Today we’d like to introduce you to Cory Dunkel.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Cory. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
My journey was not easy, as any other, other dream or voyage, I had my nonbelievers/doubters. Me never giving up on a passion of calling is what keeps me strong. And the “blood family” were not good motivators, supporters, and up-bringings!
Not having any role models/anyone to look up to in my childhood, was one of the hardest as a child. So striving for myself was the best thing I had for me! I couldn’t stop, I had a gift of finding and having a passion at a young age, which was the biggest power I have.
There was a time in my life where I had to get myself out of my “family” life at the age of 16. I then was homeless or slept on the floor of my homies(friend) house in their rooms for a little over a year, but I knew it was better than living the life with “family” because I was being lied to and treated like “the middle child/ugly duckling” it was truly traumatizing keeping my mouth hush as a child.
Being homeless and living my life on the streets, I found my own family and my own supporters and my own love. “My real family” is what I call them, is what pushed me to keep making sure I stayed strong of my passion. Pushing towards my strengths and goals led me traveling for dancing. I also have been able to have the great opportunity and privilege to do back up dancing for a few artists.
As well as music videos, video shoots, photo shoots, The Rose Parade, WOD, work with well-known choreographers, be apart of seven different dance crews and loving every second of growth. What helped me the most was being able to push myself by saying, “yes” to every opportunity that came my way.
With all being said, I have been teaching dance as a choreographer/instructor since 2011 and being the age 24, I have more to come! I love every second of what I do ’till this day!
Has it been a smooth road?
Well, the thing about “roads” you know the outcome of where you’re going or you have a specifically prepared surface, but with my voyage, there were no roads. I never knew where I was going or what path I was on, that may have been the main motivation of it all though. My “struggles” were of any other.
At a young age, I struggled with of course “bullies,” as dumb as it sounds. The bullies came from “close people” such as; relatives, peers, and others around. Told me I couldn’t do it/make it, called me names and disowned me, called things out of content just because I wanted to dance/be a dancer which never made sense to me as a person.
So besides the bullies and doubters/non-believers, there came a time where I was homeless and on the streets and lived by the streets. As well as not really connecting with my relatives can be hard for any kid and it was very hard for myself being alone.
If I do say, there were times where I think and hold onto the thought of still being able to talk with GMA and the little sibling I had as a kid, little bro, and little sis. It’s crazy to say, but being alone was better than feeling alone. Not many knew about the dark/bad times of mine, but myself and God knew what carries on my back and in my mind.
Every time I get a time to sit, think, and really breathe. I stop and say, “I do this, and I have to keep doing this, I am blessed to have this.” This passion of what I do is dance! I am a living dancer! I also do this as a profession, I teach as a hip hop dance choreographer. Their are a handful of studies I’ve taught in all over the Inland Empire.
I teach, and my kids/students love me(so for what I know haha) and teaching reminds me of myself and how little I was when I was dancing. It also brings me to realize how I love teaching for these students in the community because I can remind the “fresh generation” of how blessed, lucky and grateful they are to have parents/a support system that gives them the opportunity to start dancing at a young age!
Even if they don’t like it, they get the chance to feel it out and make a decision with their guardians. I knew a lot of dancers, but mostly all of them don’t even dance anymore, and it’s sad because they were just as legit. I get proud of myself for sticking with what I do because this path as a dancer is not easy and staying with it is even harder!
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I tend to tell myself not to look at life in the future because then I’d scare myself haha. My whole life I have lived in the present and took every opportunity off of chance.
With this being said, I will try and say, within the next few years I’d like to shift into a more successful me. And success, as in, happiness, livelihood, financial, relationships, peacefulness. My success I speak upon comes in many aspects. I would also like to see myself in a better state of mind. I’d like to travel more than I have. Being on tour while being on a cruise or in China!
I have dreams and goals that will never end, but having a more broad support system will be one of a kind! I wish to have the trend to spread the passion and love that I have for others to do as they want as well, that would be a wonderful shift I’d like to see within the world, but if I have a part of that, then I would be one happy soul!
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @corydunkzz7
- Facebook: @Cory Dunkel