We had the good fortune of connecting with Ana Esperanza Dominguez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ana Esperanza, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risks for me have a parallel correlation to faith. When I think about the definition of risk-taking, I immediately associate my life to be the personification of a risk. I look at risks as the blocks that build the cornerstone of the beautiful greatness in which we are destined for. Taking risks can be very frightening and it definitely doesn’t happen easily, by any means. It is that moment of truth where I refuse to let the fear of striking out, keep me from playing the game! I have been taking risks for as long as I could remember. I grew up with a mother who ingrained that fear was a choice not an option. She raised me to look fear in the face and move past it, even when it felt dreadful. Overcoming fear was the only option. I am so thankful for the way my mom raised me to navigate through life and push past the barriers that lie ahead. Overtime, I realized that taking risks has truly been a blessing. It has molded me to become who I am personally and professionally, and led me to expand as the multipreneur I am today. I find that there is such a thrill and satisfaction that comes from having to lead with faith and taking a bold risk. I think about the places I have catapulted from and how grateful I am that taking a risk pushed me out of my comfort and landed me in spaces I never imagined for myself. Nothing ever happens in the shallows, it’s in the depths where the real greatness takes place. I encourage everyone to take risks, especially if they’re scary! Those are usually the risks that will play a pivotal part in our future self. I constantly remind myself, you won’t be able to live your true purpose if you decide to settle and skip out on the risks. The risks you take are the building blocks, they are essential and you can’t build your greatness without them! Romans 12:2

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.
Dance has always been an integral part of who I am. I began my dance education at the age of four and later continued to dance both locally and professionally. My devotion and passion for the art motivated me to pursue a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts in Dance with a specialization in Costume Design at the University of Florida. Once I obtained my degree, I moved my talents to New York, with the goal of fulfilling my dream of being a professional dancer but God had different plans for me. Overtime, I found a substantial amount of joy in teaching and leading others. It was exciting to be still be able to encompass my love for dance into the new spaces I was walking into. I became a Teaching Artist at a very progressive non- profit which implemented art programs for children all over New York City. This non-profit made it possible for me to teach various dance styles and produce showcases at over 45 public schools in the city, while continuing to devote myself to empower younger generations through the arts. My passion and devotion for inner city communities and the arts inspired me 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. We have been awarded several grants through the city of New York permitting Hands of Hope Global, Inc. to service over 100 people in the community. Hands of Hope Global has successfully provided service internationally (Jamaica, Dominican Republic, and Barbados) and domestically (Florida and NYC) Hands of Hope Global takes immense pride in their yearly initiative “Kaleidoscope,” a day of arts targeting inner city children & providing resources to make visual and performing arts available for these diverse communities. Hands of Hope is working to ensure that they are standing on the front lines in support of all the current events in the world, by aligning their focus and programming to support the communities in need. #BlackLivesMatter Fast forward to 2018 when I finally felt like I was on top of my wave and reaping the fruits of all my labor in New York, I got scouted to become a Curve model. Talk about taking a risk. I still remember the feeling of having everything you worked for and towards and being presented the opportunity to leave it behind, move across the country to become a “Curve Model” in an industry that is breaking barriers daily. I struggled so much. It was in that moment that I realized I had completed that chapter in my life and as much as I wanted to stay where I was and hold on tight, I had to let it go because I was comfortable and it was time to make room for what was coming next. Being a model has been quite a rollercoaster, it has moments of highs and many lows. Going from a career where you are constantly making strides to impact others and you are a part of the change you want to see, modeling felt like I was on the opposite playing field and I was having a reality check quite often. Transitioning into this new career was extremely difficult because it was me diving into uncharted waters without any experience or preparation. I usually say this is one of the biggest leaps of faith and risk I have had to take in my adult life.. I had so many moments of regret and so many points of doubt, but I didn’t give up. It really takes a village and I am beyond grateful for mine. It became more than just showing up to work and doing the work required, It was actually believing that I was qualified and trusting that spiritually I was exactly where I was called to be. I had to learn to trust the process. I had to learn how to navigate through this new lifestyle because failure is not an option and I had to learn how to believe in myself all over again. This new career has taught me to see the beauty in everything. It has helped me become even more selfless than I thought I was, and it has placed me in a space to represent for all the women who look like me and need to be reminded that we have a place in this world because we are forces to be reckoned with. As a curve model, I continuously aim to be an advocate against the injustices facing communities of color through my work and a source of hope and inspiration for individuals who have shared similar life experiences. 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. I also aim to be a conduit for change and a beacon of light in a room full of darkness. I will 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.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
So thankful for the places I can visit when I am hungry and it’s too hot in LA to cook at home. I have included a list of my favorite places that are at the top of my list! Let’s go to Malibu! Malibu is probably one of my MOST favorite places! I love to drive along the Pacific Coast Highway and sit at the beach. This is truly my definition of living my best West Coast life. Did someone say food? The BEST Mexican hands down is Salsa and Beer. They offer such great authentic food, large portions, and the prices are very reasonable. Mercados is also great Mexican food. The drinks are EPIC and the food happens to be organic! Gus’s Fried Chicken is definitely A HIT and never disappoints. Reel Inn, in Malibu is such a great place. You can have dinner alongside the PCH, catch the surfers or some of the greatest actors off screen. Porto’s is also a MUST! You can’t come to California without grabbing something sweet from this bakery. Goodluck trying to narrow down your choices. If you love ice cream, I definitely recommend Salt and Straw. They get so creative with their seasonal flavors and you’ll end up trying things you never thought you would.

