Recently, I had the pleasure of conducting the following interview at Miami Beach with Berangely “Bengy” Cid, who is well known in the entertainment industry. Starting at the age of 12, this amazing woman has worked her way up through the entertainment world using determination and hard work. Universal Records in Paris, France signed her as a recording artist at the age of 28. From there she continued to grow with shows, festivals and music videos.
In July of 2004, she formed her own company called Zhantra Entertainment. This is a full-service company that is well known for its team of 200 performers who put on dynamic performances with special costumes and choreography. Their exclusive acts include “Bionic Ballerina, Capoeira Dancers, Champagne Glass Show, Cigar Girls” and many others.
Her trademark is “Love what you do and do it with passion.” The company has grown dramatically and is now known as Zhantra International. She has offices in New York, Chicago, Miami and projects throughout the world.
SFL Style: Please tell our readers about your background. You began your professional career in the entertainment industry from a young age; what got you started in this field?
I began in the nightlife industry at the young age of 22. I was a go-go dancer in the late ’90s and into the 2000s. In 2001 I signed a record deal with Universal Records in France and started in a duo singing group named "2 Sweet" and toured France. I returned in the summer of 2001 and continued to work as a go-go dancer at many popular hot spots like Space, Crobar, and Nikki Beach. Then in 2004 I decided to open up my own entertainment company, Zhantra Entertainment.
SFL Style: According to your bio on your website, when you were 28 you were signed by Universal Records in Paris, France. How did this event influence your path as an entertainment artist?
Bengy: Signing with Universal Records gave me the confidence I needed as an artist and creative director. I also learned a lot from being in Paris seeing shows and performances, plus learned a lot about fashion and latest trends.
SFL Style: What have been some of the highlights of your career? What has been your best moment so far in this industry?
Bengy: Wow! I have so many of them. Every year we do something that is amazing. I don't think there is only one best moment. Every year we grow and it’s been an absolute blessing. Nothing we can't do. One thing I do love is when we get international messages on social media about girls dreaming to become a Zhantra doll. I think that by far those are the best moments for me and the biggest compliments.
SFL Style: How did you meet your husband?
Bengy: I met my husband in Segafredo Brickell. He had recently been through a tough break-up and we met through mutual friends. He became my going-out partner and I began introducing him to some of my girls to cheer him up. After a while the friendship turned into love. The rest is history :)
SFL Style: Your husband is not only your life partner, but your business partner as well. How difficult is it to manage such a relationship from personal and professional levels? Who is the biggest boss: you or your husband?
Bengy: This is tough! We definitely complement each other. I am the Yin and he is the Yang. I am the big boss at the office and he is the big boss at home. Works well this way. LOL.
SFL Style: Your main office is in Miami, but you also have offices in Chicago and New York. Are you planning on expanding to other cities in the US or abroad?
Bengy: There was a time I was excited to expand to different locations and got a lot of interested investors to do so, but realistically it’s a lot harder than we anticipated. We tried doing Vegas but there were too many laws and permits that didn't permit us to work out of Miami to run Las Vegas. At the moment we are happy with our three locations. I can't say we won't do it in the future, but if the right opportunity arises we might consider it.
SFL Style: What are your goals, both long term and short?
Bengy: My goal is to continue to grow as a company. Helping young girls is something that is very satisfying to me. If it wasn't for go-go dancing I wouldn't be where I am at today. We have so many girls that are able to make money on the side with us to complete schooling and getting that college education.
SFL Style: What are some of the bigger projects you and your company have been involved in?
Bengy: We recently did this amazing event for Space X in Orlando along with Triton Productions. We had over 20 performers come up from Miami. We also worked at Jacksonville Jaguars Stadium two years ago, which was a lot of fun, along with working with the Miami Marlins with the Clevelander. We have also performed with many celebrities and even cast dancers for some great movies being filmed here in Miami.
SFL Style: In your opinion, what attributes does a successful entertainment business lady need?
Bengy: Patience! Patience with clients and with the entertainers. Also lots of networking. Keeping good communication with your clients is key. Never be too confident with any account, and know your worth.
SFL Style: How do you stay motivated?
Bengy: New projects. There are always different projects being sent our way. The more out of the box it is, the more motivated I become. I love being creative, and unique events inspire me.
SFL Style: Who is your biggest fan, your number one supporter?
Bengy: My biggest fan besides my husband is my oldest daughter, Zabria. She has watched me grow since she was a little girl. I used to have costumes in an extra room of our house when I first started. Now we have a 7,000 square foot warehouse. She now does my social media for the company and is very involved in the business. I love her so much for that.
SFL Style: You have a beautiful youngest daughter. When she grows up, do you see her involved your family business?
Bengy: I hope not! LOL. I’d rather her do her own thing, as it’s a very stressful career. They say event planner is one of the top careers that is the most stressful. I’d rather her be a doctor or a lawyer. But of course, whatever makes her happy she can do.
SFL Style: Who creates all your wonderful outfits for your performers?
Bengy: Ricardo Zuccolini. He is a wonderful designer and makes 80% of our outfits. We also have a seamstress on staff too.
SFL Style: What are your three favorite places to eat or hang out in Miami?
Bengy: Wow, that is a tough one. I am very low-key right now so when we do go out we like going to local bars like The Anderson. To eat I have to say I love Komodo in Brickell or Sugarcane in Midtown.
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