“It Is Healthy To Have A Balanced Life” 5 Insider Tips With Sabrina Bryan of Dancing With the Stars
“It is healthy to have a balanced life. As a young actress, I was hyper-focused on acting, but my parents insisted that I had balance in my daily life. They forced me to stay in a traditional school environment, which allowed me to enjoy things like going to the Prom, football games and have non-industry friends, which is important to staying centered.”
I had the pleasure to interview Sabrina Bryan. Sabrina is an Actress, Host, Dancer, and Choreographer. She is a member of the multi-Platinum girl group The Cheetah Girls and co-starred in The Cheetah Girls movie trilogy. Sabrina was Voted Fan Favorite on the All-Star Season of Dancing With the Stars. Through her work as a dance coach and choreographer, Sabrina gets to empower young girls to follow their passion.
What is your "backstory"?
I started acting and dancing at 11-years-old. I loved working and was thrilled with each new role. It was important to my parents that I lived a balanced lifestyle, so besides voice lessons, acting classes, and auditioning, I was heavily involved with dance and soccer.
When I was asked to audition for The Cheetah Girls movie I knew Dorinda was the character for me. She was fun, funky and edgy, with a deep backstory.
Once I was cast in the first movie, I knew got lucky, but I had no idea just how my life was about to change. Following the success of The Cheetah Girls, the Disney Channel released our sound track — which went Platinum. After the first movie, we did two more movies, more albums and sold-out concert tours and at the time, we set many ratings and album sales records. After all these years, I still feel so blessed to have been a part of it all!
Later, I had the incredible opportunity to dance on two seasons of Dancing with Stars.
In addition to my television credits, I co-wrote a fictional book called “Princess of Gossip” and starred in and produced two fun and motivational dance fitness videos called BYou!
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
One of my favorite opportunities was being on Dancing With the Stars. The show’s cast is incredibility diverse so you get the opportunity to work with people from all different walks of life. I was able to sit on a couch with my favorite Spice Girl Mel B on my left and Floyd Maywether on my right!
I also got the chance to spend hours talking and learning from Jennie Garth about her journey being on one of the biggest shows of the 90’s and then talked to Wayne Newton about all of his incredible adventures during his USO tours. One of my favorite experiences was going to Wayne’s house in Las Vegas. He is an incredible collector and has a variety of rare animals on his magnificent estate. I am so blessed to have become friends with him and his family, and this Fall my fiancé and I going to get married on his property.
Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers — I love watching old movies and videos of Fred and Ginger dancing. The effortless way they glide across the floor is mesmerizing.
What do you do to “sharpen your craft”?
1) Always be yourself. There are many people that will try and push you into being someone that you are not. Always stick to who you are and you will find success in your own way.
2) Treat everyone as equal, with the kindness you’d want to be treated with. Don’t get caught up in trying to impress only the “important” people.
3) Stay positive throughout every audition process and remember talent doesn’t always win the role. Casting directors have a strategy behind their decisions and even if you think you are perfect for the role on the page, someone else might have a specific look or feel that the director is looking for.
4) Use each “no” as an opportunity to learn and grow.
5) Stay connected. It is a tough business filled with rejection and negativity, but focus on building a network of people that you can count on to not only have fun with, but that will lift your spirits, help you be better at what you do and give you the unvarnished truth when you need it. You will always need friends you can trust because they are some people who might tell you only what you want to hear, not what you need to hear.
6) Continue to work on your craft and always be prepared. Auditions usually happen without much notice. I was invited to audition for “A Chorus Line” and I didn’t have the proper shoes. I ended up dancing in the wrong shoes and was slipping all over the place. Thankfully, I got the role, but lesson learned!
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I am grateful for all the opportunities being part of The Cheetah Girls set in motion for me to help empower girls. Our movies demonstrated that you can dream big and with hard work and determination, anything is possible. Inspiring the next generation of women is something I am dedicated to in all my projects. When I am not working on a set, I have the privilege of coaching young dancers and I focus with them on all the different ways they can follow their dreams.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1) Most actors have a dry spell. After working nonstop, I didn’t anticipate that there would be times without work.
2) When you go on an audition have a thick skin, because there are many reasons why you might not get a part that have nothing to do with how good you were in the audition.
3) I wish I had taken more pictures. I was lucky to have traveled all over the world for work, places like Spain and India, but I now realize that I hardly took any pictures. At the time, I was so focused on the work and I now wish I was able to pull out visual memories of all the amazing off-camera experiences I had.
4) It is healthy to have a balanced life. As a young actress, I was hyper-focused on acting, but my parents insisted that I had balance in my daily life. They forced me to stay in a traditional school environment, which allowed me to enjoy things like going to the Prom, football games and have non-industry friends, which is important to staying centered.