Dancer and model Areana Lopez became a member of the Mini Team on popular reality TV series, Dance Moms in 2016, which saw her gain a large following on Instagram. Since leaving the show, Areana has continued dancing and modelling and is in the process of launching her own clothing line, Kouture by Ari. Chatting with us, Areana says more about her time filming for Dance Moms, being part of the Mini Team and her upcoming clothing line.
How did you first get into dance and what style did you start in?
I started dancing when I was two years old. My mom put me in princess ballet and tap of course like any other mom would. However, at the age of six, my mom knew I was serious about dance and she helped me pursue my passion for dance!
How did you find the experience on Dance Moms and had you watched the show previously?
Dance Moms was a great yet different experience for me. Dance Moms meant I got to work with outstanding choreographers and my name as a person and dancer got well known as well. However, I quit the show because with Dance Moms comes drama, unfortunately.
You were part of the Mini Team, can you say more about your time in this group?
I was the eldest member of the Mini Team. Most girls were between the ages seven and nine, however, I was about ten or eleven. Since I was the oldest, I felt like a team leader! I had great memories and times with my team members.
What was it like attending the Abby Lee Dance Company?
It was quite hectic, to say the least. Me being a ten year old with a bunch of producers and moms fighting was confusing for me. However, it was my full decision to be on the show so I focused on dancing my heart away!
Are you still involved with dance and what competitions have you competed at?
Yes, I am still dancing, people always seem to assume I have given up dancing because I quit the show. Before the show, I was a dancer and I loved and adored it, with that said, it was the complete same after I left the show. This year I’ve competed at Spotlight Dance Cup, Starpower, Thunder Struck, Rainbow and Nuvo with my K2 Dance Team!
We understand you’re a model, is this something you’ve always done and what do you enjoy about this work?
Yes, I started modelling at an early age for big brands such as Speedo and Skechers. However, I quit modelling for a while until my mom opened her dancewear business, Kandi Kouture Dance Wear. When she opened her business, I was her one and only model. A short time after modelling for her, I got many other modelling jobs. I enjoy modelling, I love getting my makeup and hair done and taking pictures! It does not include as much stress as dance does which is quite fun.
You are launching your own clothing line Kouture by Ari, what inspired you to start this?
Yes, I am launching my clothing line Kouture by Ari. I first thought of the idea around the beginning of the year. I asked my followers on Instagram what they thought of the idea. I told my mom about my idea and she fully supported me and was 100% ready to help me start my business. I’ve always looked up to my mom, she is an outstanding person, to say the least! She knows everything on how to start a business to running one.
Have you always been interested in fashion and who will the clothing range be aimed at?
Yes, ever since I was six I would always ask for sketch pads and watch runway fashion way too much! I also love styling myself and then taking pictures for my Instagram to share my style with my fans! My clothing line will be aimed towards tweens and teens. I want to bring unique, chick, edgy and trendy styles to the fashion industry!
Do you hope to release it overseas?
Yes, I am most certainly planning on selling my fashion worldwide.
Apart from dancing, modelling and fashion, what else do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy making makeup videos for my Instagram and YouTube. Makeup is a great way to express yourself through art and it’s a lot of fun. However, I also love to shop, swim, watch Netflix, hang with the fam and most importantly sleep.
What charity work are you involved with and can you tell us about them?
I’m involved with Dancers Against Cancer! I’ve been involved with this charity since my early years of dancing. I love giving back, that’s why I’m also trying to get more involved in projects towards Cerebral Palsy.
How do you fit your career around schooling and personal life?
I’ve actually never attended public school. Homeschooling is much easier for my family and I with our crazy schedules. For my personal life, I don’t really have one. I don’t have many friends and that is because I don’t care much for friends. I care about dance, work and school. I have my goals set high for my future and I don’t need anything holding me back.
What’s it like having a large following on social media and what advice would you give someone whose following numbers are increasing?
Having a large following is amazing because you have people supporting you, and through social media, I’ve met amazing people. However you also have to be careful, social media can be a disrespectful place full of bullies and perverts, that’s just the truth. I don’t think of these things as setbacks, I just block, delete and forget. If I gave one piece of advice I’d say don’t let what other people think of you define you as a person!
What are your career plans for the next few months?
For the next few months, after I finish dance competitions, I am going to fully focus on my clothing line. I want to put all of my time and effort into my business!
Thank you so much TresA Magazine for giving me this opportunity! It was a pleasure answering your questions. Make sure to follow my journey on social media!
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