Rising Star Sarah Georgiana: Being fully present is key; We need to learn to be conversationalists again; listening to what is actually being said, learning and taking in people fully

Being fully present is key. We are so often distracted by our surroundings (aka: phones and snapchats dinging) that we are not present in conversations, listening to what is actually being said, learning and taking in people fully. We need to learn to be conversationalists again. As a part of my series about pop culture’s […]

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Being fully present is key. We are so often distracted by our surroundings (aka: phones and snapchats dinging) that we are not present in conversations, listening to what is actually being said, learning and taking in people fully. We need to learn to be conversationalists again.

As a part of my series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Sarah and Michelle Georgiana. Sarah is a cast member on Lifetime television Network show, “Dance Moms” Season 8. She has been a supporting actress in the short film, “Before the Fourth,” as well in a commercial for the Horizon Group that can be found on Nickelodeon. Sarah has trained in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. She has also been a prodigy with Artistic Dance Exchange, a Pro Reveler with Revel Dance, a Break Out Artist with Nuvo Dance and in the Top Ten Dancers for Radix Dance. Most recent, she won a national title with Revel Dance in Orlando, Florida with Revel Dance and performed with GoNoodle at the US Open on ABC network. Sarah is represented by the MSA Talent Agency in NYC. Sarah has launched the Sarahg dancewear collection in July 2019. She has designed this herself. Besides dancing and designing clothing, Sarah has created her very own YOUTUBE channel, creating, filming, producing and editing. You can check it out here.

Sarah’s mom, Michelle Georgiana, somehow managed to raise this incredibly beautifully talented savvy girl. She graduated from Edinboro University with a teaching degree in Elementary Education. However, she put that all to the side to give her attention to her three children to be the best mom that she could possibly be. She has managed her home and her family business that allowed her flexibility to give her kids wings to fly in their talents, gifts and passion. Her goal was to help cultivate an environment for them to flourish with a balance of education, empathy, kindness and drive. Still while at age, 40, she never thought she would land on a television show in over one hundred countries, yet here she is. The most fantastic part is that she lives everyday out loud with her daughter by her side and they do life together.

Thank you so much for doing this with us Sarah! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

My parents decided to move from Uniontown, PA about forty miles north to Canonsburg, PA just outside the steel city of Pittsburgh. They had many reasons, but one of the biggest reasons was my mom wanted more for us. She thought this area offered better opportunities. So, she and my dad both picked a location where we could be planted and grow. (They both still commuted an hour to work, adjusted their schedules to make it work for our extra curricular activities.) While my dad works at a university hospital, my mom quit her teaching job and stayed home. She worked part time at a preschool as a director while we attended, but then ultimately worked at her family’s business, because it allowed flexibility to be with myself and brothers when needed.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

I began dancing when I was two years old, but the passion for dance was intensified when my mom took me to my first dance convention and I received a scholarship from the hip hop teacher. I didn’t think anyone noticed me even though I was trying really hard. But, they did. From that moment, it lit a fire inside of me to do more, train harder, be better than I was yesterday. I knew this was what I was supposed to do. When I dance, everything fades away. I don’t worry or stress; I don’t think about hard times. I just let go and let my body move to the music and it feels right. I feel like the stage is my home, where I belong. Growing up, watching, “Dance Moms,” and Abby Lee Miller was something that impacted my dance life. While listening to her give corrections or teach choreography to the OGs, I was able to apply that knowledge to my own dancing. It was a way to learn without being in her classroom.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Probably the most interesting story is the first time I was noticed out in public once the show aired on Lifetime. I knew the person was coming over. They were looking at me, then their phone, then me again. I told my mom, “I think they recognize me.” A few minutes later they walked over and they asked if I was Sarah Georgiana and asked for a picture. This started to become a pattern and I could almost count to the seconds before they walked over. It was a running joke with my mom if I was right or not on the seconds til they walked over. I love my fans, so I am glad to take pictures with them, but when you are first coming into the fandom world, it is like, “Wait, is that her?”

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

This is not necessarily a mistake, but I had to learn all the vocabulary of production work. It took me a while to figure out what everyone was talking about. They would say we were going “downstairs,” and I was like, “There isn’t a basement at the studio is there?” Here, I would find out that downstairs is the building next door. One building is upstairs, the other is downstairs.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I recently launched the Sarahg collection with Soel dancewear. It is a dancewear line that I personally designed and created with an athletic look but a dancers fit. I am proud of the outcome of the first set that released on July 26, 2019 at Dancer Palooza in Long Beach, CA. It is available in gold, royal and white. It is my goal to create pieces that dancers can wear to the classroom, pilates or the gym and love how the look and feel while wearing it.

I am also excited for my next opportunity with International Toy Day on September 1, 2019. It is a day about celebrating the toys that children and parents already have in their homes. It is about generating that nostalgia from the toys adults played with in their own childhood and reigniting the joy they bring. I have been asked to help influence the youth of today for this toy day challenge this year.

I will also be a PRO Reveler Faculty Assistant with the Revel Dance convention when I am not filming with Dance Moms. The assistant program is more than just dancing on a stage. It is an opportunity to learn about the entire convention and competition process from building the merchandise racks to setting up to find the competition group numbers to get them in order to go on stage and learning choreography to prepare for classes. I have already attended the training and orientation meetings in Tampa, Florida this past July and I am really looking forward to this journey with them.

