Passion for Dance Podcast - Ep. 158 - Menina Fortunato
menina fortunato

Ep. 158 – Menina Fortunato

Episode 158: Success in Dance is 20% Talent 80% Everything Else with Menina Fortunato


Any dancer dreaming of a professional career is most likely working hard in the studio and honing their skills to be the strongest dancer they can be, but in the professional dance world, talent is only 20% of the equation. There are a lot of other skills to master that make up that other 80%. This 80/20 rule where success as a professional dancer is 20% talent, 80% everything else comes from my esteemed guest today, Menina Fortunato.

Menina's mission is to help the next generation of dancers create their dream dance careers. She had her own remarkable career for three decades in this dance industry. She has navigated the demands of both on-camera and behind-the-scenes work while also juggling the responsibilities of being a loving wife and devoted mother of three. Menina has worked on prominent television shows and films including America's Got Talent, Star Trek: Enterprise, DC's Legends of Tomorrow, and she's graced stadium stages entertaining massive crowds with superstars like Britney Spears, Beyoncé, Carrie Underwood, Paula Abdul, and so many more.

Menina and I talk about maintaining motivation as a professional dancer, how our current generation needs to learn about rejection and handling negative emotions through mental toughness and some mindset advice for aspiring professionals, and, of course, she'll break down her 80/20 rule and share what that other 80% is all about!

I've always been a person of let's find a way, let's figure it out. You know, I'm gonna fall on my face. I'm gonna fail. I'm gonna make mistakes. I'm gonna feel defeated. I'm gonna cry about it. I'm gonna pick myself back up, and I'm gonna figure it out. And I think anybody that's achieved any kind of success in life, no matter what it is, has experienced a lot of failure as well. And without risk, there is no reward. So if you truly want something, whatever it is that you want in life, be prepared for a lot of failure, be prepared for a lot of risk because you have to bet on yourself. Nobody will believe in you unless you believe in yourself, and I think that's a theme in my entire life is passion.

– Menina Fortunato

Key Highlights –

  • [3m 51s] – Menina’s Dance Background
  • [10m 12s] – Menina’s Favorite Memory Onstage
  • [14m 17s] – What’s Kept Menina Motivated Professionally
  • [17m 48s] – Menina’s View on Values
  • [19m 19s] – The 80/20 Rule
  • [29m 16s] – Challenges Menina Sees in Dancers Seeking a Professional Career
  • [34m 45s] – Menina’s Take on Balance and Mindset[39m 03s] – Menina’s Thoughts on Managing Chaos

Resources –

Follow Menina on Instagram:

Connect with The Business of Dance:

Connect with The Hollywood Summer Tour

Connect with Menina:

Leave a voice note for the podcast:

Sign up to my Email List: 

The Relevé Dance Coach Membership is there to replenish your personal, mental, and emotional energy and help you create dancers who are mentally tough, resilient, and motivated. Join the Relevé Membership here:

Be sure to visit me on Instagram @dr.chelsea.pierotti for more mental skills advice for dancers

Word of mouth is still the best way the show can grow! If you have a dance friend out there who you think would benefit, please share this episode with them!


Menina Fortunato

Menina boasts a remarkable three-decade tenure in the dance industry. With an unwavering dedication to her craft, she seamlessly navigates the demands of both on-camera and behind-the-scenes work, while also juggling the responsibilities of a loving wife and devoted mother to three children.  

Menina's magnetic presence has captivated audiences worldwide through her appearances on prominent television shows and films, including America's Got Talent, Latin American Music Awards, Star Trek: Enterprise, DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Guys Choice Awards, Alias, MAD TV, Blue Collar TV, Poseidon, Spectacular, Kickin It Old Skool, and Celebrity Fit Club.  

Having been blessed with the opportunity to tour the globe, Menina has graced stadium stages, entertaining massive crowds of up to 60,000 people.

Britney Spears, Beyoncé, Carrie Underwood, Paula Abdul, Maluma, Carmen Electra, P!nk, Fergie, Luke Bryan, Earth Wind & Fire, MC Hammer, Victoria Justice, William Hung, Rain, and Luis Miguel, to name but a few.

Transitioning gracefully from the pinnacle of her performing career, Menina ventured into the realm of production. Her creative prowess shone as she assumed roles such as associate choreographer for The X Factor, associate consulting producer on America's Got Talent, and executive producer for various music videos filmed at Universal Studios and Paramount Studios. Additionally, she served as a co-producer for Follow Me TV, Eyes of Faith, and Murder 101.

Menina's expertise and influence extend to the Universal Dance Awards, where she held a position as a producer and voting panel member. Her exceptional industry insight earned her a coveted spot as a guest judge on the acclaimed TV show DANCE MOMS, where she adjudicated Maddie Ziegler, Kalani Hilliker, Kendall Vertes, Mackenzie Ziegler, and JoJo Siwa, among others.

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