Janel Caminos talks about travel for social dancing. She is a newly published author of Curly Gyal Affirmations available on Amazon at https://smile.amazon.com/Curly-Gyal-Affirmations-Janel-Caminos/dp/0578754886/. Follow Janel at https://www.instagram.com/janel.danza/ and https://www.facebook.com/jcaminos

0 (0s):
Hello, and welcome to dance talks. I’m your host, Andrea Cody today is October 22nd, 2020. And my guest is Jenelle Caminos. Janell is a full-time health care professional for Harris County and a part-time dancer and dance instructor. Janell. Thank you for being a part of dance talks. Thank you for having me today. Yeah. So I’m really excited to hear more about you and what you do. I know you as a dance teacher, but how did you get started dancing? I’ve been dancing my whole life since I was

1 (30s):
25 years old. Maybe even younger. Where are you from? I’m from Houston bones from Puerto Rico. And I was raised in that culture. So my mom always says that I could show me before I could walk, because I was just used to dancing and listening to music and people ask me all the time. How’d you learn a dance? I’m like at home, in my living room, I grew up mostly with salsa. That’s like my favorite. And that’s what I still do to this day. I will say my number one, passion and dance of choice, even though I love all other dances, but that’s like my number one. That’s my true love.

0 (1m 4s):
Like with a partner traditional self.

1 (1m 6s):
Yes. Oh yeah. Dancing with a partner. Your partner doesn’t have to be a male. You can dance with your mom, your sisters, your cousins, your dad. And then of course, yeah, the social dancing partner dancing. I’ve done the competitions, the performances, all that. But yes, I learned, so I call that social dancing. It’s not like the ballroom proper technique or what you see on dancing with the stars. I mean, it is dancing, but that’s not like my style. I’m more of the street culture.

0 (1m 33s):
Okay, cool. So you just like to go out and do it?

1 (1m 36s):
Yes. I mean, I’ll do both. I’ll do both. I’ll do the technical side and I’ll do like the fun side. It doesn’t have to be professional. Yeah. Yeah. Did you take classes for some John Rose? Yes. Or I’ve trained or competed? So it just depends, but salsa. I never really took classes, but I was on teams before I’ve started actually my own Latin dance company in college at Texas state being Latino. So I would teach people how to on salsa, I can teach basics, but I never actually like professionally trained in salsa. That makes sense. You lead. I can. And honestly, I think after this pandemic, I’m going to have to take classes in everything because I don’t know if I know how to lead anymore.

1 (2m 18s):
I feel like I want to brush up my skills, but yes, the basics. Yes.

0 (2m 23s):
Yeah. That’s a part of teaching. Yes. You have to learn both parts.

1 (2m 27s):
Yes, yes, absolutely.

0 (2m 29s):
Cool. What are your favorite places to go out to

1 (2m 32s):
And Houston? So it depends on what kind of event. So I love, like I said, salsa, but I don’t just do salsa. I’ll do a dance que Samba. I like Caribbean dancing, like soca dance hall. So it depends on what’s going on on the weekend. If it’s like a Latin party, is it an African party, Caribbean party I’m going to be there. So there’s different dance styles. But usually when I go to like dancing for socials and dance, socials is what we call them. I don’t really clubs. So I go to dance socials, which is where we rent out a dance studio and we just dance all night and we have DJs. And if you go to a Latin social, they’ll be up like a bachata room, a salsa room. There might be a Keystone by room.

1 (3m 12s):
So different genres within the studio. So you can dance. So you don’t have to worry about the club life, right? A lot of drunks or inappropriate things going on. It’s just, everyone’s here strictly to dance and it’s like a safe environment.

0 (3m 27s):
And so where are those?

1 (3m 30s):
I’m usually at the studios on my porch. I like to go to Sarica dance or I think now they call it the palladium. It’s also, Eddie has his, at the Houston dance factory. There is a Maya studio, so they have events and there’s, I mean, I know there’s dance studios all over and I’m sure they all have their own little private parties. So it’s really important to be connected on Facebook, I would say is where I find out of a lot of the socials going on for the weekend. So I was like, I want to dance this weekend. Let me look on Facebook and see what socials are going on this weekend and I’ll try to make them cool.

0 (4m 7s):
Yeah. Do you know much about the history of each dance?

1 (4m 10s):
Yes, actually. I think that’s like the most important part. Actually. That’s a lot of my friends say that I’m a purist. Like I like to know the culture, the background of the different dances, because to me that’s like the most important, I’m not really into fusions. If you know me, I do not like fusion dances. I mean, I appreciate it, especially if it’s a performance, I’ll appreciate it. But that’s like, not my thing. Like for example, I dance keys on by, I used to teach Keystone, but I’ve performed and that is a dance from Angola Africa. And the only reason why I know about that dance is because in high school, one of my best friends, she’s from Angola. And so she introduced me to her culture and I would go to their parties at home. And I just loved their culture, very similar to how I grew up, but they speak Portuguese.

