I’ve been dancing since I was 3 years old. I even left home at 15 to go to ballet boarding school to train more seriously. When I turned 19, moved to NYC, transferred universities, and changed my major, I shifted my focus and gave up on pursuing a career as a professional ballet dancer. This was hard. I spent my entire life dedicated to ballet. While I still took ballet classes regularly in NYC, I felt like I was mourning the loss of my professional ballet dreams.
After living on 55th St. and 2nd Ave for my first year in NYC, I decided to move downtown to Broome and Mott St. to be closer to school. As I was walking home one day, I heard salsa music coming from the second floor of the Sandra Cameron Dance Studio on Broome St. I watched from below and everyone was smiling, laughing and having fun. I wanted to try! The next day, I signed up for beginner On 1 salsa classes. This was the first time I felt alive again after giving up on my ballet dreams.
I later discovered Eddie Torres and mambo/salsa on 2 after a ballet class at City Center. I craved more and started taking salsa on 2 classes at Dance On 2 with Melanie Torres and Gabriel Perez. I wanted more and discovered the “uptown” salsa world. I began my regular commute to 125th St. and 2nd Ave. to Santo Rico classes with Tomas Guerrero and Ahtoy Wonpat-Borja. Classes were challenging and intimidating. Then, I discovered Karisma Dance Company. This video is from my time at Karisma with my bestie forever, Kenny. This was the just the beginning of my salsa journey…more stories to come.