We had the good fortune of connecting with Bernadette Torres and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bernadette, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Believing in myself, following my passions, and staying true to who I am. In order to become successful, in any endeavor, a person must be willing to learn, fail, adapt, listen, and be disciplined. The moment you think you know everything is the moment you lose everything. Always be a student of your craft. That is how you become great.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” – Eleanore Roosevelt I am a former ballerina, teacher, entrepreneur, and mentor. I am happiest when I am able to make a positive difference in the lives of others. I try to be the person I needed most when I was younger. In Kindergarten I was asked by my teacher “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I said with full confidence, “I want to be a princess! And if I can’t be a princess I want to be an accountant”. While this is quite funny and seems like a “yeah right” moment, I actually wasn’t far off. I trained hard for 11 years before becoming a professional ballerina performing several “princess” type roles, for example, Sleeping Beauty. I performed nationally and internationally and felt complete bliss every time I was onstage portraying a different character. Then I went to college to study business and opened up my own Pilates business. Being patient, respectful, working hard, and being disciplined are the main reasons I am where I am today. My journey wasn’t always easy, however, looking back, I am grateful for what it taught me. I think you can look at hardships in two ways: 1) Acknowledge them and Face them or 2) Become dominated by them. Starting at the age of six, I was mentally and emotionally bullied. While I am a strong person I did get beat down eventually by the many years, about 20+, of bullying. I became insecure, afraid, anxious, and lonely. It got so bad that I started having panic attacks almost daily for a few years. I reached a breaking point. It was at this point that I sought help through my therapist, in Italy. The work I have done with my therapist has changed my life. While it is still difficult to talk about these moments, I think it’s important not only for myself but also for others awareness. I have come to see that when I encounter low points in life I end up learning the most. It is a time of change. It is a rebirth. I hope my story inspires others to follow their dreams and not be afraid. Just Do It!!! Here are some phrases that I live by: 1) Life is about relationships. Know which ones are healthy and which ones are not. 2) The comfort zone is where dreams go to die. Don’t settle. Keep dreaming. 3) Don’t just listen to respond, try to listen to understand. 4) Forgive yourself and love yourself because you have to live with yourself your entire life.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This tough because there are so many places and things to see and do in San Diego. Here’s what I would do with my friend: Morning Sleep in: My friends know I am a night owl. So we will probably be sleeping in a little. Breakfast: I would cook up some breakfast so we could relax in the morning. Activity: Head to the beach (Mission Bay) to go paddle boarding or jet skiing. You have to go to the beach if you are in San Diego. Afternoon Lunch: We would head to Point Loma Seafoods for lunch. Grab food and then picnic on Shelter Island with a view of San Diego in the background. Activity: I would then drive along the coast – Bird Rock, La Jolla, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Carlsbad – maybe stop at some of the shops along the way, then head back into downtown to pick up some gelato at Gelato Paradiso. Or I may head to Coronado to walk around and show my friend the Del. Evening Dinner: Cesarina, the best Italian restaurant in San Diego that I have found. Everyone loves this place. Activity: Definitely go dancing, see a show, or listen to live music. Even just a nice evening stroll through Balboa Park or Liberty Station is really pretty too. Night Evening Snack & Activity: We would probably have to grab a couple tacos from Puesto before heading home to play a game or watch a movie.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
While I have had many incredible people in my life, Sheri Long, my Pilates mentor and friend, is someone who knows how to bring out the best in me. Coming from a professional ballet career, I have a habit of being hard on myself. I learned from a young age to push myself beyond my limits physically, mentally, and emotionally, striving for perfection. Sheri has helped me see that I don’t have to be perfect. I can have an off day or be tired. She has brought a different kind of balance to my life. She sincerely embodies what it means to be an excellent mentor/coach.