Valeria Gonzalez has been leading a double life for the past year and a half. No, we’re not talking about a secretary by day and secret agent by night deal but rather about her ability to juggle two completely separate and demanding careers: dance and TV production.
“Nothing else makes me feel like dance does. I feel inspired, completely free, and always discover something new about myself. It’s like being born over and over, and I don’t have to try,” the 26-year-old says, “Dance will be in my heart and skin for the rest of my life.”
Right before she entered the workforce as a production assistant for NBC, Gonzalez’s love for dance pushed her to open Valleto, a contemporary dance company based in New York.
Gonzalez was born in El Paso, T.X. and raised on the border city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Although she grew up dancing to jazz and hip-hop, it wasn’t until the age of 13 that she discovered her true calling as a modern dancer. After graduating high school, she went on to study in Guadalajara, Mexico and during her second year of college she decided to follow her passion. With the support of her family and a full scholarship to the Ballet Divertimento school in Montreal, Canada she began to focus on ballet where she learned about self-discipline and the art of dancing.
But in order to excel in both careers, Gonzalez has had to make sacrifices like her social life and even her health at one point.
“I wasn’t eating well or sleeping enough hours,” she says. “I felt disconnected.” But luckily, she’s learned to work around her schedule and plans studio rehearsals in the mornings or evenings.
As a small business owner, she has to manage her time well. She creates weekly plans where she prioritizes her activities and sets monthly goals for herself always focused on the long term. Her job consists of 9 hour shifts working from Sunday-Thursday 12 p.m.-9 p.m. or 2:30 p.m.-12 a.m. On her days off, she manages and plans projects for Valleto. In other words, she’s always busy.
“The more I do it, the more I learn how to use my time more efficiently and am able to do it all,” Gonzalez adds. “I always focus on what I am doing at the present and don’t allow other concerns to get in the way of what I am doing.”