Where I'm From
I grew up in Murrieta, CA. Lived there for as long as I can remember. I'll always be a So Cal boy at heart!
My Dance Training
Well I actually started my dance journey as a competitive Irish Dancer. I did that for about 8 years, travelling and competing all over the US and over seas. When I was in High School I didn't want to take regular PE so I took dance instead. I was hooked. Started taking jazz and hip-hop and eventually joined my school's dance team. I didn't start ballet and modern until I went to college where I studied under an amazing faculty. Nancy Colohan, Christopher Pilafian, Mira Kingsley, Christina McCarthy. and Val Houston shaped and molded me into my full potential as an artist and a mover. I am forever grateful for them and the training I received from Santa Barbara.
My Dance Experience
I graduated in June 2012 and began my professional career in October. Since then I've been dancing with White Wave/ Young Soon Kim Dance Company. Still looking for new and exciting opportunities to dance this year! In college I had the privilege of participating in our student dance company for 3 years. As a member of this company I got to perform Marimba by Lar Lubovitch, Speeds by Jennifer Muller, and an original work created on our company by Austin McCormick.
Have you received any awards or honors for dance?
Upon graduation of High School I was awarded a departmental achievement award for dance, and when I retired from my competitive Irish Dancing career I was ranked 4th in the region and 7th in the nation for my age group.
Other Work Experience
My first job ever was a bus boy at an Italian restaurant! My love for food made me realize how not ok that was haha. Since then I've been a photographer, a barista at starbucks, worked in the stacks at my school library, a dance teacher, a stylist at a clothing store, and an administrative assistant at a ballet school.
Method For Treating Body Soreness
Lots of water!!!!! and stretching it out. Soaking in a bath tub would be ideal, but ain't nobody got time for that!
A Dance Injury
I've had a handful of injuries, the most random one was when I accidentally broke my pinky toe while turning bare foot in the grass. So dumb. The ones that were the most difficult to overcome was my low back and my shoulders. My senior year of college I was doing a lot of partnering and lifting. I was overworking my muscles, and began compensating by using others. This mixed with bad posture meant I was tearing at the tendon in my shoulders. I went to the chiropractor and once I became aware of what it was I made a correction in my dancing and new how to care for it. My low back had to do with the same thing, bad habits developed, over used certain muscles and didn't strengthen the right ones. So I would go through periods of shooting pain starting in my low back shooting upward. I was really scared at first until I went to the doctor. Then I met the thera band and all became good again. These are both things I still have to consciously care for today, but they are much more manageable!
Other Passions & Interests
I love eating. I love to experience new food. I love going out to eat with friends and sharing that time with them. It sounds weird but it is one of my favorite things to do!
A Cool Place I Visited While Dancing
I've been very lucky to get to travel a lot for dance. I've been to many states as well as Ireland, China, and Italy. Its hard to just pick one, but I'd have to talk about Ireland. It was my first time out of the US and I was competing at the World Championships of Irish Dance. The culture was beautiful and landscape was breathtaking. The best part was that Irish dance was their culture. Everywhere you went people knew what was going on. Everyone danced. The pubs were crawling with traditional Irish music and people just dancing. At the competition it felt like the Olympics. People from all over the world came to show what they've got. It was the best of the best and you wanted to see how you ranked. It was thrilling!
My Favorite Rehearsal Snack
ummmm I'm kind of a fatty. So I will literally eat anything. anytime. people don't understand how I could eat a huge burrito right before I dance, but I'm unaffected. but please eat responsibly! haha
Music I Warm Up To
It depends on the mood I'm in that day, or the mood of the piece. Sometimes I need pump up music, which usually involves hip-hop, dub step, or hits from the 90's and early 2000s. If it's a different kind of day I might get a little more thoughtful with some Bon Iver or Explosions in the Sky.
Why do you dance?
I dance because my body wants to move. I want to express things I can't say with words. I want to be a light in the darkness of the world, and dance lets me be that.
What do you love about dancing?
everything. the feeling, the work, the tears, the music, the triumph, and the failures. I love it all
What's the hardest part of being a dancer?
Being challenged and inspired. If you are trying to make a living off of dance sometimes you have to take work that you normally might now want to. It's all a part of the learning process so I'm grateful for those opportunities. But I want to be inspired by what I am doing and challenged to be better. I don't want to be in my comfort zone.