We had the pleasure of catching up with Fernando Lino, a passionate choreographer who uses movement and the expression of dance to connect with others.

Dance, Fernando told us, helps him find peace and harmony in a world of constant chaos. The way movement brings him serenity is clear though his flow -- just watch for yourself. (Plus, his Zoila Boater hat makes the perfect prop!)

Read more of Fernando’s story below and see how he prioritizes health, movement and community.

Tell us a little about yourself. What are you most grateful for in your life these days?

    My name is Fernando. I’m a dancer, choreographer, model, and fitness instructor. These days I’m grateful to simply exist and have an intimate community of people that support me. My mantra these days: health is wealth. 

     What inspires you to dance? When did you discover the joy that it brings? 

      Dance celebrates the pleasure of being alive, in a similar way that enjoying delicious meals or sharing a kiss with someone you find beautiful, gratifies the senses. The study of movement has been a healing journey for me since I started dancing as an adult. My relationship with dance has now evolved into a practice that I turn to in search for peace and harmony in a world where there is persistent pain and suffering.

      We're curious — how did you discover Minga? What drew you to our small and growing brand?

      My friend Laura is actually buddies with Minga’s creator, Emily Rathmaster. Emily spoke to me about her vision about incorporating movement into Minga’s brand and I was completely down to help out.

      We are so appreciative to have your support. What is your favorite Minga piece and why?

        One of my favorite Minga pieces is the black La Vida Rancher hat. It can class up any look and it reminds me of the elegant “traje campero” hat worn during the Feria de Sevilla in Spain.

        The word Minga means: "Collaborative work in which friends and neighbors volunteer their time and effort to achieve a shared goal for the betterment of the community." How would you define community and collaboration? How do they play a role in your life right now? 

        I actually participated in an official Minga when I studied abroad in the Amazon in Ecuador during a college study abroad program. The practice still resonates with me because a lot of my dance experience has been in service of community and in collaboration with other artists through Opendance AZ, an outreach dance organization that performed and taught dance in underserved areas of Phoenix, Arizona. Although dance is a very demanding art form, I continue to do it because it allows me to connect with other artists and teaches me to keep my heart open and to share the joy that it brings me with others.

        How can we keep up with you?! 

          Find me on IG @Fernando Lino


          Emily Rathmanner