1 (4m 52s):
They, they even dance Samba like in Brazil. So that’s how I learned Casamba and soundbite going to Angolan parties. So I really, really appreciate the culture. And even with that, I didn’t really, I didn’t take classes for Keystone by either now that’s like a hot bang people take classes to learn Casamba and people ask me all the time, where did I learn? How to, where did I, what studio or who, who taught me? And I was like, Oh no, I grew up, I went to parties to me, that’s the best way. When learning from the natural people, like where did this dance come from? Right. That’s very, very important to me.

0 (5m 30s):
Yeah. Yes. And so how did you get into Jamaican dance hall?

1 (5m 35s):
So I’ve always loved like reggae and dance hall. So even in Puerto Rico, they have what I get the own, which is pretty much a Spanish reggae, very, very similar. So it’s like a little bit more hip hop ish, but you wind and move your waistline. And it’s like, it’s been very similar and growing up too, he’s a love watching dance videos. So I will learn all different dance styles. And I used to just love that John HRA and I really liked the dancing of it. So I would just learn by watching I’m a visual learner, I’ll watch a video and I’ll practice the moves. And then I was, I was actually a Brookline instructor, which is also a Caribbean or dance hall, inspired fitness and dance class.

1 (6m 22s):
So they were dancers for Sean Paul and they, they would teach and train other dancers and dance hall, not too much soca, but I was training and learning how to teach their styles too for the last couple of years. So I would say there’s not a lot of those type of classes down here. I would say more on the East coast, like New York. And so I would say maybe the last two, three years, there’s actually been like Caribbean dance hall classes here in Houston. And I was one of the first instructors with Brooke wine and I was trained and learned how to teach and their styles so I can teach other people down here in Houston.

0 (7m 5s):
Can you give us like the essence of each of those? Like what makes them distinct from one?

1 (7m 10s):
Yes. I get that question all the time. Cause people, people are like, wow, you have so many different styles. Like how do you know the difference? I will definitely say educate yourself because some people, for example, like I’ll use Keystone as an example. People love it because they think it kind of looks like tango, a Chapa. Like they all have some kind of similarity, but they’re different. So that’s why I always tell people, like to listen to the music first to me is like, you have to enjoy the music. So what kind of music is it? So like with Keystone by music, for example, there’ll be other key Samba, ghetto Zuke somebo scent. Sorry, not something my Simba just learning like their music and just understanding it.

1 (7m 53s):
And to me that’s always the first one. Cause if you don’t understand the music, like the beats accounts, the drops, like what’s what to listen to. It’s like you can’t dance to it. It’s like a relationship. That’s why I always say with dancing, as long as you understand the music, you don’t understand the lyrics. I can dance so many songs. I don’t know what they’re saying. So it’s just understanding the music and the rhythm and how they dance to it and just catching on to it. So that’s what I was. They just always learn the history and the music and you’ll know, you’ll know the difference. For example, for salsa, there’s different temples. You can dance on salsa. There’s they call salsa on one salsa on two.

1 (8m 33s):
So a lot of professional dancers would say asking first, like what do you dance on? Like salsa ones also too, because is how you listen to the music. Okay. So do, do you hear this beat or do you hear that beat? And it’s like a, it’s just like a language and an unspoken language. I okay. I listen to salsa on two. So I’m going to dance on that on the two beat. So cause if you’re dancing to the, you can be listening a song and dancing to something else it’s like that. Like I love it. It’s just like a language and spoken language. Yes. But I think the foundation is the music. Do you understand the music? Do you understand how to dance with the music? You have listened to the music? What are you hearing? And it’s so crazy that sometimes I struggle with musicality depending on the genres.

1 (9m 17s):
Like for example, lately I’ve been training a lot in heels class. So a lot of it is very central R and B music. There’s like hits and tones. You need to listen to. And it’s very different for me because it’s just different from the instruments that I’m used to listening to and the other music. So I know on a glob baby, I know what to expect coming up. It’s just different. Like I think that’s like the hardest challenge. I would say, just listening to music and finding that rhythm and that be and what you hear and dancing to it. That makes sense. It can get complicated. And that’s what I have musicality classes. I’m not sure if people know that there is musicality classes where they will break down the song, music, whatever genre you’re listening to just to break it down.

1 (10m 3s):
Like, do you hear this beat? Do you hear this? You know how to count this because it’s very, I think that’s just very important to know the music you’re dancing to. Right.

0 (10m 13s):
I love those classes. Sometimes I learn the names of the instruments, you know? Cause it’s like, I didn’t even go that deep. And so all of a sudden it’s like, Oh, that’s where, that’s what that is.

1 (10m 22s):
Yeah. You enjoy the dance a lot more. Cause you like understand where that’s coming from.

0 (10m 28s):
Right. And what about soca? Ooh.

