Posted on 12 May 2018
(SISS) Hi Miss Lei, where are you from and where are you currently spending your time? (Lei) Greetings SISS! I’m originally from North Carolina. Small town girl from Mebane, NC! Currently I live in the middle of Miami, downtown and it’s definitely an experience. (SISS) What was one of the hardest things that you had to go through? What advice would you give someone going through the same struggle? (Lei) I think it’s truly been a struggle to have grown up with an alcoholic mother. My mom is my heart so witnessing her battle with drug and alcohol addiction was extremely traumatic. There’s a lot of layers with this disease. And it definitely isn’t one piece of advice I could give that could make it better, as this is situational based on each persons individual circumstance. But I would say, to do as much as you can to help your loved one out of this spiraling circle BUT know when to let go and live your own life. It’s important not to get dragged into the storm and to not become apart of the problem but instead the solution! (SISS) Entrepreneur, dancer, model, from @nbcworldofdance season 1etc… Tell us more who is @Kennedylei and what are you most proud of? (Lei) @Kennedylei is the true definition of a “small town girl with Big City Dreams”. It takes an extremely strong willed and determined person to make it in this industry especially when all odds are against you. @Kennedylei is that woman who made something out of nothing. I didn’t grow up in performing arts, never trained to dance or model. I just put my mind to do what my heart desired. I’ve never used my upbringing as an excuse but rather a motivation to have more out of life than what I grew up with. And I think that’s an incredible gift. To see the light through all the darkness. To set goals and accomplish them and even surprise myself with some of things I’ve been granted to be apart of in the 5 years of my professional career. I’m most proud of that and never giving up. (SISS) One year from now what do you hope to have accomplished (business or personal)? (Lei) In one year I hope and I’m working hard towards touring with an artist. I really would love to add that to my resume and expanding my brand. I want to curate a dance fitness brand and start blogging about some of the real life issues that I’ve went through and shedding light on personal topics that aren’t really being talked about. (SISS) How dedicated are you to fitness? What is your fitness goal? On your body, what is your favorite body part and what is your least favorite? (Lei) What a great follow up question, lol ! Fitness has been extremely important to me. But seemingly I didn’t even realize how much I enjoyed working out and pushing myself in the gym. As a dancer you’re of course going to have an amazing physique but I do workout outside of dance. I think it’s extremely important for dancers to not only dance but workout, practice yoga, stretching and conditioning. I workout 3X a week outside of dancing. I’ve never trained with a trainer but that is definitely one of my fitness goals. To begin taking my workout routines to the next level by hiring a trainer to learn more about different workouts and how to tone certain parts of my body. I would love Stronger core strength and back muscles. My favorite part of my body will have to be my legs. I’m a sucker for toned long legs and my least favorite right now are my arms. You get older and realize fat is stored in differently and fab hangs in undesirable areas. So I’m really concentrating on toning my arm and back muscles! (SISS) What makes you the happiest? What is fun for you? (Lei) Besides performing. Food really makes me the happiest ! I’ve been a vegan for 1 1/2 and vegetarian for 2 years prior. Learning about different plant based foods and taking on this challenge of no meat is difficult. But you get to expand your taste buds and open your mind to an entirely different way of eating and living. The ultimate fun in my book is travel. I’ve been extremely blessed early in my career to work and travel. I lived in Shanghai for a year, spent 6 months in Morocco and LA working. I’ve traveled to Costa Rica, Bahamas, Dominican Republic and Spain. These experiences changed me COMPLETELY. There’s something so intriguing about indulging in another culture and learning about different ways of life that I think every person should do at some point in their lives. Especially Americans. (SISS) How do you deal with disappointment? How do you Keep Going? (Lei) I’m no stranger to disappointments. But I think the best way to deal with it is to understand there’s a light inside of YOU. If I go to an audition and I don’t make it, or if I’m in class and falling behind on the choreography it’s extremely disappointing. But I always know that what is for me is for me. It may not happen when I want it to. But my chance, my opportunity, is always just around the corner. If I gave up every time I’ve been told no I wouldn’t be where I am today. You have to know that what’s placed on your heart to make out of your life is your true calling and true shining. (SISS) What is your superpower? (Lei) I think my super power is knowing that true passion prevails talent. I’m in a very vulnerable position where I’m working along side a lot of talented professionals. It’s hard to keep going when you’re always a step behind. I’m a self taught professional dancer. Typically surrounded amongst those who’ve been training their entire lives for this. It’s easy to get discouraged and feel I’m not good enough. But I have never fallen into that trap. I always feel what moves me and I do just that. The people I’ve shared stages with, the jobs I’ve booked and people I’ve connected with are not because of my talent but because of