We had the good fortune of connecting with Jasmine Robinson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jasmine, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
Probably the biggest lesson I’ve learned throughout my time as a dancer is to just trust in what you do. As an artist, you know you have something to say and something to contribute, and it’s unfortunately so easy to allow outside voices quieter yours. We are so hypercritical and self-conscious that we lose faith in our own process and our own way of being. For me personally, being a ballet contemporary dancer, I’ve had a lot of people tell me what path I should or shouldn’t take and how I should or shouldn’t move, and it took a huge toll on me mentally and artistically. I found myself conforming to styles or ways of moving that felt inauthentic to me in order to receive praise or admiration from peers and professors, but if you trust in what you do then you never compare or conform to any artist for any reason. Trusting in what you do is how you maintain your integrity as an artist; exploring other avenues of movement, but knowing and honing into what is truly yours. Understanding what is authentic to you also allows you to move towards or away from anything (i.e. a job, opportunity) that doesn’t align with your craft. It’s the balance between being open minded and willing to be uncomfortable and honoring yourself and your truth. That piece of advice has really helped pull me out of my struggles with losing my artistic identity.
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.
When I was young, my mom signed me up for my first dance class and I immediately fell in love. Dance, for me, is such a spiritual experience. The freedom to just release yourself and be one with your body and soul, the feeling of connecting with others through art, the ability to delve into my creativity and expression drew me in like no other sport or activity could. I knew right away that dance wouldn’t be just a hobby; It helped me find my truth, it became my therapy. I was heavily involved in the competition and convention world for many years, but I became attracted to ballet because it is so incredibly challenging, and I thrive off of the challenge. It requires so much focus, discipline and determination. I studied at Master Ballet Academy in Scottsdale, Arizona under the direction of Slawomir Wozniak, and received guidance and mentorship from my pilates instructor Alison Trumbull. My senior year of high school I attended NYCDA Nationals and was blessed to receive $455,000 in college scholarships, which is still a shock for me to even say. This kind of support allowed me to put my all into applying to my dream school, The University of Southern California Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. As I have just finished my first year at this program, I am incredibly honored to be able to further my training at such a prestigious institution. The summer of my senior year I also attended a few summer intensive programs including Complexions Contemporary Ballet. To my excitement, I was offered a trainee position with the company, and throughout my freshman year, went on to perform with the company in New York and Los Angeles. I have overcome numerous challenges as an artist from injuries, to mental health issues, to the overall struggles that come from being a biracial women pursuing a Eurocentric art form. All of these challenges however, have only added fuel to my fire and have allowed me to fight even harder to get to where I am today. I am so incredibly grateful to be where I am, and am excited to continue pushing to meet my goals.
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?
Ooh, I have so many recs! Philz Coffee is my go-to coffee shop; it really doesn’t get better than that. I am a big sushi lover, so I am always at Sushi Enya, Nobu, Kappo Miyabi, and Matsuhia. One of my all time favorite restaurants I’ve been to in LA is 71Above, the food is unreal and you have 360 degree view of the city. I have a big sweet tooth so I’d definitely take them to Blue Star or Sidecar for some donuts. Melrose is also a must if you love shopping and thrifting; you could spend hours checking out all of the cute stores.
The nightlife in LA is, of course, incredible, so you have to explore DTLA, and maybe even drive to West Hollywood for a super fun time. My personal favorite activity however, is heading over to Manhattan Beach for a weekend, and enjoying the beautiful beach, shopping, eating amazing food, and exploring the local area.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
If I could “shoutout” or attribute my success to anyone, it would without a doubt be my mom. From taking me to every single dance class, convention, competition, and audition since I was four years old, to putting time, money, and effort into allowing me to pursue my passion, to showing me unconditional love and support while giving me just enough space to bloom, she is the reason I am here living my dreams. Not only is she the best mom in the world, but she is the best friend, mentor, rock, shoulder, and hype woman you could ever ask for. I owe it all to her.