It is such an honor to introduce LISETTE BUSTAMANTE as this week's #FEMMEFEATUREFRIDAY! Lisette is an outstanding woman and a positive role model for many! She has been a bright light in the industry for years, and she is a multi-faceted artist. As a dancer, choreographer, artistic director, songwriter, music video director, and movement coach, there's really nothing she can't do. Lisette is the perfect example of how to own your truest self and she is exactly what a YGTGirl is all about.
Lisette has danced alongside superstars such as Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Janet Jackson, and Usher on stages all over the globe. She has choreographed for Pink, Prince, and Britney Spears, and holds the title of supervising choreographer on America’s Best Dance Crew, as well.
Besides her extremely impressive resume, Lisette is also a successful entrepreneur and started CREATING OPPORTUNITIES four years ago with her longtime creative partner Chonique Sneed. This mentoring company offers classes, seminars, and other informative programs that guide young dancers, singers, and choreographers to make the right professional choices in the industry. What a way to give back and use their skills to help others!
Lisette represents versatility, strength, and passion. She’s a woman who lives her life tenaciously, and she isn’t afraid to jump out of her comfort zone. We applaud her for continually pursuing her passions and being the phenomenal gal she is. Thank you Lisette for taking the time to answer our questions and inspire our followers.
How did you discover your passion for dance education and mentoring?
I started off my career as a professional dancer and definitely was ready for a challenge and to explore new paths. When I was offered my first teaching position on a national dance convention, I really didn’t know what to expect. I was nervous, excited and intimidated all at the same time. Once I got in the room and was able to share my movement, my mantras and the art form I had come to love so much, I was touched with a feeling unlike anything I had ever felt before. I experienced the power of transformation right before my eyes. That was my “aha” moment !!!! I began to fall in love with being a teacher and decided to make it my mission to help younger artists set out on their own journey. I was blessed with some truly incredible teachers when I was coming up and I wanted to return the favor. I love helping people and sharing the knowledge I have, so I think it became quite natural to mentor and guide my students. It’s a big responsibility that I honor and take great pride in.
We love that you founded Creating Opportunities with Chonique Sneed (another one of Femme Features!) Can you tell us what inspired the two of you to create and build this mentorship program?
The inspiration behind Creating Opportunities came directly from the dance community itself! Every month or so, we would have our monthly “meeting of the minds” that would take place literally on my couch. Most of the time, we'd try to come up with new projects to choreograph or work on stuff we already had going on. At this point we had been teaching for so many years and noticed that our students would always ask us for coaching and help with navigating their way through the industry. They trusted what we said, and always had so many questions….Since we had been in the biz for years and had been through the journey ourselves, we decided it was time to create a mentorship program for artists that was “more than the moves”. Creating Opportunities was born out of just that…the need to communicate and connect in a world that can make you feel confused and alone. We’re proud to have mentored over 200 artists through our program! Lots of magic has been made in our groups!
What obstacles did you have to overcome to get to where you are now?
I think my biggest obstacle has always been allowing myself to trust the flow of how things unfold and believing that if everyone is going right, I can go left and be successful my own way. I went through a crazy transitional period from dancer to choreographer where I was working constantly but had to give something up to move to the next level in my career. I turned down high paying dance jobs and a really big tour to focus on my choreography and teaching path because I knew that’s what I wanted the next part of my evolution to be. Unfortunately, with that, I had to also experience being broke and scared out of my mind! I had to let go of the fear and trust. It can be frightening to do, but in the end listening to that inner voice has never led me astray. Yes there are bumps, but ultimately , I have learned to just stay the course.
What is the advice you'd give to your 10-year old self?
I would say, “There is no such thing as perfection….don’t be afraid to make mistakes or fail, the win is in the exploration of it all! There is only one you on this planet and there will never be another and that’s friggin’ amazing! So go on and show everyone who you are, don’t be afraid to shine your light brightly, and don’t take yourself too seriously because It’s cool to be different, unique and bold!
What’s your definition of a YGTGirl?
A feminine force. A girl who accepts everything she is and everything she’s not and takes pride in her womanhood. A girl who can speak her mind, share her heart and create true magic. Authentic, kind and adventurous!