It brings us so much joy to share this week’s #FEMMEFEATUREFRIDAY with all of you! Jen Apter is originally from Buffalo, New York and is currently pursuing a professional dance career in Los Angeles, California. Jen has a big compassionate heart, a kick-ass positive attitude and a thirst for adventure. The best thing about this beauty though is whether you’re in need of a heart-to-heart or a GNO, you can always count on her to be there for you. We love watching Jen continually push herself outside of her comfort zone and we are so very proud of the confident and determined woman she is.

Before making the big move to the Golden State, Jen attended the University of Buffalo where she graduated with a BFA in Dance and a BA in General Mathematics. After college, Jen knew it was time to concentrate on pursuing her dance career, so she packed her bags, headed out west and hasn’t looked back since. Jen spent the past year and a half assisting the legendary Galen Hooks and had the incredible opportunity to be Assistant Choreographer under her direction for music icon Mya for her music video “Damage”. Additionally, Jen was asked to travel with Galen Hooks and assist her with her Master Class tour in China and Mexico. Currently, Jen is signed with Go 2 Talent Agency and she spends her days focusing on training, creating and becoming the best all around dancer she can be.

We admire that Jen is so focused on growth and we are so inspired by the fact that she is motivated by her own self-development. Our hope is that we all can learn to trust the timing of our lives the way that Jen has. This is a girl who simply takes daily small steps toward her big dreams by working hard at what she does everyday. The rest… is in the hands of the universe. She is the perfect reminder for all of us to release the need to control every detail of our lives and to learn to be more accepting of its ebbs and flows. Most importantly, she encourages us to look for the opportunities that are often waiting for us in seemingly difficult situations. Thank you Jen for showing us that faithful patience is the answer to all of our dreams!

Written by Alessia Rotino

Artwork by Chloe Bruderer (@chloeheartsart)

Artwork by Chloe Bruderer (@chloeheartsart)

What makes pursuing your dreams so rewarding? Why is it important for women to dream big? 

Pursuing your dreams can be a scary thing especially when you dream so big. Once you take the chance, it is so rewarding because once you hit each milestone on your path to success, you feel as if you can conquer the world. You have then proved to yourself you can achieve what you once thought was impossible. Being a female, we have so many stereotypes that make us think we should only be doing certain things, when in reality, we are all human and equally have the capabilities to do whatever our heart desires with focus and commitment to our goals. Each person has a different skill set and may need to work harder then others, but females can’t let the talk of others stop them from dreaming big!

What does having self-confidence mean to you? 

Self-confidence means not only believing in yourself, but also knowing enough about your strengths and weaknesses and simply yourself as a whole, to get through any situation that comes your way.

When was a time you found yourself in a dark, negative place? How did you pull yourself out of it? What lessons did you learn from your experience?

I think my first major dark point in my life was when I got a stress fracture in my foot towards the end of my sophomore year of college. I was a dance major at the time and in the middle of show season. I had to be cut from a few pieces, and during this time I was also applying to some dance and internship programs for the summer, none of which were working out. It seemed like nothing was going my way, and just kept receiving negative news each day. That’s when I learned to not take life too seriously, and life won’t always go as planned. We form these timelines in our heads and expect everything to fall perfectly in place when in reality life is always changing. This time taught me to have an open mind at all times, and be accepting of change when things take a turn. All in all, when life takes a turn, sometimes it leads you to better opportunities and experiences that you would have never thought of to begin with.

What changes do you hope to see for women in the future? What does female empowerment mean to you? 

I would love for women to be viewed by all as equally independent and powerful as men. Also, for kids to think that from the start, so it is a natural thought to them, not something they have to learn as they grow up. Female empowerment to me means bringing out the best that females have to offer and showing females that they can do anything they put their minds to.

What’s your definition of a YGTGirl?

My definition would be a woman who knows herself enough to bring the best out of others while still bringing the best out of herself.