In the last month at the studio I've met a lot of you, I've learned a lot of names, and taught a lot of classes. I was asked to write a blog post introducing myself, but most of you have read my bio and I assume you know that I love to dance. I figured I'd share some things you don't know about me (yet).
My parents tricked me in to dance class.
I struggled for a long time to find my "thing", after trying every sport sport offered in my tiny town (and failing miserably), my best friend told me about her dance class. To be honest, I wasn't interested. I was a shy kid, not thrilled about having to perform at the year-end recital. My parents made me a deal, if I took class I didn't have to perform at the recital. We shook on it, and years later I realized they knew they were lying to me, those sneaky parents! A year came and went and and at age 10 I rocked two sequin leos with fringe skirts, one for jazz, one for tap. Two months later I auditioned for the competition team, and that was just the beginning.
I traveled daily to the town next door for my dance classes and the more I danced the more my parents encouraged me to seek the next level of training. I fought them for years, I wasn't ready to leave my teachers and my friends; in hindsight I wish I had done it sooner. At the age of 15 I finally began taking weekly ballet classes at a big studio 35 minutes out of town. I was immediately recruited as an understudy for the pre-professional company in residence, and within a year transitioned my whole life to this new place. When I was 16 I was gifted an old Honda CRV, not as a birthday present, this was so I could drive myself to the studio daily (parents were off the hook!). In my final two years of high school I spent an average of 30 hours per week in class and rehearsal. I danced for two pre-professional companies (ballet, contemporary) amongst students who are now commercial dancers in LA, professional ballerinas, Rockettes and fellow teachers.
I moved to San Diego in 2008 to attend Point Loma Nazarene University. PLNU checked all of my boxes, except one: dance. It was a tough transition, but in the end I'm so thankful for a place that challenged my passion. It took me a year or so to figure out the dance community in my new city, but many doors were opened and since then, I have been fortunate enough to do some really awesome things (see bio).
I was recently asked about my favorite achievement in dance. It took a few weeks to realize that I'm most proud of being able to fly solo and work for what I want. I jump in to classes without knowing who will be there or what to expect. I worked extra jobs to pay for my dance training. I stand up for myself to the people who don't believe in me. My adventures and willingness to do what it takes has lead me down some really cool paths including commercials, paid gigs, an international performance tour, professional photo shoots and teaching jobs. And now, here at DAA, I'm doing exactly what I am made to do!
My advice to dancers: take every opportunity you come upon. Don't be afraid to go alone, don't let finances discourage you, and don't stop fighting for your passion. People in this industry can be cruel, but if you strive every day to reach your goals, you'll always end up where you're supposed to be.