1 (10m 31s):
So soak that to me is just always a good time. It’s very festive reminds me of carnival is not a technical dance. It’s just more of a feeling fast, slow moving your waistline, which can be hard or intimidating to some people it’s like, Oh, I don’t know how to move. Like that’s just very freeing. And you can ask by yourself, you can answer with partner. Is it from so sometimes just Caribbean music. They have like Calypso of, mostly from Trinidad. Trinidad is probably the most popular when it comes to silica music, Barbados st. Lucia. So a lot of the Caribbean islands, but I would say Trinidad is the motherland. When it comes to silk, I’m use it.

1 (11m 12s):
Of course reggae dance hall will be Jamaica. So that’s again also important knowing where it comes from. So you have more appreciation. Yeah. I went to Trinidad actually earlier this year, February right before crone. I literally a week. No, I landed in the U S and it was like, Oh, the world’s done. Like we’re shut down. And I was confused. I was like, I just came back from Trinidad and I appreciate it so much because I know soca came from Trinidad and being part of their culture is like, I just really appreciate it that because I didn’t grow up in that culture. I wasn’t around that to learn. So I really had to like study it and made me just enjoy it so much more.

0 (11m 50s):
Have you traveled a lot to deal? Yes. Did it? I’ve

1 (11m 54s):
Done it for years. This is like the first time in years that I have not traveled for dance almost every month or every other month. I’m going to some dance festival in another city for the weekend. There’s dance festivals all over the U S outside the U S internationally. And people really do travel for dance, to dance in different places and meet different people. And also use it as an excuse to have a vacation. Like you don’t just have to dance. Like you can go visit whatever the tourist attractions are, make it a vacation. That’s what I I’ll say. I miss the most about my dance life. Has I used to travel at so many festivals. I was looking forward to this year attending like in Canada.

0 (12m 38s):
Have you been to the same ones? Year after year was trying to sometime what are some of your favorites

1 (12m 44s):
Time? So my favorite for Keystone Samba will be what they call it. The festivals called Salwa Salwa it’s in Washington, DC, always 4th of July weekend. I go to that every single year. It’s just like the quality of dancers that go there. The training, the instructors, it’s just a fun city. I love the museums and in Washington, DC and the, even the food. So it’s just like a fun trip in general for dance training and just to visit another city. And I plan for that every year. Cool. So I have like my few that I go to every year and then which ones I know I want to try. It just depends on if it’s in the U S or outside of the us.

1 (13m 24s):
Like my favorite, my favorite in Houston is the Houston salsa Congress. Every single year. I love that festival. It’s the Houston dance society. I believe HSD Houston, Houston, salsa dancers. It’s a nonprofit. Great. Yes. So they have the festival every single year. That’s probably one of the biggest salsa festivals. I would say, even in the U S people from all over the world come to Houston to dance salsa, but it’s not just salsa. Like they have other classes, Latin, African, and they have concerts like artists come in and do live concerts and you can dance live to their music there’s workshops.

1 (14m 4s):
So you can take dance classes all day, every day, right? It’s like a work conference, but for dance. And we do it all weekend. It’s just really, really fun. They also have musicality classes there too. They have different levels of beginner, intermediate advance. They do challenges. So if you want to perform, you’re not on a team or you just want to challenge yourself and learn a new dance style. You can spend that week and learning a routine. And then you perform at night, their shows. It’s just really, really fun. It’s really fun. I love it. I definitely loving you do not have to be a professional. You don’t have to be performing to attend these kind of events, attend and dance for fun and learn different styles. Cool.

0 (14m 43s):
Yes. Have you been traveling internationally much for, not this year. Okay. No. Between Canada. Yes.

1 (14m 53s):
So I made it to Trinidad this year, but I did not make it to Canada or Jamaica actually, but I would say last year, my favorite international trip was to Portugal. And I went to Spain too, but Portugal was definitely my favorite. When it came to dancing, I love the culture as well. The food, the country was beautiful. I just loved it. I loved it. And actually, I didn’t even know there was a festival. I didn’t go for the, for the festival. I just it’s so happened. There’s a festival. And I was like, Oh, well, I’m, I’m going. It’s just falling around. And it was crazy because I knew like a couple of people from the U S that were there, even one from Houston, I was like, dance world is tiny, tiny.

1 (15m 36s):
It does not matter where you live. You can live in the U S overseas. It’s like, you will meet someone somewhere at a dance festival. Yeah. I was like laughing because I was like, I didn’t even tell anybody. I didn’t even know it was coming. And I’m like, how do I already know some people here? I want to Portugal. Yes. That was that’s one of the beauties I love about dance. You just meet so many different people from different backgrounds, different cultures speak different languages. And it’s like, we all share that common passion and love for dance. So we all invest in it travel, and it just takes you a lot of places. I love it. So,

0 (16m 13s):
So do you have to budget a lot? Like just per dance? Cause it sounds quite

1 (16m 18s):
It’s, I’m not going to lie. It’s an expensive lifestyle. So I do tell people if you’re really going to make this part of your lifestyle, of course you need a budget for it. I’m not about going broke for dance. That’s why I was like, you, you want to plan like which events I want to go to this year, especially if you have to travel for it, definitely plan, like, just know, okay, these are the three festivals I’m going to go to this year. And of course the local ones, it’s not that big of a deal. We’re fortunate to live in Houston. I feel like we have all dance genres here. So really any day of the week before Rona, you really could find somewhere to dance. So it just really depends on what you’re looking for.

