AGE: 17 years old.
WHEN DID YOU START DANCING? I started dancing when I was 5. I was in gymnastics, at the time, and I was too scared to perform in the Mini Olympics, so I asked my mom if I could dance instead, and that is when she enrolled me in my very first ballet class.
COMPANIES YOU HAVE BEEN IN: I have been in the performing companies at Tualatin Dance Center, Fired-Up Dance Academy, Westside Dance Academy, and am a member of NW Fusion Dance Company.
INTENSIVES YOU HAVE ATTENDED: I have attended summer intensives at the different studios I have trained with for 8 or 9 years.
FAVORITE STYLE OF DANCE: My favorite styles of dance are contemporary and jazz. They are so different, but I like how I can flow with contemporary, and with jazz I can hit all the accents.
WHY DO YOU DANCE? I dance because it allows me to be a completely different person– I can enter into a different world when that music turns on! Dance is my escape from everyday situations: if I’m angry, I can get my frustrations out through dance, when I’m sad I can work through my feelings through dance. Honestly, dance is my escape from the world and everyone needs one of those every now and then.
DO YOU HOPE TO PURSUE DANCE AS A CAREER? As of right now, dance is not something I see in my future. I have given it 15 years of my life and want to see what other things the world has in store for me. However, since it has been such a big part of me, I would not be surprised at all if I teach a few classes here and there in the future.
FAVORITE DANCE MEMORY: My favorite dance memory is having a picnic on the waterfront with Fusion in June of 2012 right before our recital. It was such a good bonding experience and I loved the one last celebration with all the graduating seniors.
“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor, it’s to ENJOY each step along the way.”
– Wayne Dyer
NAME: Jessica Yeh
WHEN DID YOU START DANCING? I started dancing when I was 10 years old.
COMPANIES YOU HAVE BEEN IN? I danced with the Westside Performing Company for 4 years and recently joined Northwest Fusion last year.
INTENSIVES YOU HAVE ATTENDED? I’ve attended multiple dance conventions and Westside’s Summer intensives.
FAVORITE STYLE OF DANCE? Contemporary
WHY DO YOU DANCE? I dance because it’s an output for all my energy and emotions and it’s something I never thought I would like but have gradually fallen in love with.
DO YOU HOPE TO PURSUE DANCE AS A CAREER? I don’t plan on pursuing dance as a career but I will always carry the memories and lessons I’ve learned with me everywhere I go.
BEST DANCE MEMORY? My best dance memory is probably the moment I realized that dance was something I wanted to do. My mom put me in a dance class just so I would have something to do and I hated it for so long but then there came a moment where I realized that I loved to dance.
“Its your road and yours alone. Others may walk it with you but no one can walk it for you”
NAME: Melanie Martinsen
WHEN DID YOU START DANCING? When I was 5.
COMPANIES YOU HAVE BEEN IN: Lake Oswego Academy of Dance’s Performing Company and NW Fusion Dance Company.
FAVORITE STYLE OF DANCE: Contemporary.
WHY DO YOU DANCE? I dance because it’s the easiest way for me to express myself and it frees my mind of other things outside of the studio.
DO YOU HOPE TO PURSUE DANCE AS A CAREER? No, but I do hope to continue dancing in college on the side because dance will always be my favorite hobby.
BEST DANCE MEMORY? The time my mom reminded me after a dance competition that it’s not about what placement or colored metal you get, but about the joy it brings to you. This is because after that it forced me to always remind myself that I should dance for the love it brings me, not the trophies.
“To watch us dance is to hear our hearts speak.”
~Hopi Indian Saying
NAME: Audrey Wells
WHEN DID YOU START DANCING? I started ballet, tap, and jazz in eighth grade, but I had taken hip hop classes for a few years before that.
COMPANIES YOU HAVE BEEN IN: I have been a member of NW Fusion Dance Company at Westside Dance Academy for one year, and before that, I danced for the performing company at the Lake Oswego Academy of Dance.
DANCE INTENSIVES YOU HAVE ATTENDED: I attended Summer Dance Lab in Walla Walla, Washington in 2011, and the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City this summer, 2013.
FAVORITE STYLE OF DANCE? My favorite styles of dance are jazz and contemporary.
WHY DO YOU DANCE? I dance because I love it. Nothing else makes me feel the way that dancing does. You don’t have to have a reason for feeling something when you dance and you don’t have to justify yourself. After experiencing dance, nothing else seems as worth while.
DO YOU HOPE TO PURSUE DANCE AS A CAREER? I hope that my career involves dance in some form, and although I don’t know how far I will be able to go with it, I will never be able to stop.
BEST DANCE MEMORY? My best dance memory is recital week of 2013. That was the first time that Fusion really felt like a family to me, which makes working and performing together so much more meaningful and rewarding.
“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.”