Selina Jessey Athlete Ambassador
Selina is a dancer and gymnast who has performed at some prestigious events and venues. She talks to Sundried about her journey.
Have you always been into sport?
Sport has always been my passion having always wanted to be involved in activity since I was able to walk! Spending most of my childhood upside down, my parents took me to gymnastics from the age of 4 and I was immediately hooked.
Gymnastics being an artistic sport meant my dancing went hand in hand and I had also been fortunate enough to be taken to dance lessons at the same time and carried them through to my adulthood. Throughout school, I was always eager to participate in every sport where I discovered talents in hockey and athletics where I was scouted for the East of England camp in hockey and competed at a regional level in athletics in the heptathlon.
Although I enjoyed giving everything a try, gymnastics and dance always shone through as my specialism. As well as participating in sport, I also went on to study and graduate with honours in Sport and Exercise Science.
How did you first get into dance/gymnastics?
As an active child, my parents took me to dance lessons first when I was 3 where I started off with ballet, tap and modern. With dance lessons only being once a week I had shown interest for gymnastics attempting basic moves so I was also enrolled into gymnastics from a young age. I took a liking to performing so I maintained both throughout to now, where I am pursuing a career using both skills.
What has been your favourite performance and why?
I was part of a musical theatre company in my early teens where we got to perform at quite prestigious events and venues such as the Royal Albert Hall and the O2 arena. One performance I would have to say as a highlight growing up was the London Olympic one-year-to-go ceremony at Trafalgar Square where we performed in front of thousands of people, being on a stage that big always gave a good buzz.
What is your proudest achievement?
I would have to say being selected for the Essex County Gymnastics squad is up there as one of my proudest achievements. Competitions within the county would only occur occasionally and to be selected for the County Squad meant being noticed and exclusively invited to the squad camp to train with the elite gymnasts in the whole of Essex.
Have you ever had any disasters?
I remember it would be really disappointing to have a fall during a gymnastics competition after all the training that goes in prior to a competition. The balance beam was where falls were common and a fall is costly in terms of points which in turn could determine where you place in rankings. I remember one competition I had, I had fallen on the balance beam and my overall ranking was 2nd place with being only 0.025 behind first place so if I hadn’t have fallen, I would have won.
How do you overcome setbacks?
Rejections are so common with castings and auditions in the dance industry so you constantly have to pick yourself up and keep going. Being turned down for a role or a job is part of the industry where it is so competitive so it is recurring thing where sometimes you just aren’t the right person for the job. I love what I do which is enough motivation to keep going but another way I overcome setbacks is just by looking back at how far I’ve come and not expect things to happen overnight. I know that hard work overtime will allow me to achieve my goals so that’s my mantra to overcome setbacks.
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
Do not compare yourself to anyone else. It is so easy to get caught up with feeling inferior to other performers and dancers when everyone has their own career paths and uphill struggles. Success and achievements are defined differently by everyone individually so when I started out, I saw some performers’ success as impossible which was detrimental to my self confidence so I have learnt to focus on my own career path rather than compare myself to others.
What are your goals?
My long term goal with my career is to regularly book jobs on campaigns and work in TV/film. As well as being a dancer I have ambitions to utilise my skills in gymnastics for film stunt work. I have more skills/disciplines to develop in order to register for the British Stunt Register however this is something I hope to work towards.
Who inspires you?
I am lucky to have had a couple of mentors who have helped me with my dance career both who have worked hard for their successes. Both my mentors worked hard in training and went on to perform on huge stages and support major artists such as Anastasia and Kylie Minogue. Both of these people demonstrated that work hard combined with dedication will help me achieve anything and that my goals aren’t as far fetch as I might think.
Why work with Sundried?
I was excited to work with Sundried after hearing about their values and ethics. Not because of their use of sustainable fabrics and recycled materials but their ethics in the production of their items is what sets them apart to other sportswear brands. They lead by example in how a business should be run considering the conditions of everyone involved in the whole lifecycle of the products as well as the carbon footprint they leave. As well as being an ethical brand, the products serve their purpose well and are super comfy!