Side Hustle: Danni Heverin
Locals tell us how they juggle multiple jobs, aka “get that paper.” This time we pick the brain of Danni Heverin, professional dancer and actress, Xcel Talent; fitness instructor, DEFINE Body & Mind, and Radio City Rockette.
You’re a dancer, actress, and fitness instructor — which came first?
Danni Heverin: First came dance. I’ve been dancing since I was years old. Before college, I got an agent in ATL at Xcel Talent agency. I got my first official job at 18, when I danced with Luke Bryan and Big and Rich at the CMT Awards in 2011. That was my first big job. I majored in dance and business at the University of Alabama. I’d do the college thing and, in between, my agent would send me an email or text about an audition, and I’d have to weigh my options to see if it was worth the drive to Atlanta or Nashville and missing class. I sort of struggled with that in college.
I auditioned for the Rockettes for three years before I got it. I graduated from college on August 2 and got the job August 13. I packed my bags and left for three months and we rehearsed six hours a day, six days a week. I’d never had a real job, let alone a physically demanding one. After the Rockettes tour was over, I took a few months off. My agent sent me an email about DEFINE coming to Atlanta, so I decided to check it out. I met up with Jessica the owner, interviewed with her and she hired me. I’ve been a Rockette for two years, but this past year was my first in New York instead of on tour. I’ve only been back for a few weeks, so I’m getting back into teaching and acting now.
What’s the key to your side-hustle success?
D.H.: Resilience. I’ve been told "no" a lot, and I think that’s what drives me because I know I can. It’s not whether I can, but when the opportunity allows itself. The Rockettes told me ‘no’ for three years. You can’t give up.
How do you stay organized?
D.H.: I grew up as an army brat and we moved several times — I lived in more than eight cities and in Germany, so I’m used to being on the go, and I think that’s shaped who I am today. I’m a really big geek about my schedule, I have my planner and I schedule everything. I like to have a schedule and have things all planned out, even though I’m up for anything. I like to be disciplined and I’m always looking towards the future. I try to look at the big picture along with what’s happening this week, whether it’s dinner with friends or a TV audition. It’s hard to be a dancer and find a job where you can be flexible. A 9-to-5 job doesn’t work for me.
What motivates you to keep hustlin’?
D.H.: I have big, high expectations for myself. I know I can be successful, but I want to do it my own way, I don’t wanna do it the cookie-cutter way. I have that itch and that hunger inside of me where I know this is the step to the next step.
If you had to add another gig to your roster, what would it be?
D.H. Right now I’m more of a performer, but one day I’d love to be behind it all, instructing and guiding new performers, maybe own my own dance studio or arts studio, or being an artistic director. There are endless possibilities.