1 (16m 60s):
So that’s one thing I am grateful about Houston. Cause some other people, like if they live in another state that they don’t really have a dancing, they, they have to travel. They have to go somewhere else. So they definitely have to budget. So I think it really depends on where you live, what you’re looking for. And I’m, I’m not going to encourage people to go broke for dance in general. Cause I know dance, the dance lifestyle is expensive. Even being on dance team. I remember in high school, it being expensive. Like especially if you’re performing costume shoes, training, all that, it’s an expensive lifestyle, but yeah, definitely managing it, budgeting for it.

1 (17m 41s):
And I personally like my travel card. So I, I have all my points on there. That’s one thing I will say a lot of travelers. We either have travel cars, buddy passes, or we just have points to travel because we travel so much. So eventually it pays itself off. So a lot of us do do the travel cards and work

0 (18m 3s):
Your favor. Okay. Yes. Cool. That’s a little side tip like bonus points for traveling. Oh yeah. Is it when you earn them or spend them? It’s it’s

1 (18m 12s):
I guess it just depends what card you get sometimes when you first, when you first sign up with a card, if you spend, let’s say if you spend $3,000 in three months on that card, they’ll give you 50,000

0 (18m 23s):
Points. Oh wow. Yes. So, so

1 (18m 26s):
I use the chase Sapphire reserve car, which is, that is probably one of the top top cards. But if you want something to start off, I would say the chase preferred and there’s also other travel cards. Like I have United card, a Southwest card, whatever works for you, whatever airline you’d like to fly the most. I mean, of course you can build your credit gain points on travel and, or, you know, pay, pay a bill with that card and it adds up and then you can save up for that one trip. I mean, however you want to do it. Yeah. There’s there’s ways to it. There’s definitely ways around it. And then a lot of the festivals, they usually rent out hotel rooms where they give you a discount rates just through the festival.

1 (19m 12s):
And a lot of us you’ll get four roommates and you splitting, you’re not spending much on the hotel. Sometimes. Sometimes it’s cheaper than getting an Airbnb. Like they look out for you. Right. So that’s what a lot of organizers do. Make sure we have deals when it comes.

0 (19m 27s):
So hotels, what do you do for food? Cause like hotel. See, that’s one thing

1 (19m 33s):
I do love about traveling. I do not eat hotel food. That’s way too expensive. Right? So one thing I love about traveling, I like to know what are the best local restaurants to eat at? So I usually do my research beforehand or I ask someone that’s been there or I even go on Facebook, Hey, I’m going to this city this weekend. Where should we eat? Or even on the event pages people may ask or Hey, let’s go grab lunch somewhere who wants to go? Or a group of us dancers are going to go try this restaurant. So it’s, there’s ways around. It’s fun. Like I say, you don’t just go for dance. You, you get to explore whatever city you’re visiting and yeah. You just budget for that too.

1 (20m 13s):
And a lot of those travel cards as well, give you points back for

0 (20m 17s):
Eating out. So that’s another bonus. Yes. Got to figure it out. Yeah.

1 (20m 22s):
Yes. I have it working for me. You just got to know how to use your cards, right. That’s all right. But yeah, you, you don’t have to pay for travel. And honestly, with this pandemic, I think I’ve canceled like eight flights. So now I have so much credit. So I don’t think I’ll be paying for any flights for at least a year now. I mean, I’m not complaining, but I would love to go back to a dance festival. I know I miss. I miss social dancing so bad. What have you been doing? I’ve been working more on my fitness, like actual like weights, cardio, surprisingly I’ve lost 15 pounds during this pandemic. Oh my gosh. Yeah. I mean, I guess dancing doesn’t do much for me when it comes to like burning calories and, or at least obviously, because my body’s just used to it.

1 (21m 10s):
So like now with weights and bands and actually going outside, walking, running now I’m seeing a huge difference. So I’m focusing on that aspect at first I was doing virtual classes, but that’s just not for me. I’m definitely over anything virtual at this point. But you’ve been, have you taught virtually once or twice? Yeah. Twice. I mean it was okay, but it’s just weird. I feel like I’m just talking to myself. I just love the in-person right. It’s just so different. You feel people’s energy. It’s just a different experience. But I do, I am proud of the people. Who’ve always wanted to take dance classes and they haven’t, and they’ve been taking advantage of this time to do it virtually just in the comfort of their own homes.

1 (21m 56s):
I think that’s really, really great. It’s really great. Me. I like to be out. I like the social aspect of it, but I feel like those people, I think the dance scene is going to grow now after this, especially those who been taking classes from home. Cause they were either intimidated to go to in-person classes. And I think now we’ll see a lot more people in, in class when studios open. Yeah.

