Nomadic dancer turned entrepreneur settles in New York

Nomadic dancer turned entrepreneur settles in New York

Regina Huber

Originally from a tiny village in Germany, Regina Huber has experienced a nomadic life since the age of 26, moving between Germany, Spain, Argentina, Brazil and now the United States. She has held jobs ranging from managing the office of an international consulting firm to operating a bed and breakfast and dance studio. In the process, she has survived various difficulties, including a court battle against the City of Buenos Aires over a licensing fine and an embezzlement case involving a former business partner in Rio de Janeiro.

Huber has been based in New York since 2012 and currently runs a leadership coaching business called Transform Your Performance. When she is not meeting clients or running workshops, she can be found dancing to African beats at a Kukuwa class at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater or a Mitana class at Equinox.

Q. What compelled you to move from Europe to South America?

A. Initially, it was because my job took me there. I was working for The Boston Consulting Group and helped them set up their São Paulo office, and I’d worked in Buenos Aires for a specific project. So I had existing networks and experience.

When I moved to Buenos Aires to set up the bed and breakfast, I was really obsessed with tango, so that was a big draw card. I was also translating books on Argentine tango and culture at that point. As for Brazil, I just absolutely love the climate. Rio de Janeiro has the rainforest and the beach in the city — a marvellous combination!

Q. And what made you relocate to New York?

A. I was running a dance and wellness studio in Rio de Janeiro. Long story short, I found out that my business partner was being dishonest in our business dealings. So I severed my ties with him and closed the business down.

It was a very difficult time for me. I loved Rio and I really didn’t want to leave, but I had an investor’s visa that was dependent on my business. I thought to myself, what other place in the world have I always wanted to live in? The answer to that was New York. So I packed my bags and moved here.

Q. How did you go about establishing your coaching business?

A. I didn’t really know anyone when I moved here so first I had to build my network from scratch. Luckily there is plenty of networking opportunities in New York!

From there I had to really think about what I wanted to achieve and whom I wanted to work with. Initially I worked mostly with performing artists, but now my typical clients are women who want to take their businesses to the next level and/or become thought leaders in their industries.

Q. What do you love most about New York?

A. I love its racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. I love that I can go to an African dance class in the morning and a Caribbean dance club in the evening.

Q. Is there anything you hate or dislike? 

A. I hate that the rental property market is so unfriendly towards foreigners. I’ve had to move from sublet to sublet because I can’t use my investments abroad as collateral.

Q. What kind of stereotypes about Germans do you encounter from Americans?

A. They think that we’re straightforward and blunt, which is pretty true. I found this harder to deal with in California because people tend to be more smiley, whereas in New York they are less so. They also think that we only eat sausages, which is completely untrue.

Q. You have a green card and have lived in New York for three years now. Do you consider yourself to be an American?

A. I consider myself a citizen of the world. I don’t mean this in an arrogant way, but my identity is tied so much to all of the places I have lived in, and not just one.

Q. Do you think that you will stay in New York for the long haul?

A. Well, I don’t have an itch to move anywhere else at this point. I think that for the next five to ten years, I would like to continue living here and grow my business.

I’m really not a fan of the cold though, so I would prefer to spend the winter in warmer climates, maybe somewhere like Florida.

Note: This interview has been condensed and edited for content.

About author

Anisa Purbasari
Anisa Purbasari 3 posts

I'm a journalist based in New York currently completing my MA in Magazine Journalism at NYU. Before entering the journalism world, I was a lawyer in the technology, media and telecommunications sector. I am a native of Indonesia and New Zealand with an obsession for food, health, fitness, travel, business and all things media and internet related. When I'm not reporting, you can find me attempting to run along the East River or getting lost in a random New York neighborhood (probably with a big cup of coffee). You can find out more about me at anisapurbasarihorton.com

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