It has been a long time since we featured a Dancer of the Week. We asked our Instagram followers to submit their dance pictures for a chance to be posted along with an interview. Our first of 2017 is 11 year old Lanaya Danielle of Deane Dance Center. Check out her interview
Age: 11 years old
Hobbies: Reading and spending time with my dog, Dez
Dance School: Deane Dance Center
Who are your role models? Misty Copeland and Alison Stroming
Why you became a dancer?
My mom bought me a purple tutu for family pictures when I was 4 years old. I loved that purple tutu. I was involved in gymnastics at the time but asked my mom to take me to a dance class. I wasn’t happy that my first class was a ballet class but my mom said that’s where I needed to start. At six years old, I watched a video of my brother’s friend dance and I begged my parents to take me to her studio. It was there that I fell in love with ballet because of my ballet teacher.
Tell us about your most favorite dance performance.
In 2016, I was cast as Clara in The Sacramento Ballet Nutcracker. It was the most amazing experience.
What was the best advice you received about your dance skills and what did you learn from the criticisms (if applicable).
The best advice I have received is to be myself. Every dancer has their own unique style and I should never try to be someone else when I dance but use my strengths to stand out. When I first started dancing, criticisms and critiques were hard to hear because I am such a perfectionist. I actually now like hearing critiques because it helps become a better dancer. I use to think criticism was a bad thing, now I listen to what is said to improve my technique.
What were your successes? If there were failures, what did you learn from them?
I attend a few conventions every year and do very well. While performing my solo last year, I tripped on the stage. I was so upset but I realized in that moment that I had to finish what I started. I was very proud of how I handled that situation.
What keeps you motivated and inspired?
I love looking to my role models for advice because they remind me that is not easy and the work I put in is what I get back.
What do you aside from dancing?
Right now I am obsessed with The Harry Potter series. I am on book 5 and collecting as many souvenirs as I can.
What advice you can give to girls starting out in dance?
Do not let anyone discourage you or distract you. Dance is a process so don’t give up just keep working hard.