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 can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” -Philippians 4:13

My faith in God is the foundation of my success and the reason why I am where I am today. God is my source and the leading force in my life, All the honor and the glory belongs to him!

I wouldn’t be half the woman that I am without my mother, She is my backbone and I am thankful daily for her devotion and sacrifice in raising me. My mother has been my number 1 supporter since day zero! I always say I aspire to be at least half the woman she has been so I can impact the people around me to be world changers.. My mama has given me such an outpour of love in all the years of my life and she has never not supported me, even through the struggles of being a single parent. She has worked tirelessly to provide me with what I need to make it through. My mom has been my guiding light in times of fearful risk-taking and she has broken barriers she faced for her generations to overcome. I am thankful that she hasn’t let what we didn’t have or come from hold back her ability to support, or be present in my life. There aren’t enough words to express my gratitude. I love her BEYOND!

Shoutout to my sister, VckyonFLEEK. She has been one of the people who has always motivated me to become successful and never give up! She is one of my constant reminders to the responsibility that comes from being a curve model and using that space to impact those around me. I am thankful for the outpour of love she has always been so willing to give, and inspires me to never stop loving and lead with grace. She is the reason why I aim to pave the way so she can be who she wants to be in the future! I am SO thankful that you’re my sister!

Shoutout to my best friend, brother from another mother, My PIC and my Mushu Jonathan. There isn’t anything he wouldn’t do for me and the lengths he is willing to go to love and support me are mind blowing. He is one of my biggest inspirations and someone who holds me accountable to be great. God definitely knew how much I needed him. I am SO thankful for you!

Shoutout to my Mother agent/Manager, Eric “Muvsy,” I don’t know how I would’ve made it through without your support and love as I dove into this new career. I am so glad God chose you to lead me in this chapter and serve as my guiding light. Thank you for your love, support, nurturing, for the fights on the way to work or the airport, and for being such a PIVOTAL part of this chapter in my life, Thank you for always believing in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself. I am SO thankful for you! Although I have worked relentlessly and sacrificed a great deal to get where I am, I would not be where I am today without the support of some of the greatest, most influential people in my life.

Special shoutout to my village. They were not kidding when they said “It takes a village!” I am so thankful for my “ride or die” village. I know God has handpicked these people to be in my life in the capacity of which they are. So I want to publicly thank God for blessing me with an extraordinary community. The levels of support and the excess amount of love they have provided me has truly helped me to go on!

To my family, my dearest friends, my mentors, my agents, and everyone that has poured into me and loved me. Thank you! I love you guys!

Website: www.handsofhopeglobal.com
Instagram: @theanadominguez
Twitter: @theanadominguez
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theanaedominguez/

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