We can’t wait for you to get to know one very special woman! We are so excited to have Justine Lutz as this week’s #FEMMEFEATUREFRIDAY. Justine Lutz is a professional dancer currently living out her childhood dreams in Los Angeles, California. It’s difficult to sum up this woman’s phenomenal nature in its entirety. Not only is Justine extraordinarily talented, but she is also one of the most driven, determined and focused ladies we know! She has manifested a beautiful life doing what she loves most by placing her faith in the hands of the universe. Even when it may have lead her in a direction that felt scary and unfamiliar in the past, this girl jumped on board for the adventure and hasn’t looked back.

Justine is a go-getter who has always worked hard and remained true in achieving her goals. She's had the amazing opportunity to work on numerous award shows and music videos with majors artist such as Ed Sheeran, Jennifer Lopez, Dua Lipa, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson and Pitbull… to name a few! Justine's other diverse accomplishments include touring with the critically acclaimed Shaping Sound Contemporary Company, Hailee Steinfeld on Meghan Trainor's Untouchable Tour and Dawin internationally. Currently, Justine is living it up on P!NK's Beautiful Trauma World Tour. What a rock star!

What we love most about this girl is how supportive she is to all those around her. A true advocate for female empowerment, Justine believes that we all benefit from lifting each other up and encouraging one another to be our best selves. This inspiring girl reminds us that we are in complete control of our happiness. It is okay to say NO, slow down and take time to explore every level of what speaks to our souls. Most importantly, she is an amazing example of a real authentic woman who loves herself inside out… strengths and weaknesses and all. It doesn’t get any more badass than that! Thank you Justine for encouraging us to dive deep and embrace every layer of who we are.

Written by Alessia Rotino

Artwork by Chloe Bruderer (@chloeheartsart)

Artwork by Chloe Bruderer (@chloeheartsart)

You are an incredible freestyle and contemporary dancer! Tell us about your journey with becoming a professional dancer and how you discovered that this was your path.

Ah thank you!! Well my journey started with a tough training experience in local dance studios. I think it forced me to start questioning who I was at a young age due to bullying. Dance was where I experienced the most drama but also where I found my therapy. I could release my frustrations through my movement. I didn't need to use my voice to get my message across. I thought that was the coolest. As I got older I started travelling to conventions. This is where I started to really see the range of styles of dance and the love I had for travelling. My senior year I was awarded Advanced Pro Elite Protégé at Pulse Dance Convention to assist incredible choreographers such as Brian Friedman, Tyce Diorio, Tessandra Chavez, Gil Duldulao and LaurieAnn Gibson. I was in such disbelief. Here I was, a technical dancer, in a world of mostly street dancers. My mind was pretty set on pursuing the concert dance world. I wanted to perform in a company. But, I decided to attend Loyola Marymount in LA to pursue a Degree in Dance and Communication. Little did I know college and Pulse would be such a kick-start to push me into a career in the commercial dance industry. I started the Pulse season with only having two years of hip hop training. I will forever have appreciation and gratitude toward the choreographers/mentors that saw something in me and created a space to truly push and transform my artistry. I saw only one option, which was to get better at my craft. I had my embarrassments but had no mirror to see what I actually looked like. The pressures to know the routines and complex details for the students made my own insecurities dissipate. I just had to face my fear and persist. I was travelling on the weekends of college and felt I was much happier there than my weekdays in college. I decided to leave after a year and moved into an apartment to pursue dance as a career. I signed with an agency and have been now in the industry for about 5 years! I am proud to say that more than half of the jobs I do are street style. I believe that with hard work, remaining true to self, tackling fears with ambition can take you where you want to be. It gives you a grounded foundation that will create longevity in your career. There have been for sure doubts and hesitations and even questions if I should have gone to the concert world but I solely trust if you’re consistent with yourself the right things will come. I always remind myself everything is always a choice. You choose how to react and what to do. There are only barriers where you put them!

What does female empowerment mean to you and why is it important for women to stand up for each other?

To me, female empowerment is women supporting, conversing, connecting and celebrating their own self-actualizations and beliefs. It is putting our voices into positive actions and can dos. It is to aid each other with sympathy and strength within our emotional/sensitive moments to the successful strides that we all range in. It is important because we as women have a deep instinctiveness to feel. Females have an array of being that ranges with such a variety of color. We can be strong and a powerhouse and yet sensitive and emotional. We can be fire or water, which both are powerful. We intuitively have an awareness of self and others, which means a small gesture can go such a long way. Do small things with great love to each other and that creates a space of force. You can't dim a small light within darkness… it still shines. There is space for everyone! The more lights supported, the more they shine together. Not one light is better than the other. So why not support each other to be the best we can be. In empowering others, you empower yourself.

What is the most important lesson you learned about yourself recently?

The most important lesson I have learned recently is to focus on the bigger picture to see how little the worries and doubts day to day really are. I believe seeing the world and adventuring in new places gives a sense of awakening that makes me feel such at ease. I always think back to moments in nature. It has its own place and function without any effort, doubt or hesitation it simply is. This also aids me in focusing on my wholeness as a human. I have recently been saying no to a few career jobs in fulfilling some other passions like traveling, gardening, drawing, and pottery. It has made me feel in complete control of my happiness.

What does having self-confidence mean to you?

Self-confidence is to love yourself. It is something that it is not projected but just in your being. It is something you feel when you talk to someone not in something you see. It comes from the inside and radiates out. I believe it is knowing and owning your own insecurities and strengths that both make you your powerful, unique, bad ass self!

What’s your definition of a YGTGirl? 

A YGTGIRL is a force that leads with love, integrity, compassion, and hard work. She has dove in the depths of self-work and persisted through questions. She is honest with her voice, confident in her energy, and positive in her actions. She is forever curiously aware and connected. She is loyal to her friends and supports anyone that is around her.