We had the good fortune of connecting with Cindy Fernandez-Nixon and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Cindy, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
I am a mom, actress, dancer and fitness instructor. Focusing on my business as a fitness instructor / ZUMBA instructor, I get to use my platform to help other members of the community (of all ages) to work on both, body and mind, in a very fun way. Dancing! I am a huge mental health advocate. I believe that keeping both our minds and bodies healthy is very essential to be a functioning member of society.

During these times of uncertainty, many of us have felt lost, detached, immobilized and full of worries. So I decided to continue to offer Zumba classes to provide a escape from all the stress. Get them to dance, move the body and smile. It has been proven that reducing stress is one of the best ways to strengthen the immune system.

At first I only did virtual classes but as things changed, so did my business. I incorporated to my schedule In-Person classes at the park where we continue to follow the state mandates. So while maintaining social distance, we get to connect to others and stay motivated.

We all have a super power that allows us to give back to our community. Mine is bringing health through dance!

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I started off my professional career as a Mechanical Engineer. I have always done acting and dancing but it was more as a hobby than a profession. Growing up, being an artist wasn’t a stable career path, therefore I needed to go for something that was. Upon graduating with a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering, I realized that something inside of me just didn’t feel right. I didn’t feel comfortable with just going into the office everyday. I wanted professional growth, but in a completely different field, one that I was always to scared to admit. I realized I wanted to take my acting/dancing hobby and make it into a career.

It was a very difficult process for me, mentally. My fear of disappointing my family, who had supported me all throughout my engineering career, haunted me. At the same time I did not feel happy with where I was in life. I slowly fell into a depression, which I did not realize until years later. I suppressed a lot of my emotions and began to close off to family members and friends. I began to blame those that had previously supported me with the thought that their guidance was what guided me down the wrong path. My days began to feel like a replay of the same thing, and all that came to my head were complains after complains.
Until one day, I felt tired of hearing myself say the same thing over and over. I remember sitting in my car in the parking lot during lunch time, since I continuously chose to have lunch alone, I wrote myself a letter and while writing this letter I realized that I couldn’t do anything to change what was done, I could sit there for the next 20 years and complain, it was not going to change anything. However, I did have the power to change what was going to happen next. I had the power to change my narrative, whether I felt those around me would support me or not. I remember vividly saying “I could blame them for what they didn’t help me do but from this point forward if I don’t do something about making myself happy, the only person to blame would be me!”

With that, I added this mantra to my life “I can sit here and complain about what I don’t like OR I can sit here and think about how I am going to change it”. This was a brand new beginning for me. After this I developed and produced the 1st Bilingual Magazine Style Radio Show in Pittsburgh PA. I produced and hosted TV Segments for PBS. I began to get roles in short films in the area and started to train as an actress. Same time, for health reasons, I became an avid gym goer which then turned into a certified Zumba Instructor. I also realized that the fear of lack of support was all in my mind.

By the time I had my first child, I had many people suggest that I was going to have to make a choice about my career. The thought was that I needed to quit acting/dancing because as a mom this was going to be very difficult task, however, given the fact that I had already experience such an emotional downfall, I was not phased by these comments. I already knew that the power to do what I want to do is within. I am so happy that my support team and my agents, all thought the same way. Being a mom turned out to be a blessing as it opened more doors.

Today, I am a full time mom, actress and fitness instructor.

If there is one thing I want to make sure I pass down to my kids, it is the importance of maintaining a good mental health. This doesn’t mean they will not encounter obstacles in life, but it will be the foundation that will help them get through and move forward. That the only limits we have are those we put on ourselves.

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?
First, I would give them a personal tour of the walk of fame, show them how different it looks from what we see on TV. Then I would drive them up to the Hollywood sign but not the regular viewing spots, I would take them to “Hollywood Lake Park” because to me this is the best spot to take pictures without the hike that many visitors don’t really feel like doing. Hahaha. Then I would drive by Beverly Hills, depending on the mood, we would stop by and walk a bit on Rodeo Dr. and probably not buy anything because who are we kidding, it is Rodeo Dr. Then hop back in the car and go to Venice and Santa Monica, maybe if it is not too late we can go for a walk on the promenade then out to the Santa Monica boardwalk. By then I know they are tired so we head home.

Next day, let’s go to the beach, but not the tourist areas, let’s go to Dockweiler Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and if we have time, let’s drive down to Newport. I like all the beaches going south of LAX because the feel is truly the California living, not the tourist feel of SM and Venice.

Next day we can go to downtown and explore some of the cool spots, but if they come from a big city then let’s head over to Malibu. The best part of going to Malibu is actually the drive on route 1, so beautiful! Before leaving the city I would drive by Mulholland Drive just expose them to the expensive hillside living of the rich and have them question how they would survive an earthquake.

After that it is free flow!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My family has been my rock. I have several career paths and their support has allowed me to surpass the obstacles I have encountered. My parents seeing me through Engineering school, Rod for being the best part of the support system we need to raise our kids, specially as I transitioned to an Acting career, and lastly every single member in my family that knew fitness was another one of my callings and supported 100% my decision to become a fitness instructor.

Last but certainly not least, my Zumba tribe! I am so grateful to my community of dancers of all ages. Their dedication to our collective well being has motivated me many times to continue to push forward, their support is what drives me to be better, for them!

Website: www.cindyfernandeznixon.com

Instagram: @cindyFernix

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cindyefernandez?trk=profile-badge-cta

Twitter: @Cindyfernix

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CindyFernandezNixon/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ydnicf

Image Credits
Kevin McIntyre

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