World stage beckons for dancing Bermuda student
Kristina Amaro still can’t believe she’s been picked for the World Dance Council championships coming up in March.
The 20-year-old Bermuda College student said: “I’m a good dancer, but I’m nothing like the best. I just want to do the best I can. Dancing for me is a way to express myself, have fun and get everything out. All I do is just put on the music and dance.”
The fifth WDC World Pro-Am Championships, which centre on ballroom dancing, run from March 18 to 20 at the Fairmont Southampton Hotel. The event is expected to draw about 300 participants from 25 countries. Kristina, from Smith’s, is the only Bermudian competing.
As championship organiser Theo Derleth explained: “Wherever the Pro-Am goes we get a local person involved, and based on what I’ve heard, Kristina’s our candidate. She’s going in at the 18 to 35 category difficult, because they’re the youngest ones. She’s going to be right in there with the barracudas.
“I didn’t expect to get somebody with such a talent.
“This week she’s putting in about 18 hours of rehearsals, and we’re going to send down another partner to rehearse some more with her before the championships. Based on what I’ve seen, I think she’s got good chances in March.”
Taking a break from her rehearsals, Kristina started by saying she hadn’t put herself forward for the role.
Wearing heels, she had just been practicing a rumba with Mr Derleth, who was visiting Bermuda earlier this week.
“All I can say is I’m nervous and excited.”
For the championships, she’ll be partnered with David Flory, dance director of the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Florida, in the category of Latin ballroom dancing: bolero, mambo, rumba, cha-cha and swing.
“I’ve never done ballroom dancing before, although I’ve been dancing since I was five years old. My family is very music oriented and I’ve always loved to jump around to music, but I have to say the stuff I’m rehearsing now is very new. It’s been hard work but I’m loving it.”
Ballroom dancing, which has surged in popularity due to shows like ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and ‘Dancing with the Stars’.
“I was taught at the In Motion School of Dance, and when I was 13 I started here at the Sabor Dance School. I’ve been doing salsa, which is another thing that’s become really popular in Bermuda. I’ve also done some summer and winter intensives at the Broadway Dance Centre in New York City.”
For about the last six months she’s also worked as an assistant dance teacher at the Sabor Dance School. For the record: Mr Derleth said Sabor director Angela Gilbert and dance instructor Travis Gilbert nominated Kristina for the Latin ballroom dancing this March.
Although she’s a ballroom novice, Kristina said she has experience with samba, and a few moves learned last year during a rotary exchange in Brazil.
“I wouldn’t say I have a specialty; there’s no category of dance that I’m perfect at. It’s like I’m learning all of them very fast. I’m very nervous and excited to be doing Latin ballroom, and I’ve never been in anything like a championship competition. I’ve taken part in yearly recitals for In Motion but that’s about it.”
Regardless of the outcome in March, Kristina said her goal is to become a teacher.
“I’m studying Arts and Human Services at Bermuda College right now, and I’ll graduate in 2013. I want to go through the Mount Saint Vincent College programme to get qualified to reach here in Bermuda, probably at the primary level. The way things are going right now, I might teach dance.”
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