0 (22m 19s):
Yeah. And having just the time to give to yourself, you know, as a part of just enjoying life and like finding fun in everyday things, it’s like, Oh yeah, just dance. And then it’s like, well without the mirror and everybody else intimidating, you just kind of connect with yourself and yeah. It’s just tap into that.

1 (22m 39s):
Yes. So I’m excited for the future of dance. I think it’s going to be great. Especially since we’ve been isolated for so long and we’re all desperate to dancing partner, dance and social dance and go to festivals and perform again. Yeah. I’m really looking forward to that cause I miss it so much.

0 (22m 58s):
Yeah. So are you dancing at home? Yes

1 (23m 1s):
I do. But still not the same, but I’ve been taking dance classes at the studios, but it’s very limited where the word mass, the whole time man wearing a mask while you dance. It is hard. It’s definitely hard. But of course safety first health first. So I’ve been really focusing on the heels class, the leftovers, that kind of class. Cause I usually do partner dancing, like social dancing or like Caribbean, Latin, like cultural dances. And so I haven’t been doing like that training part. Do you wear heels when you do Latin dance? Oh yeah.

1 (23m 40s):
Okay. Oh yeah. That’s some new moons. Yeah, definitely is a different kind. It’s just different, different movements, different timing, different musicality. So it’s definitely been a challenge. Like I feel like I’m a beginner. Wow. So it was just, I don’t know. I think that’s a good part about dance is like, you’re always learning. Like you’re never, I’m never satisfied. I don’t, I know I’m no, I’m not like the best or I need to like train more and more and more and

0 (24m 8s):
More. It’s a really complicated instrument. Yes.

1 (24m 12s):
Yes.

0 (24m 13s):
It’s a full body, you know, immersion. Like it’s everything thinking about, you know, just a musician trying to master set something as simple as a musical instrument, you know, compared to you trying to master, you know, everything that you could possibly move.

1 (24m 30s):
Yes. Yeah. So it’s a challenge, but it’s fun. It’s definitely fun. Sometimes I get frustrated myself, like, okay, I hear it, but my body’s not moving to that part. So it’s just like learning to be patient with yourself. Especially if you’re like learning different styles. It can be a challenge. I would just say, keep practicing, just keep on practicing until you get it. Some people get it really fast. Some people will just take some some time and we all learn in different levels just like in school. Yeah. So it’s just different levels. That’s all. Yeah.

0 (25m 1s):
When, so you’ve mentioned that you’ve just kind of grew up dancing. Did you, when did you start training?

1 (25m 7s):
Well, I trained in ballet and jazz for years. I would say starting at five till about 16 or 17. I was always, I was more of a jazz, especially in high school. I loved jazz. I did lyrical and modern a little bit in college, but I think once I’ve got back in college, I really wanted to explore and explain and more than just jazz and ballet, because I felt like it was a little bit more restriction restricting. That’s when I started my Latin dance company because I really wanted to get back into like my culture. And to me it was just a lot more fun. Yeah. Not as many rules. When did you get into Samba?

1 (25m 48s):
I got into Samba when I actually graduated from college. There was a dance company here, LD dance that I used to follow and actually met the owner at a Brazilian party. And I like fell in love with her. And I was like, Oh yeah, she dances. She teaches. So I started taking her classes. So actually when I was in college, whenever I’ll be back home in the summer, I would just take classes and train in the summer. Then I’ll go back to school. So when I, actually, one of my goals was okay, once I finished college, I want to join that dance company until the dance company, which I did. I mean, you have to audition. I trained, I was a newbie and I was definitely one of the most challenging ones because a lot of cardio and again, this isn’t, this, wasn’t my culture, the stances from Brazil.

1 (26m 32s):
It’s very intense, very athletic dancing in heels, very fast. But it’s just so fun. It’s a lot of fun energy carnival and I really appreciated the culture of it. And I did that for about three years. It was to the point where I was competing. I’ve competed for a Samba dance camp competition performed a lot for festivals, weddings, corporate events, almost every weekend. I had to like shows and perform Samba and I loved it. I loved it a lot and people will be shocked because they would think I’m Brazilian. I figured I was Brazilian all the time.

1 (27m 14s):
It’s like, I’ll take it to me as a compliment. I was like, I love the culture. I appreciate the culture. And I hope I represent it well, but I definitely enjoyed it. Yes. It’s so fun. I love it. And even with that, there’s different levels to it. I mean the little kids version, the carnival version, which can be some times explicit for some people, but it’s like the cultural carnival and then there’s different styles I share. There’s like even the formal. So there’s even with that. Even within the whole Brazilian culture, they have different styles of dance within. Yes. So I loved it. I just love learning different cultures. And just because I love it doesn’t mean I know how to dance it.

