Sierra and Christian, our two newest instructors, have been working very diligently with the foster teens who will be the stars of our Masquerade Ball on Friday, Oct. 27.
We sat down with them before the big event to chat and help introduce them to you.
Question: Where are you from, and was dancing a big part of your culture?
Sierra: I’m originally from Plattsburgh, N.Y.; I wouldn’t say dancing is a part of my culture, but it became family culture for everyone to be involved in the process, since I took dance classes nearly every day, and frequently traveled out of state or to Canada for classes.
Christian: I was born and raised in Tampa, but both sides of my family are from Cuba so dancing is a big part of my culture.
Q: How did you get into dancing?
Christian: I began dancing in high school when I was 15 for show choir and I fell in love with it.
Sierra: My mother always wanted to be a dancer, and started taking ballet classes as an adult. She actually got her first pair of pointe shoes just a short time before finding out I was on the way, so I guess I was destined for the dance floor. I started ballet and tap at age 4, and have since studied a plethora of other dance styles.
Q: What do you love about teaching?
Sierra: I enjoy sharing my dance and fitness knowledge. I truly believe dance benefits the mind, body, and soul. It is a very special feeling helping other people reach their goals in the studio, and I can only hope I help inspire a love for dance in all my students.
Christian: I love knowing that my students count on me to better their dance education and that makes me very happy.
Q: What is your favorite type of dance to perform?
Christian: Swing, because it’s very upbeat and fun and has many interesting turns and tricks.
Sierra: I don’t think I can pick. I just love performing!
Q: What advice do you have for people who might be scared to try ballroom dance lessons?
Christian: Everyone was new at one point but if you want it bad enough you’ll go for it to better yourself.
Sierra: There are so many benefits to ballroom dancing that no fear could possibly be great enough to conquer them all! We all start out with “two left feet,” but some of just do it as kids when it’s still cute. Taking lessons gives you the knowledge base, the structure, and the muscle memory to trade up to some “dancing feet” while adding confidence and fun to your life.
Q: Anything else you’d like to mention or tell our students?
Sierra: I like to think of myself as a perpetual student – there is always more to learn! Not only do I consistently strive to learn as much about dance as I can, I am also very into the anatomy and physiology that makes dance and other movement possible, the prevention and care of injuries, as well as nutrition, and fitness. My bachelor’s degrees in kinesiology and dance encompassed all of this information and beyond, and I am now in the process of preparing for graduate school to extend my expertise even further.
Christian: I’m very fond of juggling and I’m also a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
Well, there ya have it folks! Fred Astaire Brandon is thrilled to be partnering with Grow Into You Foundation to support those most vulnerable in our society. Our kids are learning so much about ballroom dancing, including how fun and easy it is, all while building their confidence! We can’t wait to see them perform on the big day!
For more information about the Masquerade, or on how to sponsor these wonderful teens, please contact Fred Astaire Dance Studio Brandon at 813-438-5963, or click here.