By MEGAN HUSSEY
Her followers are called Serenanators. She boasts two channels and more than 20K subscribers on YouTube, also drawing large followings on TikTok, Instagram and Twitter. And she is a native of Brooksville, Florida.
Serena Lopes, 21, is the host of the That's So Serena social network; a multi-platform stage on which this spirited, enthused performer offers song and dance, road trip footage with friends, fashion haul modelling, commentaries and react videos.
Yet surprisingly, this natural born entertainer has never taken a single music or dance class.
"I’ve never been to a dance or drama class in my life, unless you consider Just Dance on the (Nintendo) Wii a dance class," she said. "The only thing that is remotely close to performing was when I was in chorus in the 5th grade."
In preparing and presenting her content, Lopes draws upon an innate creativity and a natural proficiency for modern technology.
"Growing up in an age where you’re constantly surrounded by technology, it's not hard to get attached to what is happening on social media," said Lopes. "I’ve always been so internet savvy from a young age, and seeing and watching people on YouTube got me thinking that one day I could potentially be doing what they are doing."
What Lopes does on YouTube and other platforms is deliver positive, family friendly content that could find her showing off her new room decor one day and reacting to a BTS single the next, or filming with friends--sharing fun trips to Disney World and lots of laughs in reacting to Lopes' old videos on Vine, where she first staked her online claim to fame.
"My favorite types of videos to make are the ones I do with my friends," she said, "because even if the video wasn’t good, I at least know I can make an interesting video -- due to the fact that my friends are funny and we always have a blast together, so I know I can edit it to make a funny video."
Lopes also enjoys presenting fashion shows displaying her favorite styles for summertime, for back to school, etc.
"In the future, I hope I get to share experiences I’ve gone through and I still get to make fashion videos, because I really enjoy fashion…Like a lot," she said. "Yet, I also hope I get to cover issues dealing with mental health and other issues that interest me."
Born in Brooksville, Lopes is one of four city natives featured on the Famous Birthdays website (https://www.famousbirthdays.com/people/serena-lopes.html). She currently lives in Hudson and films videos throughout the state of Florida, for an audience of what she identifies as mostly high school-aged viewers.
"I spend the majority of my time filming in my room, as many YouTubers do," she said.
In the future Lopes hopes to learn and grow, both before and behind the camera.
"Right now I’m focusing my time on school and working towards getting my bachelors in advertising, though I might want to go into the medical field," she said. "I’m trying to make school, work and YouTube my priority, so then I can make YouTube my job and continue school. I hope to see a growth in my channel, and get to talk about topics not often talked about in the media."
"I also hope I get to attend more events to get my channel out there and meet more creators that are like me," she said, "because I did that this year, and it was one of the best moments I’ve had this year. Finally, I hope I get to share my experiences and my story so others can learn from my experiences."
....and, in all likelihood, earning many more Serenanators along the way.
See Serena Lopes on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MoreSerena