About

My Journey to Empowering Yours

My path to coaching wasn't linear, and neither was my own path to confidence. I started in grade school as a theater actor, then explored improv comedy, street performance, and then a 25+-year career as a belly dancer, from shimmying through Arabic nightclubs in New York City to teaching and presenting at dance festivals around the world.



Along the way I earned my BA degree from Yale University in linguistics and theater studies, my MA in cognitive psychology from The New School for Social Research, became conversant in several languages (French, German, Italian, Arabic, Japanese, Turkish, and Spanish), taught English as a Second Language, proofread and copyedited for major publications and company websites, earned my 200-hour yoga teacher certification and several other fitness certifications, and still teach dance, yoga, and fitness for older adults at the YMCA of Greater New York, where I've been a part of a welcoming community since 1999.

Through these experiences, I developed a fascination with human connection, including the interpersonal dynamics between leaders and their teams, teachers and students, and performers and audiences, where confidence can make the difference between just a presentation and actually convincing others and bringing them on board.

It became clear to me that presence wasn't just about inborn talent, whether someone had that magic "it" factor or not...
It was about understanding yourself and harnessing your own inner power to elevate your leadership presence -- when you most need it.

From Self-Doubt to Stage Presence

Despite a love of performing, I struggled with being too much in my head, especially in high-pressure situations where I felt judged or not quite accepted -- like in high-pressure auditions that I felt I was bombing! I was not able to fully connect to the decision-makers in front of me, nor to be able to change their opinion of me for the better.
When I performed improv comedy, where thinking on your feet is key, it was hit-or-miss: I was either "on" or "off." I didn't know how to be reliably and powerfully ON.

I knew that the performers who had "it" (while I was struggling) were more present in their bodies than I was: They had a physical command that could made them seem larger than life. I could barely even feel my body, let alone feel a sense of command over it. And I didn't understand why the body was so important to achieving stage presence, which I used to believe came from mental intentions alone.

Belly dancing proved to be a turning point. Performing in diverse environments -- from nightclubs to parties to museums to festivals -- forced me to develop my awareness in a more embodied way, more fully inhabiting my physical body as well as my mind, to project confidence, navigate tricky situations, negotiate payments, and command attention on my own terms.

I learned to apply the muscular power of traditional Egyptian dance from wonderful teachers of the culture, and developed my own methods to manage my energy and focus. I had finally learned how to be ON, on command. (Even at times when I might feel a little off on the inside, I also learned to reliably appear ON to others.)

My dance career took off. I began training other dancers, and their successes multiplied too.
Then I started hearing from dancers I had trained, that they were using my methods for confidence in the rest of their lives, not only for their dance performances: in other work settings and social situations.
I then began to train teachers, speakers, and entrepreneurs, helping them prepare for presentations, client interviews, salary negotiations, and to promote their work online through video ads and website videos.

 Building Confidence, Together

Now, I'm able to share my experiences and insights to help you develop your own captivating presence, to come to a better understanding of how to work with yourself, and to bring out the best parts of yourself in a more public way, in support of what you want to accomplish in your work and in the world.

It's about finding the balance within yourself, to manage your own energy and personality, to connect authentically with your audience: whether it's on a big stage or through a webcam, and whether your audience is one person or thousands, live in the moment, or via asynchronous video.

Together, we'll transform your nerves and self-doubt into a powerful connection with your audience, to achieve your goals in work and in life.

Let's connect!

-  Ranya Renee

Reach out to me via:

Email: rr@ranyarenee.com

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ranyarenee

Or via the contact form on this site.

We can set up a meeting to discuss your goals and challenges, and see if it will be a good fit to work together.