We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Maria M. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Maria below.
Maria, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. Do you think your parents have had a meaningful impact on you and your journey?
Yes, absolutely. They were always very encouraging of me to try any sport or extracurricular I had an interest in. I remember trying at least one season of what seems like EVERYTHING. I played t-ball, soccer, tennis, basketball; tried tumbling, cheer/drill team, various dance classes, ice skating, gymnastics and even did theater arts for multiple years. It really allowed me to explore what I had fun doing, and what I might want to do more of. Traditional sports were never my thing and I’m pretty sure my parents knew that, but it never stopped them from supporting me. Not only did they financially support every new thing I tried, they also provided emotional support. They were in the crowd, with signs, at every game, competition, tournament, etc. All of which I am very grateful for.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers?
I’ve always gravitated towards the creative or performance arts, but mainly as a hobby. I would always make commercials, music videos, dance routines, and even put on lip sync concerts for my family every Friday night as a kid. However, dancing didn’t get re-introduced into my life until I was 27. What started out as adult, pop/hip-hop inspired classes to get daily cardio in, turned into a passion that completely changed my life. There were different studios that I tried, but I found my home at Minx + Muse. The space is so inviting, freeing, and expressive. I started out taking burlesque, floor, heels, and all the movement classes they offered. I was in love! Then, in fall 2021, I was presented with the opportunity to become an instructor; it was surreal. Now, I’m ten months into teaching my weekly floorwork class, performed in a local show (shoutout Boner Bizarre), and choreographed a piece for our studio’s annual student showcase. It’s been a year of milestones and truly rewarding experiences.
Any insights you can share with us about how you built up your social media presence?
I don’t have a large following by any means, but I think one thing that has helped me is transparency. I do my best to keep my content extremely honest and real to my life. I also don’t like to use heavy makeup filters on myself or ones that ‘realistically’ edit my face. Filters are fun though, obviously. So, when I do use one, it’s not realistic at all. My favorites are the creepy/cute horns, or glitter face. Both of which are clearly not my real face. I also don’t have separate accounts for my creative vs. non-creative ventures so it’s all on one feed. I try to keep my profile hidden, to a certain extent, which makes me feel better about being extra open with my posts and stories. One day I’ll be promoting a show or class, then talking about my sex life and constant broken bones the next. I like sharing all aspects of my life.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative in your experience?
Seeing everyone’s personal growth, hands down. I LOVE seeing my peers and fellow students come into their own and own who they are 100%. It’s so rewarding to see the people I dance with gain so much confidence in not only their dancing, but in themselves. You can see it with each class they take, week after week. I’ve had two students tell me I’ve directly helped them love themselves more and have more self confidence. Not to be cheesy, but it brought me to tears. That’s what I live for. Everyone deserves to wake up and love who they are, inside and out. When you look in the mirror, I want you to know that you are so outrageously beautiful and conquer the world.
It’s also rewarding for me, personally, to be even a small representation for women of color, and plus size bodies in this community. So many times we are not given the same opportunities just because of who we are or how we look and that has to stop. Being a larger-bodied, Mexican-American woman who leads a weekly movement class, performs, holds a safe space for others, and even being part of this interview series is amazing. It shows that we can take up the same space as straight-sized, non-POC creatives.]
- Website: https://linktr.ee/Maria339?utm_source=linktree_profile_share<sid=5ecf79d4-7c9d-4149-ae10-c68f043873af
- Instagram: @magnetickunt
- Other: Spotify Class Playlist: Temple of the Dark Goddess, by Maria https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3qivaHqrEMh0khNBxs3UVc?si=1KhQjlCETjKuw0fZkM8gYw&nd=1
Patrick Rusk (@ruskphotographyatx) . Brandon Scott Humphrey