1 (27m 57s):
Some, some, I just watch like hip hop. I can’t dance, hip hop and save my life. But I love watching it. I love it. I don’t know. I just like to stick to what I know I’m good at, but I can still challenge myself. But if I know I just cannot do it. Like hip hop. I’m like, I’m just gonna leave it alone. I’ll admire it. And I love the dancers that can do it and I will watch you and support you. But I can’t, I don’t think like can pop lock and do all that. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That’s one thing I’ll say, fortunately, can’t be good at everything, but dancing. There’s just so many same thing with school. We’re not good at every single subject.

0 (28m 38s):
Yeah. The breath wine looks really, really

1 (28m 41s):
Fun. It is fun. Yeah. Big groups

0 (28m 43s):
Of girls, just like having an amazing time together. So are you like, how do you get into that? Do you get certified to do it? Do you have to like, so those people are. Yeah. So the, the owners

1 (28m 57s):
Two owners are based out of New York. One of the owners moved to Houston and that’s what I was mentioning. She trained me to become one of the instructors, like the first instructor here in Texas to help teach classes and like their style and all that. So I did not have to get certified, but I know they do have a certification program. It has not launched yet, I think because of COVID. But I know that’s definitely in the works. So more people can be certified in teach at their, in their cities. Right. And where should they check that out on the website? dot com yes. Put a link to it. Okay. Yes. So I know they still have classes online. I haven’t been teaching online.

1 (29m 38s):
Honestly, dance has not been my focus like teaching online, just not, has not been my focus during this pandemic. I’ve been focusing on like other personal goals outside of the dance too, because honestly dance can take a lot of your time and I’ve just really took an advantage of this time to focus on those other things. And you know, maybe God wanted me to focus on other things, still dance and still, I still love it. I miss it a lot, but I can wait on the, for the in-person. I don’t like the virtual.

0 (30m 8s):
Yeah. That makes sense. You know, just round out those other pickup, those things that, you know, even thinking about doing so you published your first book. Yes. So I have a book here is called

1 (30m 22s):
Affirmations. So people ask me what this gal means. It just means girl. It really means curly girl affirmations. I did the gal just to have the more of a cultural influence, like she’s Caribbean. Like I want it, I wanted it to be like that. So actually I’ve wrote this book almost two years ago. I just did nothing with it. Wow. And that’s what the pandemic was like, okay. You just have this sitting here, what are you going to do about it? And I just wrote right. Affirmations to myself. I love affirmations. I write them on my mirror at home or just on my counter to myself. And it’s just one of the practices I do for self-love.

1 (31m 2s):
And I know a lot of people may be shocked, but like my hair has been, was a big insecurity as a child. Like just growing up. It was always a huge insecurity when I was young. It wasn’t very popular curly hair. Wasn’t really popular. And I’d been, I was teasing made fun of as a kid. So I used to straighten my hair all the time. Every day, I’m straight in my hair every morning. I’ll wake up early, straighten my hair in high school. People didn’t even know I had curly hair until like maybe the last month of my senior year in high school because I just, I just stopped caring. I was like, I am so tired of straightening my hair every single day. And I had to do it every day because I practice dance practice every day. So I’ll sweat it out. So I had to straighten my hair.

1 (31m 43s):
I used to do relaxers, put chemicals in my hair cause I just want to straight hair so bad. And I don’t know what it was about my senior year of high school. I was like, I don’t care anymore. I’m may not see any of these people again, I’m going to college. I’m going to be my own person. And I just like went through this phase where I was like, I’m tired of trying to look a different kind of way. And then I, as an adult, I battled with it too, being in corporate America and then interviewing for jobs. How, you know, your hair is not professional. So it’s just like always been like a battle, even in dance. Like you need to have your hair straight in a slick bun or slick pony tell or there’s like certain hairstyles I couldn’t do.

1 (32m 23s):
So it was always been a battle for me, like a struggle, like, okay, I know I look different. I wish I did it. And it’s like something I’ve always struggled with. And even to this day, sometimes I do. It’s like, man, I wish my hair looked like that. I have to catch myself. So that’s why I wrote affirmations down. And I know there’s other girls that have similar issues. So I wrote this book down and I made sure that everybody was represented all skin tones, all hair textures. And I wrote 30 affirmations. So one affirmation for every day of the month to like repeat your to yourself. And self-love love yourself, love your hair, love who God made you.

1 (33m 6s):
And just to remind yourself that, I mean, we don’t have to go by the world’s standards of beauty and it’s just something I just really battled for her very years. Like I’ll say most of my life, most of my life. Yeah. But it’s like, it’s crazy now how it’s like a trend too. Like now curly hair is in and there’s wigs and all kinds of things to have curly hair. And I’m just like, wow. I wish this was cool when I was younger. So, but I’m glad, I’m glad I’m like everything’s evolving, right? Yes. But those like deep issues sometimes, or depending where you are, I can come up again.