my passion. This is extremely important to know and understand & knowing that a lot of people may think I don’t belong — I still believed and made it. That’s indeed a super power. (SISS) What is your weakness and what do you do to overcome it. (Lei) Communication is definitely a weakness of mine. I can write, draw and dance out my feelings. But trying to effectively Verbalize how I feel gets lost. My words and thoughts get jumbled and I feel, in moments, I have a really valid points that ends up lost due to my lack of confidence when disclosing them. I’m working on strengthening my voice and standing behind what I say without feeling guilty and just being a yes man. (SISS) Can you tell us four things people don’t know about you? (Lei) I bite my nails. And it’s a horrible habit to break. Until I was 22 I was allergic to alcohol. & then in college my allergy disappeared. I graduated with honors and a 3.8 GPA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. 2018 was the first year I ever got my eyebrows done! (SISS) Can you tell us where else can our readers follow your daily inspiration? (Lei) I have a travel blog from all my travels @kennedylei_productions. I truly love to get inspired by the world around me so I capture things that grab my attention and post quotes that speak to me in that moment! (SISS) What’s your favorite quote? (Lei) “Where there is no struggle there is no strength“ (SISS) At Smart is so sexy we love to see women who are thriving in their career or business. What are you most passionate about? (Lei) In this moment of my life I’m passionate about women empowerment. Celebrating and supporting women from all over the world and making sure our voices are heard. For the longest I didn’t have a voice and I’m just now finding it. I think that’s extremely important for women. Especially timid and shy women like myself. Thankfully I have dance to express myself but some women haven’t found heir voice or passion and I hope to inspire women to do so. (SISS) Who was the most influential person in your life and why? (Lei) My sister, Tamyra, has really been at the forefront of my inspiration. She’s 4 years older than me. And we’ve been through so much together. When I was younger I never realized how much she actually sacrificed for me. Now that I’m older and we’re going through similar stations in life. She’s a huge support system to have. We truly inspire one another daily. Her story is chilling and to know that she still hasn’t given up knowing all the trials she’s been through pushes me to better myself every step of the way. (SISS) Where were you five years ago? What advice would you tell your five years younger self? (Lei) Oh boy! I was in a totally different life and person. Let’s see five years I was 22. Living in Shanghai and living out my dreams as a traveling dancer. I don’t have any regrets and I would tell myself to not do anything differently. I was fearless. I made mistakes. I didn’t make all the right decisions. But I lived in a way I wish a lot of people could. Just unapologetically free! I would actually tell my older self to get a little piece of that girl back :) (SISS) Can you take us through a typical day? From Waking up to going to bed, Can you give us a play by play of a typical day for you? (Lei) I don’t have a typical day. No day is the same. From traveling to working different jobs it’s hard to stay to a legit schedule. I’m definitely new at the “routine” life, if you will. I do think it’s important; but I’ve been modeling more here In Miami, and having different call times and set locations makes for a lifestyle where I have to plan As I go. If I don’t have an early morning I definitely workout as soon as I wake up. And, if I have a specific class I want to take I make plans around the time of the class. I’m not a big tea or coffee drinker so my mornings aren’t waking up to a nice coffee and then going for a run and then a relaxing cool down! I’m on the go constantly and just work my way through the schedule for that day. (SISS) What is your favorite meal? What is your favorite book and/or the latest one you’ve read? What is your favorite song? (Lei) My favorite meal tends to be the most fattening. :( I love a good pasta, potatoes and anything avocado is always good. Yes I’m healthy but I definitely indulge when I feel the need! Favorite book “The alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. It changed my life and I would advise anyone who’s starting a new journey to indulge. Favorite song right now, I heard it the other day “big girls don’t cry” by Fergie & was instantly reminded of how much I loved that song and the message. (SISS) When do you feel the sexiest? (Lei) When I’m performing. The stage really brings out @Kennedylei and she is such a sultry tease. I love to perform in front of thousands of strangers. It’s weird but I’d rather perform for a crowd of people, I don’t know rather than my closet friends or family. Talk about a shy performer!! (SISS) Is there someone on social media that inspires you and is a great follow? (Lei) Will Smith is my new found inspiration these days on social media. I love his messages. I can’t believe he gives out so many gems for free. It’s actually insane if you think about it. But as soon as he joined instagram, I couldn’t stop watching his loathe of inspiration, snippets of his personal life and insights on working in the industry. (SISS) What does Smart is so Sexy mean to you? (Lei). Smart is so sexy is genius. It means that as we live in an over sexualized society of women, we are really more than looks, filters and post. We are actually intelligent beings. With minds of our own, thoughts and ideologies of our own and we actually do HAVE A VOICE ♥️ (SISS) Thank you so much @KennedyLei.