I’m very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

Diversity in the entertainment industry, whether film or television, allows the viewers to see people from different perspectives in different roles. I think it can open our hearts and minds and create unity and breakdown barriers of hatred, misconceptions and put confusion to bed. Hollywood, media, television has a strong impact in our lives. The ultimate goal always can be: be kind, choose to do what is right. Gender, race, sexual orientation should not matter… love is love.

From your personal experience, can you recommend three things the community/society/the industry can do help address some of the diversity issues in the entertainment business?

What I love about dance is that it is for anyone and everyone. Everyone is included. You just need a passion and desire to move and learn. I have found the dance world to be welcoming and accepting. I think the community, society and industry can definitely learn from this. When the music comes on, we just move to how we feel and let the troubles of the day go and fall into the lyrics of and the movement being taught or artistry of how our body is feeling. It is very freeing. I love dance.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

Your first impression matters more than you know. It leaves a lasting impact and it is hard to erase from someone’s mind. I was called an “intermediate” dancer because of one competition that a studio owner placed me in at the time I attended there. This was something I could not personally control, but because it was said out loud, it left people doubting if I was good enough, strong enough or able to perform at the elite level of a team.

“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” is a great lesson. I was told, “You are just a pretty face.” I think it was believed that I didn’t have the dance abilities to go along with the pretty face week one. I set out to prove that statement wrong. Sometimes we are so quick to judge a book, a person, a place by what we think, we do not give them a chance to show us what they are made of.

Being fully present is key. We are so often distracted by our surroundings (aka: phones and snapchats dinging) that we are not present in conversations, listening to what is actually being said, learning and taking in people fully. We need to learn to be conversationalists again.

Everything is a matter of perspective. On the television show, it is reality; however, we film for hours during a week and only minutes are shown. When that happens you see bits and pieces and not the entire context or conversation and it can seem different that what it was in my opinion. For example, in episode eleven, I received a lot of messages asking if I hated my mom. Of course, I don’t hate my mom. My mom is someone who helps me reach my dreams. I also want to dance for Miss Abby and she sees my potential.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

It is important to take a time of rest. I need sleep and so does my body and brain. Make sure you take a day off and rest. I think it is also good to travel and see a new sight. It doesn’t have to be far, but just go somewhere and get out and do something. I always feel better after a walk around the lake or if we just go away for an afternoon to the zoo. It just takes your mind off work, stress and the crazy schedule. I also like my dog, so maybe get a pet to come home too. They just love cuddles and attention and it helps to put your attention on someone who just loves you.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I want to impact people locally, nationally and globally eventually. One way is to help “Fight the Growl,” a movement to help the hungry. One way that I am currently working on is by reaching out to some chain restaurants and setting up a “fundraiser night” where profits from the night would go towards this cause. My first goal is to donate to my local school district lunch program to make sure all students have lunch paid and no one has a growl in their stomach. Then continue to move to various areas across the nation as I travel to “Fight the Growl.”

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I could never be where I am without my mom. From the time I was little and can remember she has worked really hard to make sure I was always where I needed to be when I needed to be there. She paid attention to details from matching outfits, bows and accessories to choreographers who were worried about videoing their next social media clip in a convention class instead of pointing out my flex foot during a combination that was being taught. My mom never made it easy and handed everything to me. She was honest and upfront. If she thought I was slacking, she told me. It was never in a condescending or “put down” way, but rather to be better tomorrow than today, you need to do this. She also took the moments of wins and celebrated them with me, but we moved on the next day. We didn’t take trophies and gloat and carry them to school or talk about them the next day at the studio. We started each day like a blank slate. There was dance and technique to learn. There was work to be done. My mom always helped lead me downs paths to get me to where I am today. I told her I wanted to model, so she looked for a photographer to get headshots then scoured for modeling opportunities. I told her I wanted to act and she started researching acting and what was available. She did what she could and when she didn’t know she asked questions or searched for answers. I will always be grateful that she is my mom. I know my dreams are becoming alive because of what she had done for me and has given up to make it happen.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“She believed she could, so she did…” I think we don’t do things because we doubt ourselves. We just stop and sit and think about it. The will to want to do something gets stuck in our head and we never just go for it. I was lucky to have a mom who taught me to go for it even if I fail. That even when I fail, I succeed. That when I mess up, I learn my mistake. I can figure out what happened, what went wrong and learn from it. When you learn, it is a win. Maybe it isn’t the first place trophy or the gold medal or not hitting the goal for the day, but it is a win. Sometimes we just have to look at things from a different perspective and it makes everything better. I just believe that I can do things and then I do it. I figure a way and go for it.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Although, I met her before, it was in a public setting, but it would be amazing to sit down one on one in a private setting with JoJo Siwa. It was not that long ago that she was in my shoes on a television show, trying to look into her future and which doors she wanted to open. I would love to sit down with her and ask questions about her biggest inspirations, how she coped with the negativity, the cyber bullies, but also how she continued to drive forward in her dreams with all her merchandise. I have a lot of ideas and things I want to do and it would be great to talk to someone who has walked the road before and get ideas of things to do and not do and be inspired.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Please take a minute to follow me on Instagram at @Sarah_georgiana, Facebook @sarahgeorgiana117 on Twitter @sarah_georgiana and subscribe to my youtube channel: Sarah Georgiana

This was very meaningful, thank you so much!

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