She was born to dance, and model, and sing, train and travel, and avoid poor choices while remaining driven like Porches, opting rather to race fashion forward like Ferrari horses. Yes, Amsterdam’s Naomi Lucia is a professional dreamer – and the Netherlands’ Cuban link to Salsa dancing, history, culture and so much more. The granddaughter of legendary dancer Roberto Salazar, known as Moso, who famously founded the Conjunto Folklórico de Oriente dance studio in Havana, Lucia, 19, was raised by her mother in Zurich, Switzerland. At 17, the ambitious talent relocated to Amsterdam to study classical ballet, modern, jazz, and contemporary dance. During her audition to gain entrance into the competitive dance program – Lucia, then 15 – competed against many dancers, most of whom had been studying their dance craft since they were five-years-old. By comparison, Lucia was coming to dance at the relatively late age of 15, yet the precocious Dutch-Cuban beauty was accepted into the program, earning her place with effort, energy, and inborn ability. The rest is Her story – one the sexy starlet is working hard to etch in megastar stone.
Written by Tone Swep
Images by Juliane Falk
Styled by Deveney Heusden
MUA by Magdalena Kielb
Shot in Amsterdam, North Holland province, the Netherlands
As dancing and modeling gigs go, Lucia’s ever-expanding portfolio is as diverse as they come, featuring an impressive catalogue of A-list engagements. She was a cheerleader for BC Apollo Amsterdam, a professional basketball team in the Dutch Basketball League. The fitness phenom has also danced for Nike’s Illusion Show in France and Italy, and 2016’s MTV Europe Music Awards at Rotterdam for the Kings of Leon performance. She has modeled for Ketchup Air’s latest campaign, selected sounds alongside global DJ Martin Smoove for cycling dynamo Six Day’s Amsterdam party, and starred as the love interest in hot artist Murda World’s latest video “Brand New“, all while maintaining a demanding dance and study schedule which regularly begins at 9AM and ends when the moon has already been hanging out above us all for several hours. What’s even more impressive about Naomi Lucia than her sensuous sex appeal, aura of class and integrity, and role model work ethic, is her depth – a profound sense of self-awareness. Though she has yet to visit her heritage homeland Cuba, Lucia has always embraced her grandfather’s legacy, one her dancing ambition is busy extending to this day, it’s all love: “I always felt a connection between him and me, even though I never had the chance to meet him, because he died when I was very young,” Lucia begins, referencing her grandfather, Moso. “I think he is watching over me and follows me in my journey from above. His spirit is how I’ll become a successful artist.” We chilled out with Lucia and her seemingly endless swirling curls at the artist’s exclusive DOPE MAG photo shoot in Amsterdam as she shared beauty tips, plans for this summer’s trip, and the music she loves to shake those hips to. ¡Baile!
(Tone Swep: TS) You were born and raised in Zurich but have also spent significant time living and studying up north in Amsterdam. What are some of the major differences between Switzerland and the Netherlands?
(Naomi Lucia: Naomi) The biggest difference is the people, I think. The people in the Netherlands are very open and friendly. It is very easy to start a conversation with random people on the street. In Switzerland the people are more reserved and judgmental at first. Later, when they get to know you, they are very chill. It is very windy in the Netherlands and the people use their bikes a lot. There are beautiful flowers in spring. Switzerland is a very clean country with wonderful mountains and lakes.
(TS) In what ways do you draw from your unique hybrid Cuban and Dutch heritage? The culture, fashion, music, food, geography, weather, and politics represented by these nations are very distinct.
(Naomi) The family of my mom is a typical conservative Dutch family, with a high education. On the other hand my dad’s family is the opposite of that. They are a typical Latin family with a lot of music, salsa dancing, and a high temperament. I think I have a good mix of both sides in me (Laughs!). I know when I can hang out my crazy Cuban side and when I have to take my calm Dutch side to behave a bit better (Laughs!).
(TS) You are currently studying ballet, modern, contemporary and jazz dance. Share with us a typical day in the life of a university dance student?
(Naomi) Actually, I am studying all round dance which includes hip-hop, modern, modern-jazz, ballet, tap, and many more. In my pre-education I was studying ballet, modern, contemporary and jazz dance. My typical day as a dancer starts at 9:00 am.
(TS) How does your day breakdown? Give us the timeline for your regimen.
(Naomi) Begins with a workshop class, where two students of our class have to give a workshop of any dance style to the first year. After that we have a break of 15 minutes, from there on we have Afro-jazz class and then a lunch break. After that we have a classical ballet class. That is one day of the week. Every day is different.
(TS) Misty Copeland brought so much attention to the ballet world, transcending the art form and drawing mainstream attention to the fine art. Does this create greater opportunities across the globe for classical dancers such as yourself?
