School and work does not keep dancer from success

Dafne Naranjo, Staff Writer

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Sophomore dancer America Villarreal wanted the thrill of dancing in front of a crowd, so she’s now dancing at VMT.

“When I was in elementary I used to be a cheerleader and I just wanted to feel the thrill of dancing for people again,” said Villarreal, who also attends J.W. Nixon High.

She has been dancing for most of her life and that spark for dance that she has no one can put it out.

“(It’s) the energy that it brings out of you,” she said.

Dancing is a way to express herself, it’s a way for her to communicate her feelings to others without saying a single word, she said.

“It is because it’s the moves, the song, the expression that can make people see the meaning of the dance,” she said.

Though she doesn’t see dance in her future she would leave it as a hobby, she said.

She looks up to Kyle Hanagami and Matt Steffanina (pro dancers) a lot but she likes Kyle a bit more than she does Matt.

“Kyle is an amazing dancer,” she said.

Villarreal’s sister gave her the motivation to join dance.

It is because it’s the moves, the song, the expression that can make people see the meaning of the dance.”

— America Villarreal

“My sister was some of the reasons I joined dance,” she said, “I always saw her practice at home.”

She used to have the same teacher as her sister and it was awkward at first because Mary Ellen Leyendecker would always discuss (or) talk about her sister.

“It was hard at first because she would always compare me to my sister,” Villarreal said.

Villarreal, who works part-time at a catering service, said work and school is challenging.

“I’m trying to save money but with dance and helping my mom pay bills it’s hard to save money,” she said.

She never asks help with dancing from her sister.

“I don’t because I want to learn by myself,” she said.

She seems like a very strong and independent young woman, though she might get stubborn at times she always knows how to make a bad decision a good decision. Though there’s not a single minute where you won’t see her dancing she’s a great listener when need be.

Though her teacher and classmates might get on her nerves sometimes she always continues with her head held high, she said.

She described that it’s hard to work with some of the girls in her class and how her teacher reacts.

“Yes it is, but in the end, it’s their fault if they come out in the dance or not. She’s hard on every student but it’s to push your limits in a good way,” Villarreal said.

“It’s a hard class but I would never change it because it’s one of the challenges in life that I have to overcome, though I would like to join photography,” she said.

Even though she works every day after school she never really gets tired of it.

“I don’t because even if I’m tired from school somehow my coworkers seem to make my day,” Villarreal said.