Dancing has always been a part of my life. It has been my therapy from both of my spine surgeries and leg surgeries to get me to walk again. I am part Cuban so dancing is also been in my blood as I have been dancing since I was two. In my household, there is never a moment when Cuban and salsa music isn’t being played, especially Celia Cruz.

At home, we rebelliously watch and follow Dancing with the Stars (DWTS), and I get inspired by the professional dancers and how effortlessly they move with passion. One of my biggest dreams is to dance on that show, and to prove that Little People are just as capable of dancing as anyone. I even had the opportunity to meet one of the professional dancers from the show, Derek Hough, when he went on his dancing tour called Move. He has been my idol since he first came on the show and his kindness and his creativity with his choreography inspires me to create my own choreography and teach people to dance. I was lucky to get a chance to dance with him backstage when I went to go see him perform on tour, and he reminded me why I love dance so much. It is all about the passion and the love of it.

However, I had never taken professional Latin and Ballroom dance lessons, until the summer of 2013 after I graduated high school. My dad took me to Fred Astaire Dance Studios (FADS), and there I got to meet one of my amazing instructors, Joshua Bradford. And then in 2014, I also began taking lessons with the studio’s newest teacher and top 50 competitor at one of the most prestigious international dance competitions in the world – Blackpool – , Misi from Hungary, who pushes me further on my technique. From both, not only have they helped me improve my dancing on a technical level, but he really pushed me to go out there and perform and compete.  I never realized how much I enjoy performing and how freeing it feels, until I performed my very first dance number in 2014 in a theater in Downtown Houston. Then in 2016, my first regional competition and surprisingly placed first and second in my age division. But aside from competing, I mainly dance for the passion and feeling of empowerment. When I dance, I’m uninhibited. Unstoppable.

Photos from Fred Astaire Dance Studios (FADS)

Meeting Dancing with the Stars Pro, Derek Hough