Hi Everyone! My name is Janille Miranda, and I am a sophomore at Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga, California. I am currently a biochemistry major.
Originally, I wanted to minor in dance, but adjusting to the college life was difficult, and I decided to only focus on my classes for my freshman year. Nevertheless, I took African Dance during “Jan Term” year, which I loved. Later in my freshman year I performed for my college’s Latino Cultural Night, a night representing the diverse cultures of Latin America.
My love for dance began as a little girl. Music just made me happy and, though this may sound cliché, something within me loved to get up and move to the beat of the music! Salsa, merengue, and Hauyno (Peruvian indigenous music) were norms in my house and at family gatherings. My parents put my twin brother and me in a Peruvian dance group where we were taught many dances, the main of which is called Marinera Nortena, a courtship dance which is very popular in Peru. I was a quick learner, and I followed my “coaches” really well. Soon, my brother and I were in competitions in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and even in Peru. Even at a young age, I knew I had a passion for dance and loved being on stage.
Some other dances of Peru have African influence in them, which I enjoy a great deal as well. I also know some Bolivian dance, and I have taken ballet, hip-hop, jazz, and modern dance classes. Although I have not continued to study all styles of dance I have tried, I still have a deep respect and appreciation for these forms of dance.
Ironically, if someone had asked me a year ago if I would ever be a dance teacher, I would have probably said no. However, my role has changed. While I loved being a student of dance, I am now teaching dance to children, many of whom have never previously studied dance. Through Dance Daze®, my eyes have been opened to a new world of teaching, being a role model, and being an inspiration to children. I heard about Dance Daze® through an organization at my college that pairs college students with nonprofit organizations to perform service-learning work in underserved communities.
There will always be a part of me that craves to just get up and dance! I like how I can do that as a teaching intern for Dance Daze® in Schools. Thank you for reading my story.