1 (33m 48s):
Yes. Because I’m still, when are even when I will go to interviews, it’s like I have to put my hair up in a bun real tight. So it does not distracting or unprofessional or, but to this day, people ask me all the time, is your hair real? Can I touch it to this day? So I was like, it is what it is. Yeah. So that’s another market for me, dancing, curly hair, traveling like all that represents me. Yeah. So I’m just really happy that I had this opportunity to focus on this. Congratulations. Thank you. And I have other projects that I still want to do.

1 (34m 31s):
Oh, my book is available on Amazon actually. Okay. So you can just type in Carla got affirmations and gal is G Y a L M. I’m the only one. And honestly, before I even publish on Amazon as one of the first things I did, I Google and I search. Are there any hair, affirmation, books, any kind of affirmations? Nothing. Nothing. So I was like, okay.

0 (34m 55s):
Security. Yes. Yeah. I’m more like wavy hair. Don’t care. I have this like wave thing. And I feel like, I mean, it’s not, for me, it’s more like just growing up, like it’s still with the straightening. Yes. You know, it was still like, it’s not supposed to be wavy. It’s one thing if it’s like, you know, curly, like Kate Winslet and Titanic, but like wavy only like parts of it, you know? So yeah. I mean, I look forward to reading it and can you give us one? Yes, absolutely. I mean one affirmation. Will you give us, give us affirmation. We can even look in cool.

0 (35m 36s):
I’m getting one. Definitely. Let’s see. Oh, it’s really cool. It is. Thank you. I love it. So one, I would say

1 (35m 47s):
I was trying to find the one for me. Are you in there? I am. But one of my pictures, of course I can put myself in there, but I didn’t put myself as the cover, even though my mom was like, you need to be on the cover. So, okay. This was one of my favorite ones for, so affirmation 15, God took his time creating each girl. So to me, it’s like, okay, if God, God makes the mistakes, he knows what he’s doing. He knows what I gonna say. Every hair on you. Yeah. So like something like, like if he took his time to do this, you’re fine. Don’t question yourself. Right.

0 (36m 23s):
Thank you for that. That’s really cool.

1 (36m 26s):
This is for all agents. This is not, this is just for more self-love. If you have hair ish, any kind of hair, curly hair, wavy, whatever texture, if it’s just not straight and it’s made you feel a certain way, that straight is just pretty in the perfect. And the only way I want to change that norm.

0 (36m 46s):
Yeah. Very cool. So when you, so you work in HR with Harris County. So can you tell us a little bit about that, that job that supports you and what it’s been like? Yeah.

1 (37m 3s):
So I’m blessed that I do have a corporate full-time job that supports my lifestyle and my passion. I mean, there is dancers that I know are having a hard time because their full-time job was dancing as well. Always say, have a backup, have something else. So dance was never, my full-time definitely my part-time. So my full-time job is in HR. I work in healthcare. My background was oil and gas, but I’ve been in healthcare for the last two years, by the way, they’re very, very supportive of my book, very supportive company. So I’m very grateful for that. Obviously with the pandemic being in healthcare, it’s been busier than ever, even though I’m working from home is extremely busy.

1 (37m 46s):
We’re going to HR obviously. So we need nurses. We need medical staff. We need all of that. So I have been extremely busy, but it’s also been rewarding because I think right now, like the, the heroes are the ones in the medical field right now. So it’s nice to work with. And just in that environment, it’s stressful, but it’s also rewarding because it’s like, we all are. We all make a difference in at least in that organization because we’re all dealing with patient care. But one thing I know that was a little frustrating for some people, especially being in healthcare with this pandemic is people just think, Oh, there’s only COVID, but there’s still other health.

1 (38m 30s):
There’s still other, other, so many other health issues and priorities. We some, even the news might’ve neglected, but it’s like, we still have the busy-ness of the normal healthcare. And on top of that COVID so it was just made things so much more busier and has changed a lot. Has changed a lot the way we work. Yeah. It’s been an adjustment for sure. Very, very stressful at times, but it’s definitely worth it. So you’re working from home. Yeah.

0 (39m 3s):
Yes. So if you’re not a doctor, a nurse, you don’t like go in.

1 (39m 8s):
Yes. For the most part, if you’re not doing direct patient care, we don’t need to be at work.

0 (39m 14s):
You, you did work at like the

1 (39m 17s):
Headquarters before I was in the admin, but I don’t have direct patient. Right. So, and then there’s some people who have like a hybrid where they’ll come in once or twice a week, depending on their schedule, if they need to be in the office. But me and HR, I don’t have any direct patient contact. So there’s really no need for me to be there

0 (39m 36s):
In person. So

1 (39m 39s):
I got fortunate. And then of course, people who were working directly with patients, they, a lot of nurses, a lot of people were getting way higher pay just for hazard has a fake because of what was going on. But the good news is, is very, very low. Now. It’s not like we have our ICU’s for. Cause there was a, there was a time where it’s like, okay, everybody, we don’t want you to panic, but we don’t have room. We don’t have room for people. So we’re not there anymore. Thank God

0 (40m 11s):
It’s been awhile. Yeah. Since July.

