For our Student Spotlight today we have Abby Roque–a 14 year old conservatory and pre-professional company student at NUEVO School of Contemporary Dance.
1. Can you tell readers how you became involved with dance?
I started dancing at the age of 3 in my parents’ hopes of helping me overcome my shyness. I started with one creative movement class an hour a week. I performed at my very first dance recital a few months later, and then joined the competition team the following season. After eleven years of performances, competitions and training, I am still very much in love with dance. I am currently training a maximum of five hours a day, five days a week after school, and also take dance p.e. at my high school.
2. What do you find you like best about dance class?
I’ve always looked forward to improving my dance skills, and I know the only way to do it is to train long and hard in dance classes. When I’m in class, I try to focus on the lesson, striving hard to perfect a skill or overcome a weakness. I hang on to my teachers’ every word, advice, or critique. The classes motivate me to keep working, to keep improving, and to look forward to witnessing the results of my hard work.
3. What is the hardest part about dance for you?
Time management is probably the hardest part of dance for me. Having to juggle my school work, family life, dance, and still have fun with friends outside of dance is something I constantly work on. Something or someone always has to give. I stay up late every school night to make sure my grades don’t suffer, and I know my friends are probably sick of hearing me say, “I can’t, I have dance.” But that’s just the way it is and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
4. What advice would you give to other dancers?
Never give up no matter how difficult it may seem. There is always a way for you to achieve your goals if you put your mind to it, but realize that it doesn’t come overnight. You have to train and put in the hours in dance classes day in and day out. You are your strongest competitor so don’t bother comparing yourself to others. Work hard with unwavering determination and passion, and the results can only be exceptional.
5. How has dance changed your life?
Dance has been nothing but a positive influence in my life. It has helped me express my emotions more openly through movement and has boosted my self confidence. I have met a number of life long friends in dance whom I can rely on at all times. Dance has kept me physically fit and helped me maintain balance in my life. It has taught me commitment, team work, and passion for the art.