1. What is your background in dance?
I started dancing when I was 15, testimony to the idea that you can, and should, start dancing at any age. In the past 7 years I have been a part of Phoenix Fire Modern Dance Troupe, Flores do Samba Dance Company, African American Dance Company, IU Redsteppers, and quite a few dance gigs here in our community. I have learned styles ranging from West Indian Dance, to Ghanaian, to Afro-Peruvian. My favorites, however, are styles based in Latin American (i.e. Salsa, Samba, Merengue, etc.). It all gets my fire going.
2. How did you get involved with Movement Exchange?
Miss Hannah Crane recruited me two years ago; it didn’t even take 2 seconds for me to say absolutely yes. This past year I was President of our IU chapter and it was the most rewarding experience I could’ve ever asked for.
3. What is your fondest memory of your exchange?
Crying with Alex Rhodes after Diguar spoke about the prejudice he has experienced as a dancer in Panama, but how he still believes movement is the universal language and the tool that will connect us all.
4. How do you define Dance Diplomat?
Dance diplomacy is our duty as dance citizens of the world. It is to connect, to touch, to inspire the lives of those from another land and those within your own. It is the perfect fusion of domestic and international dance outreach, and with this duality, we break down stereotypes, hierarchies, and preconceptions so as to stimulate a step, or perhaps a leap, towards social change.
5. What has Movement Exchange taught you?
That love, freedom, and expression are entities that all humans long for, thus uniting us into one collective unit of living, breathing human beings.
6. Who is your favorite choreographer?
7. What is the most compelling performance you have ever seen?
To be honest, the performances that all the kids in Panama present. Each one has taken my breath away and affirmed the idea that we are changing their lives, and maybe their destinies, in more way than one.
8. What’s your biggest accomplishment so far?
Being offered a job at Movement Exchange, it literally combines my 5 majors/minors (Psychology, International Studies, Spanish, Dance, Sociology) into one quintessential career.
9. Where’s the most exotic place you have been?
The Amazonia in Peru.
10. How many languages do you speak? Which ones?
I speak two, Spanish (thanks mom!) and English, and am looking to begin speaking Arabic or Portuguese, have not decided which one yet!
11. What is one thing on your bucket list?
Go skydiving, even though I am deathly afraid of heights.
12. What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I would rather have an in-depth, profound conversation with one person than be surrounded by dozens of people.
13. If you could time travel, where and why?
To the 60’s civil rights movements in the South. Flocks of people striving to revolutionize the country and achieve social justice? Count me in.
14. What are some of your other hobbies?
I specialize in uniting and creating communities. I love motivating people to achieve their full potentials. I’m developing a relationship with my paint and paintbrush. I enjoy creating something out of nothing. I take pride in developing my own social experiments. I’ve been told I’m good at micro-managing and multi-tasking. I could smile and laugh all day.
15. If you had a tagline/motto what would it be?
Be the change you want to see.
16. What three words come to mind when you think of India?
Invigorating (see what I did there?)
17. Do you think Movement Exchange would be valuable in India? Why?
Yes, the uplifting nature of the exchange would benefit the dance community in the United States just as much as the community in India. With even more of a language barrier, establishing the link between our culture and theirs via movement will be difficult, but all the more rewarding, thus achieving an extreme of cross-cultural understanding and awareness.
18. Why do you dance?
I dance to connect. With cultures, with causes, with people and the stories they carry alongside them.