1 (40m 15s):
Yeah. Cause I know we were nervous about labor day weekend. We thought it was going to just spike up when school started yet. Unfortunately. Yes. That, yes it has, but it’s not where it’s out of control. Yes. And the good thing is a lot of the young people that recover.

0 (40m 38s):
So ours haven’t opened yet. Somehow they’re like bars bar slash restaurant posts. Yeah. Right. So it’s just been, or like bars getting like taco trucks in their parking, lots to pass a wrestle. draw drawn

1 (40m 56s):
Threshold. Yes. People are trying to do the loopholes, but it’s been a hard time, I think for certain careers, for sure. Entertainment, business dance. Yes. So I think the ones who have like the harder adjustments right now, like the teachers and healthcare workers,

0 (41m 16s):
Right? Yeah. They don’t realize they’re putting their lives on the line going out.

1 (41m 22s):
Yes. So I just want us all to get back to dancing. It’s like a stress reliever for so many of us is personally my escape from life and work and just also an excuse to travel. And I was like, I don’t have that anymore. And it’s such a big aspect of my life. Like I literally cannot go a week without answering. So it’s just been, it’s been hard.

0 (41m 45s):
So like what are you waiting for?

1 (41m 48s):
I don’t even know. It’s like, what are like, I want the world to open up. I want to travel again.

0 (41m 55s):
When will you be like, I’m, I mean, you’re not there yet. Is that like, is there, you know, is there a sign that you need to see that says like, okay, I’m going to go on a trip or I’m going to, I’m going to go to this party or, you know,

1 (42m 9s):
Well, I, one decided not to live in fear. I have traveled, I went to Mexico a few months ago and I’m actually going again next weekend for my birthday. And to be honest, thank you. And to be honest, Mexico, I felt way safer in Mexico than I did here. The precautions, there were a lot more strict, very strict. And then I’m like, you have to wear your mask everywhere, outside. Like it’s mandatory in every doorstep, anywhere that you step in, they check your temperature, give you hand sanitizer. And like that’s everywhere in the cars at the airport, a lot of safety precautions.

1 (42m 49s):
And I went to Tulum. So mostly every pretty much everything was outside. So in a lot of water activities. So I will say, I have definitely spent more time outside during this pandemic. So that’s been a good part. Yeah, it was outside, but it was pretty empty when I went, there was no parties. I didn’t go to any parties. There was no, none of that. It was actually pretty relaxing just to be on the beach. Just the sound of the ocean. Right. So the reason why I just had to go back to Mexico is because again, it’s relaxing and Oh, what was the saying? I was going to go to Jamaica or like Puerto Rico, like my other favorite islands that are open, but they’re kind of restricted, but those are like my islands that I like to go out and have a good time and dance.

1 (43m 39s):
And I feel like that would be like punish me if I go there and I can’t do those things, but it would just be like, I’ll be sad. I don’t want to go there and be sad. One was in Puerto Rico. They’re like, Oh, the beaches are closed. I’m like, I’m not going. So that’s why like Mexico, like beaches are open. It was relaxing. I’ve actually never been to Mexico has been off. Even though I live right here on the right across the border, I’ve never been. So just taking opera, I will say take opportunities to even travel just domestically cities. You’ve never been to that. You always wanted to just for the weekend. I mean, I know a lot of people who’ve done solo travel. Who’ve just taken new risks and just achieving their goals that they wanted to go.

1 (44m 22s):
Like I had a friend who was like, I’ve always wanted to go to Seattle. I’m going to go. She went for two days by herself, like during this time. But I know right now a lot of people travel shaming, like even in travel groups that I’m in on like Facebook. I know even someone told me all my posts that I was like the loser of the year or something because I traveled. But it’s just like, I mean, I’m not going to encourage people to travel and I’m also not going to discourage you to travel. It’s whatever you’re comfortable with. But I was losing my sanity. I try to go somewhere. Like I said before every month I would go somewhere for like a weekend just to distress.

1 (45m 4s):
And now I’m just against doing every three months. So that will do for now, but just be safe, be safe everywhere you go wear mask. Keep your distance.

0 (45m 14s):
Yeah. And I’ve heard airplanes have like some of the most sophisticated air filters.

1 (45m 17s):
Oh yeah, they do. It’s cleaner air, but yeah. Yeah. It’s just whatever you’re comfortable with. I just feel like at this point we should not be telling people what they should and shouldn’t do when it comes to like sending your kids to school. That’s a personal decision going to dance class as your personal decision traveling. It’s just like, just do what makes you comfortable. And he has like a lot of judgment, a lot of judgment going on. It was just like just minding your business.

0 (45m 50s):
Yes. My guest today is Jenelle Caminos, Jenelle. Thank you very much. It’s fun. Yeah. It was fun. Thanks for listening. Please subscribe and share our podcast and reach out to us on social media. If you’d like to talk to support dance docs, donate to dance. Houston, talk to you on Monday.