We had the good fortune of connecting with Shantel Ureña and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shantel, why did you pursue a creative career?
Often times it feels like it chose me. Growing up, I always dreamed of being a “singing dancer” my family would add, “nurse” or “lawyer” at the end. Eventually I wound up graduating with my certification as a Medical Assistant but quickly felt that lifestyle was not fulfilling. It felt as if I was living a life others deemed acceptable. So I took a risk to pursue what was fulfilling to me and it’s been the greatest decision of my life.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I remember talking to my aunt and hearing her say she didn’t grow up hearing about our culture in mainstream media. Now being in her position I saw what she meant.
Being of Dominican, Venezuelan decent. First generation born in the states, I wanted to show there is this other side to being a Latina. We are so many different shades and ways. The beauty and his/her story is a rich well of knowledge.
My mission within my artistry is to show the unspoken truth, depth and wealth that lives in our history through Dance and Storytelling.
The path has not been easy but I’m not sure that any path is. Becoming the artist I am today came with many trial and errors. It STILL DOES.
You just have to know that this is who you are and what you’re here for. Focus on what is working and go from there.
I would like the world to feel moved, joyful, seen, heard but mainly just feel when experiencing my Dance Artistry.
I am most proud of my film that I have been working on since the summer of 2020. Originally I was going to present my first live full length show in August and it has now transformed into a film, due to the closure of many theaters in LA. It is set to release in January 2022, titled Generational Wealth focusing on the wealth passed down through lineage, the good and bad.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We would book a nice air bnb by Malibu beach.
Spend the day in the water and order some Mofongos!
Then we would get some rest and head to a rooftop bar that either Juliet Mendoza is spinning at or something with a Caribbean vibe and dance the night away!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
God and My family. Mi Papi, Bu, Mami and little sister Beba. My partner G’bari. My chosen family. Special shout-out to Aminah and Sandy.
Iyanla Vanzants book| In the meantime
My ancestors and guides.
Lastly, anyone who gave me an opportunity to work, dance, teach or believes in my artistry, Thank you.
Instagram:: @snipesshotit Instagram:: @thefriidom