March 30, 2016
“I have been at the Dance Center since I was six years old. My very first class was tap, and I absolutely fell in love with it. After I had been tap dancing for a few years, I was invited to join the newly formed Taprrific tap company, and I also began taking jazz classes. I think that a passion for music and movement since a very young age has always sparked my interest in dance. Soon I was dancing with Rhythm, the senior tap company, taking many other classes in jazz, tap, and ballet, performing in shows and going to competitions. I started working as a teacher’s assistant, and I currently TA for Footloose, the junior tap company. This year, I started teaching classes at the Dance Center—KinderJazz and Tots Tap. I am so grateful to be given so many amazing opportunities.
Growing up at the Dance Center has been a wonderful experience for me because I have gotten to try new things and meet new people every day. Yet probably one of the strongest influences that dance has had on my life is that it challenges me to step outside of my comfort zone and grow as a person on a daily basis. When I was younger, I was painfully shy, and it often barred me from experiencing things to their fullest extent. Dance, especially the performance aspect, has really helped me grow. Now that I am sixteen and in my junior year of high school at Maria Carrillo, I look back and understand exactly how much performance has impacted my life. It has allowed me to break out of my shell. In teaching the younger classes, I see a reflection of myself at that age. Back then, I would never have imagined myself being a leader, or even going on stage without feeling terrified. I thank the Dance Center for helping to build the person I am today.
If I had any advice for someone new to dance, especially if they were as nervous as I was to perform, it would be this: I have come to view every performance as a reward. My favorite parts about performing—the bright lights and faint silhouettes—are my favorite because they characterize the performance itself, rather than the before and after. The performance itself is the reward because I know that I am actually in the process of doing something that takes courage.”