What's your name?
Where are you from?
St. Paul, Minnesota
What do you do in Urbana-Champaign?
I am working on my Masters in Library and Information Science and a certificate in Education. Currently, I am student teaching in the library at Leal Elementary.
What are your plans when you finish school?
After I graduate in December of 2003, I plan to become a School Librarian or a Children's Librarian at a Public Library.
What other kinds of dancing do you do, and how did you get involved in them?
My first introduction to dance was a dance/theater class when I was a pre-schooler in Minneapolis. Then I practiced ballet for about 10 years and Jazz for 5 years in St. Paul. Later, I became involved with international dance for 2 years at St. Olaf College and trained in traditional Japanese dance for 1 year while in Japan. When I came to U of I, I became involved in ballroom for 2 years and hustle for 1 1/2 years.
What dance training do you have?
St. Anthony Park School of Dance
St. Olaf College Ballroom Dance Classes, taught by Ann Wagner
Veselica Dancers, St. Olaf College
Training at Nagai Center in Nagasaki, Japan
U of I Dancing Illini classes
Chicago Salsa Congress
Chicago West Coast/Hustle Congress
How long have you been dancing in general, and dancing salsa specifically?
I have been dancing since age 3, schooled at age 5, and salsa dancing seriously for about 2 years.
Tell us about other exciting places you have danced, or exciting
dance experiences you have had.
When I was in Venezuela, my host parents threw me a 16th birthday party. I didn't have an idea how to salsa, and salsa was definitely at the heart of every party there. For some reason my host father had only invited young men to my party. Let me tell you that lots of young men, and a shortage of women on my birthday was a very nice 16th birthday present!
After one year of training in traditional Japanese dance in Japan, I performed for the Nagasaki Rotary club in full Kimono. It may look beautiful, but it was the most constricting outfit that I have ever worn. I swear that even my sweat couldn't move!
Any embarrassing dance moments?
My cousin dropped me on a brick floor when we were trying to do a complicated move. Then we tried to do the move again and I was dropped a second time. I can tell you that I have never tried that move again.
Any thoughts on salsa styles?
I know the world dances on 2, but I still feel the beat on 1. Erika Ryser is working with to try to feel the beat on 2, and let me tell you, it is going to take some real work! I like to feel the music and put my whole self into the dance. I love working on new little extras while I dance, as it keeps it fresh for me.
What else would you like to tell us about yourself or your dancing?
I love all forms of dance, but I would like to seriously concentrate on Latin dance. I have to admit that this passion is definitely going to impact were I move after I graduate in December.