“You’re still amazing and ambitious — and just because you’re alone, and not working at the moment and don’t feel productive doesn’t mean you are any less than you were before. It’s okay to take a break.”
Chanel Nami was born in New York, but moved to Los Angeles when she was just one year old. She’s never moved out of LA — attending USC for college and transitioning into work in Los Angeles shortly after.
“I LOVE to salsa dance, DIY, arts and crafts, hang out with friends, plant and grow veggies, and meditate. I would like to own a dance studio one day or be a dancing entrepreneur,” Chanel states of her background.
During the pandemic while she hasn’t been working full-time, she’s been further exploring her passion for the art of salsa dancing, working on growing her social media followership so that she can share this practice with as many people as possible, and spending more time cultivating her relationships with friends and family. Read more about Chanel’s quarantine life from Beverly Hills, California, below:
Is there anything you feel that you’ve learned about yourself or the world from this experience, that you’d like to share?
“Being alone for so long makes you be in your head too much which makes you second guess yourself but don’t feed into loneliness. You’re still amazing and ambitious — and just because you’re alone, and not working at the moment and don’t feel productive doesn’t mean you are any less than you were before. It’s okay to take a break.”
Has this experience in any way changed the way that you order your personal priorities in life?
“Family time, friendships, and romantic relationships are important. Before COVID, I didn’t put too much effort into them because I was too busy — but now that I have time to foster these relationships, I realized how important they are to me and how happy they make me.”
Can you tell us a bit more about your salsa dancing?
“Yes! I have been dancing since I was a kid but only started “salsa” specifically two years ago. A friend took me to a salsa class and salsa club in one night and I absolutely fell in LOVE and have been dancing 4+ times a week, ever since.
I am now a salsa and bachata teacher. I love teaching beginners because they are so excited and eager to learn, so I feel like I am really helping them! Salsa makes me very happy, so I like to share that happiness with friends, students, family, and everyone.
The salsa basic step is pretty simple: it’s just six steps. These are the counts: 1-2-3…5-6-7. You step forward with your left foot on one, step in place on two, together on three, back with you right on five, in place on six, and together on seven.
Written down it sounds confusing but I promise in person it’s much easier and super fun. Once you get the steps down, you can add some hips, swing your arms, and add some body movement.”
What has your local community been doing to fight the rate of transmission?
“Beverly Hills made it mandatory to wear masks outside and inside. You cannot dine indoors. No indoors businesses are allowed to be open.” [Editor’s Note: Beverly Hills is its own city outside of LA with its own mayor and its own laws. It is not considered a part of the “City of Los Angeles.” Beverly Hills has enacted strict protocols including the mandating of masks before the City of LA did.]
What has been your general daily routine so far during the pandemic?
“My routine is embarrassing, since I am not working and trying to stay isolated from most people. I wake up, eat breakfast, apply for jobs on my computer, hang out with my mom, annoy my sister as she works from home, water my plants, tan in my backyard, take online dance classes in my room, maybe read my book, possibly hang out with some friends, then go to bed.”
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced during the COVID crisis?
“Money! I still have to pay my college loans but I am currently unemployed, so it’s difficult. Also staying isolated is very lonely and makes me overthink everything!”
What have you been doing to keep your spirits up on a day-to-day basis?
“Online dance classes help a lot. I LOVE dancing so it makes me feel like I’m not in quarantine… Quarantine activities also include planting, dancing, building my social media audience, biking, picnics, and hanging out with family.”
Follow Chanel on Instagram at @chanelnami to learn more about the art of salsa dancing and to have the chance to regularly see this dancing queen in action.
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