Yesterday we featured dancer Jamie Sierra, and today we have his twin brother, Julio…
1. Can you tell readers how you became involved with dance?
I’ve always wanted to study ballet when I was younger but never tried to do so because of financial issues. This is until my mother called a local dance studio in our city and I received an amazing opportunity from the artistic director, Francisco Gella, to study at Nuevo School of Contemporary Dance under a scholarship. I immediately started dancing during the last week of August 2011. Taking my first ballet class at Nuevo, I can honestly say I instantly fell love with the art. I now train for at least 22 hours a week at Nuevo School of Contemporary Dance taking as much ballet I can take. I’ve also joined their pre-professional performance company in August 2012.
2. What do you find you like best about dance class?
The thing about taking classes is you can never learn too much, that there is always room for improvement. Especially since I’ve only just started dancing, classes are the best way to try out new things that will work best for your body.
3. What is the hardest part about dance for you?
Learning different styles of dance. Trying to switch gears from classes like Ballet to Hip Hop is the most difficult thing for me. Ballet feels so pure and elegant that when I try to do Hip Hop it constantly throws me off. Hitting hard beats and the fast choreography confuses me a lot. Also the musicality of it is so different. I played an instrument and I listen to a lot of classical music so it makes it a bit easier for me to count to Ballet music, while Hip Hop can be so random that I often won’t hear the beats as clearly.
4. What advice would you give to other dancers?
When I first started dancing, I noticed how amazing others were so I paid close attention to them. Aside from learning from my teachers, I also learned from my peers. However, I started to get discouraged because of the fact that I started to compare myself to others who were far ahead of me. The only advice I can give to dancers is try not to compare yourself to others. Every dancer is different and worrying how others are doing does not benefit you in any way. Focus on what you’re learning, improve on what you do best, and work on your weaknesses. You should always pay close attention to your peers and get as much from them as you can, but never compare yourself to others who may or may not be better.
5. How has dance changed your life?
Dance has only entered my life recently, but has changed almost every aspect of it. I believe that dance is my escape, it is a way for me to truly express the way I feel. It has changed the smallest detail about me, like from the way I think and to what clothes I wear. Without dance, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. It has turned me into a better person and has only been a positive influence in my life. Dance is my passion. It is my love and my dream. If I wasn’t dancing now, I would be truly lost. I believe that dance has found me and is leading me to a better path.
Bio: My name is Julio Sierra and I am 17 years old. I am from Chino Hills, California attending my junior year in Chino Hills High School. I am a conservatory and pre-professional company member at Nuevo School of Contemporary Dance.