What made you want to start dancing?
Well I started dancing when I was a year old. My older sister was already dancing at High Step Dance Academy, and my mom thought “why not put Ari in ballet and tap?” My mom always knew from when I was born I would be a great dancer. My mom and dad called me “Crazy Legs” when I was really little because I used to kick my legs and move them around all the time.
Who would you say has influenced you the most in your dancing career?
My older sister has influenced me the most in my dancing career. My biggest influences have always been my mom and Christina Ricucci. She has beautiful feet and legs, and is one of the best dancers. I love all my supporters and everybody influences me in one way or another.
Is there any dancer you are dying to work with?
I would love to work with Mark Meismer or Teddy Forence, and so many others. There is lots of dreams for the answers and those are some of mine.
Can you tell us how its been since you started on the mini team?
Dancing with the mini team has been an amazing experience, and being on “Dance Moms” has been a once in a lifetime opportunity. Everyone on the show, especially the Elite Team, are amazing dancers. The Elites are all very nice, but do get distant sometimes, so the minis stick together as a team. But overall, they are very nice and welcoming.
A lot of fans watch you week after week on Dance Moms. What is the process to learn one of Abby’s dances?
We usually start with stretching, then start filming ‘pyramid’, which usually takes about 3 hours (but the show only shows about a minute or two). Once that is done, we start choreographing dances, starting with the solos then moving into groups. There are times we don’t have solos and only work on group dances. We focus on choreography over the next couple days, but there are times when the moms are fighting that takes time away from us dancing. That’s something I would like to take away from the show. Traveling to competitions also takes time away from choreography. But once we get to the competition, the dances always turn out great.
Do you like performing live?
I really like performing live, it’s a lot of fun! The only difference at a competition is that the groups perform twice, although they don’t get scored the second time. You just have to go out and do your best, dance your heart out and hope for the best!
How do you prepare for a live performance?
To prepare for a performance, we start with a pep talk to get everyone excited and ready to go onstage. We’ve been doing this forever, but we still get butterflies! We stretch and review the routine really quick by the time it’s time to go on stage. I practice my turns, and the girls practice their jumps or kicks. Then it’s time to take the stage!
Which of the dances that you have worked on so far has been your favorite?
My favorite dance would probably have to be ‘Wait for Me Mom.” I don’t think it’s premiered yet, but it’s definitely one of the most heart felt dances I’ve ever done.
Whats an average week like for you during dance season?
During dance season, I’m dancing every single day. We stay at home on the weekends, but I usually stretch by myself and practice my solos and routines. My days are pretty packed with competitions and conventions. And since I’m in the industry, I go to auditions, photoshoots, and so many other things. A lot of people think I live in a fantasy work, but I really put a lot of hard work into what I do, and you really have to dedicate your heart to it.
What dance classes do you usually take each week?
When we’re filming, I’m usually taking all the classes. But when we’re not filming, I go to my regular teachers. The twins (Kenzie and Kierra Fisher) and I do yoga with Kyla Fisher. I also practice ballet at Yorba Linda Academy with Teri Russel. They’re all great teachers and I love them all so much! I also make the trip to LA and visit different studios to take their master classes. It’s always fun to learn different styles from new teachers.
With you just starting your career as a dancer, what goals have you set for yourself in your dancing career?
Other than dancing, some of my other goals include modeling, acting and singing. I would love to be on commercials, movies and maybe Disney shows! I already started taking voice lessons, and I’ve already modeled for some brands, but I would love to model some more.
Since you are only 11, How do you manage school with all the dance classes you do? – Are you homeschooled?
I’m currently homeschooled, but I do go to a charter base school once a week. It really works out with how busy I am! I’m usually running all over the place, which I’m sure you’ve seen on my Snapchat. We also live part-time in Mexico, so it would be hard to go to public school! But school is still a number one priority, especially because without school, I won’t go anywhere. Managing both classes and school has become harder since I’ve entered junior high. I definitely have to keep my grades up, so I have to focus more as I get older! I hope to be a doctor or plastic surgeon one day, so it’s really important.
What’s an average day for “Ari Lopez” look like?
An average day for me consists waking up at 7am and going to sleep at midnight. I get ready, eat, stretch if I have time, and head straight to dance until about 10pm. I’ll get home by 11:30pm, eat dinner, shower and go to bed, then start the whole thing over the next day. When I have a free day, I will try to keep up with my social media. I definitely want to start a blog on YouTube, so you guys should convince my mom to buy me a camera so I can start! I bet if you comment on my Instagram posts to start a blog, she would definitely do it! I also stretch, help around the house, and sometimes cook for my family. It’s great to sit down with them because we usually never get to eat together since I finish dance so late. I love quality family time.
If Hollywood made a “Ari Lopez Movie”, who would you want to play you?
If Hollywood made a movie about my life, I’d probably play myself! But it would be a dream come true to have my own movie.
Whats your favorite style of dance and why?
Contemporary is definitely my favorite style of dance because I love the music, and it’s the style I feel I’m best at.
You have a huge following on instagram- over 250K followers. How did you gain that many followers on the app?
I started using Instagram when I was 7 years old. My mom pretty much handled my account until I was 10. She still monitors it, but now I can post my own pictures and captions. But it takes a long time and a lot of patience to grow your Instagram following. You can follow me at @areanaevanilopez
How often do you post on your social media accounts?
I try to post every day, but I get busy, so at least every three days.
What social media platform do you use most to stay connected to your fans?
I use Snapchat the most. I think it’s the easiest to keep up, and I love all the filters! I post at least once a day, similar to Instagram. Sometimes, I’ll answer my fans when they message me, so keep asking me questions! Add me! aritween101
Whats your favorite filter to use on instagram?
Clerendon or moon would be one of my favorite filters on Instagram.
Since you started your dance career at a young age and know the hard work that goes into becoming a successful dancer, what advice can you give to aspiring young dancers like yourself?
Don’t give up on your dance dream, because there is always someone to help you excel, even when you’re going through tough times. Dance like nobody is watching, and dance with your heart. If I start that YouTube Vlog, I will definitely have tip videos for dancers, along with stretches and things like that, so keep an eye out!
How has this whole dancing career experience been so far?
My entire dancing career has been amazing! But I’ve had to put a lot of time and hard work into it, so there are still many years of my dance career ahead of me!
We just wanted to say thank you again for doing this interview with us and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for you.
Thank you so much for this interview it means so much to me I love talking to all of my fans. Thank you everyone for all of your support.
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