained, all I have to do is seek inspiration and collaboration with others and then I feel motivated again. Being a ballerina is far from easy. Finding work in this world as a freelance dancer is also extremely difficult at times. I have learned over the course of my career is that life has a funny way of working itself out. Truly, when one door closes, another one opens. That statement is way easier to believe once things work out, but even in the midst of seasons with very little or no work, I try my best to push myself forward so that I can be a valuable asset to any future project or team! I like to make a joke and compare myself to a shark: if I ever stopped moving, I would die. Keep moving forward, keep pushing, keep learning, and seek new knowledge and experiences every time you get the chance. That’s what pushes me forward continuously! Since I am so passionate and excited about what I do, I think that’s what sets me apart. I can’t even begin to explain how much I love what I do. Dancing isn’t something that I just do, it is part of my identity. It always has been, and it always will be even after my life doesn’t allow me to continue. I’m always seeking new experiences, new opportunities, and I am always thrilled to be pushed out of my comfort zone. I feel that I have really been able to share my passionate spirit with all the people I’ve had the opportunity to work within my career!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
As hilarious as it sounds, my friends and I are really into everything Enneagram. As a 7, I am constantly seeking new experiences and I’m always up for anything and everything! I’m pretty spontaneous when it comes to thinking of what to do next since I like collaborating with who I’m exploring with so that we can pick something that suits us both. Some of my go-to’s to plan in advance would be seeing live music, a comedy show, go to a museum, go for a scenic hike, meeting up with more friends, or have a picnic in a park. Although I like trying new things, one of my classic places to go often is Disneyland. I could spend days in a row there, and I have frequently done so. It is a guaranteed good time, and I feel like I could take anyone there with me and make it the best day ever! Since I am no stranger to Disneyland, I know all the places to eat, drink, and where to find entertainment. I take pride in the fact that I can design a day that is perfect for the person or people I go with. I also love to spend time in San Diego since I have quite a few friends there. There are so many places to eat, drink, and explore. I enjoy leaving it up to my friends that live there to pick places since I love trying things so much!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am so thankful for my family, my best friends (Kaylee, Kaitlyn, Lexie, Katie, Erina to name a few…), and teachers I had growing up that made me who I am today. I feel so confident in my abilities now because of their undying love and support. Professionally, there are quite a few people who have really taken my career to the next level. I am constantly incredibly grateful for all the things that these people have done for me in recent years, and I am so ecstatic to work with them again and again! The first is Oliver Endahl, also known as the genius photographer behind Ballet Zaida. Oliver and I became friends a few years back and have been able to collaborate quite a few times. When we get together, we talk music industry, the dance world, discuss our dreams, and much more. He and his wife, Nicole Voris, are some of the most inspirational people I have ever met. I always feel so inspired and motivated after our time together. Another person that has given me opportunities to progress my career is Anthony Magilano, also known as the Artistic Director of a company called Quixotic. He is driven, artistic, and someone who can somehow accomplish 20 projects at once and have huge success with all of them. Quixotic is such an exciting company to collaborate with, and I can’t wait to continue working with them. (Huge shoutout to Stephanie Kroll for connecting us!) Last, but not least, I’d like to give a shoutout to one of my longtime photographer friends Nicole Perez. I always joke that my Instagram is actually a second page for her content. She is talented, hilarious, and a really awesome person all around!
Oliver Endahl (@BalletZaida), Nicole Perez (@NicolePerezPhotos)