(Naomi) Yes for sure! Misty Copeland is a big role model for me. She showed us that it is possible for people of color to do ballet and succeed like she did. It was too late for me to become a ballerina, because I started at the age of 15 with ballet. To become a professional ballerina you have to start with ballet at a very young age, to get years of experience, and flexibility is a must.
(TS) In the modeling world, urban model seems to have an “amateur/upstart” or “party/night club” stigma not generally associated with runway, fashion, and print models. Would you say urban dance is unfairly distinguished from classical dance in a similar manner? Are the distinctions accurate?
(Naomi) It depends on how you see it. I won’t say that they see the urban dance world as amateurs but it is more open minded and you can create your own style, unlike ballet. As a ballet dancer you have to fit in the ballet rules and standards. You can find urban dance almost everywhere you go, on the streets, in the club, on stage, or even in schools. Most of the time you can find ballet only on a stage in a theatre. Tickets to see an urban dance show are mostly lower in price than a ballet show.
(TS) Shifting to music, what are your favorite types of music and who are your go-to artists?
(Naomi) When I am in the club my favorite types of music are Dancehall, Latin and Afro-house, because of the vibes and it is my kind of music to turn up with. When I am at home I prefer more R&B and hip-hop to relax. My go-to artists are Beyoncé, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Drake, Alicia Keys and many, many more (Laughs!). I listen to so many different artists, so I don’t have some go-to artists but a lot (Laughs!). Too many go-to’s to go to.
(TS) Let’s talk about fashion. Name some of your go-to brands and designers. How would you describe your sense of style?
(Naomi) I like to buy my all day clothes at shops like Fashion Nova, Urban Outfitters, Top Shop, Berskha, Zara, Forever 21 and H&M. I buy my sports wear at stores like Nike, Adidas and Puma. My lingerie at Victoria’s Secret. High fashion designers like Louis Vuitton and Michael Kors are my favorites. I like to wear clothes that fit my body shape, because I work hard for my body and feel confident with clothes that are a little sexy but still classy.
(TS) What hair, makeup, and facial cleansing products do you use? Because your hair always looks healthy and your skin is always glowing and radiant.
(Naomi) For my hair I use products like Cantu, Shea Moisture and Cream of Nature. My favorite product is the Curl Enhancing Smoothie of Shea Moisture because it makes my curls pop and give it a healthy look. For my makeup I use MAC, Kiko and natural makeups from Forever Living Products, and the Sonya makeup line. That is my favorite one, because it is all natural and does not clog your pores; let’s your skin breathe and it is made on a base of Aloe Vera. I love it!
(TS) How do you maintain such a clarity and sheen to your skin with such a busy schedule? I ask in that way because generally the best pampering for great skin is plenty of sleep and even more rest, yet you don’t have much time for either.
(Naomi) Very true. I clean my face with products of Forever Living. In the evening I clean my face with the Forever Aloe Hand and Face Soap and the Forever Aloe Scrub. Then I use the Forever Aloe Gelly to moisture my face through the night. In the morning I use the Forever Aloe Hand and Face Soap again to wash my face off. At last, I use the Forever Firming Day Lotion to keep my skin hydrated all day long. I use almost every product of Forever Living because they are all natural, based on Aloe Vera, not tested on animals and they are just awesome!
(TS) You are also very into fitness. What is your workout routine?
(Naomi) My workout regimen is the push, pull, and legs routine. I train three times a week. I start all my workouts with a cardio session of 20 minutes on the treadmill. Monday is push day which contains chest, shoulders, and triceps. Wednesday is pull day. I train my biceps, back, and core. Friday is my leg day. I tone my quads, calves, glutes, and hamstrings.
(TS) And how about your diet?
(Naomi) I eat foods with a lot of protein such as chicken breast, eggs, beans, and fish. I consume less carbohydrates and eat more vegetables and fruits.(TS) How important is health and wellness to you personally? How do you incorporate spiritual wealth into your world?
(Naomi) Both are very important to me, because if you are not healthy you won’t be able to function to your full potential. I am a very happy person but I’ve noticed when I am sick or not well, it has a big impact on my mood. I was raised in a Christian household, I used to go to the church while I was living in Switzerland, but now I just pray at home; especially when things get rough. It helps me to get through it easier. I am a spiritual person in my beliefs, but I am also very curious in other beliefs and like to read about them and get to know other cultures.
(TS) You will be traveling home to Cuba this summer for the first time. What are your plans?
(Naomi) Yes, I am so happy! Finally, I will get to know my roots and the other side of my family. I am traveling with my half sister, we are going to a little island of Cuba called Cayo Coco for one week just to relax. Then we are going two weeks to Santiago de Cuba where my dad comes from, to visit my Cuban family. We are going in July, which means there will be carnival one week long – so we are going to dance all day and night (Laughs!). I am so exited!
COPYRIGHT © 2010-2017 PURE DOPE LABEL / PURE DOPE™ / LUXURY LABEL / BRAND ENTERPRISES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED