Illustration by Tim Foley
From performing to activism to beekeeping, Danielle Alura is always working to help others and make a difference.
For actress, model, singer and activist Danielle Alura, it is normal to be on stage, but often she speaks the words of someone else or wears the clothes of a fictional character. At pageants, and for her purposes, she speaks for herself.
The Delaware native has quite the singing voice, and she’s also become a voice for the voiceless, championing causes like the environment and homelessness through pageants. She is also a lyricist and singer in a rock band, Dani and the Verbals, although she can also sing Italian opera.
“Pageantry gave me a megaphone,” said Alura, who has just completed a foundation that makes care packages for Ukrainian refugees.
With a passion for giving back that stems from her own adoption, #NoExcuseForSingleUse is one of her platforms, which has helped keep tons of plastic out of landfills. At age 14, Alura volunteered with the Wilmington branch of Family Promise, a national nonprofit organization that hosts homeless families. Now 33, she has helped more than 300 homeless families and raised more than $5 million since 2016, enough to break ground in May for the construction of a temporary housing facility in Tustin, California that will accommodate 15 families simultaneously. .
Born in New York City and raised on Long Island, Alura is the oldest of four siblings adopted into four different families. When Alura was 7, her family moved to Newark, where her parents still live. She graduated from AI duPont High School, where she performed in musicals, choir, band, a dance team performing for Pope Benedict XVI, and athletics, where she competed in everything but the javelin throw. “In meetings, I was like a Swiss army knife,” she says.
Alura broke school records and led the team to national competitions opening the door, a first at school. She trained with the boys. “I needed someone for me to catch,” she says.
It worked: “It was a huge boost for both teams,” recalls then-AI coach Mike Williams, who now coaches at St. Georges Technical High School. “We thought: let’s break stereotypes. We had a sweatshirt that said, “Boys like fast girls.” The girls came up with it.”
At her last senior banquet, Alura sang, “She loved performing, and the track was another stage for her,” Williams says. “She’s always had showmanship no matter what stage she was on.”
At the age of 18, Alura moved to Florida, where she started starring in commercials. “I was just a kid in Delaware,” she recalls. “I came with a (New York) accent and coworkers always wanted me to say ‘chocolate’ and ‘coffee’ or ‘call back later’ or ‘I had to walk the dog’. I thought, wow, they love to hear me talk. …They stopped asking me when I lost the accent.’
Florida stays at home. Here she was crowned Miss Florida Global USA 2022 and last month competed for her last shot at a national pageant title. In a life spent competing, Alura didn’t always wear a crown at the end of the day, “but the people I’ve met and the impact I’ve made is better than winning,” she says.
To expand her reach, she recently reduced her workout routine to five to 10 minutes and launched a fitness channel, Alura Fit, which is broadcast on YouTube and her website (daniellealura.com). She also hosts virtual micro workout classes at Big Brothers-Sisters clubs and has 50,000 online followers. La Croix is a sponsor.
She’s also as busy as the bees she keeps: she’s a certified beekeeper who specializes in Italian honeybees, despite a previous phobia. She has made a difference in the hives she has chosen, even though she is not a queen and is just a “scout bee,” the ones that find a new home for the hives, as she does with Family Promise.
“I’ve been given the chance to wake up every day and live like it’s my last,” she says.
“I intend to change many lives.”
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