How did you start dancing?
My mom was a dancer. I started dancing when I was three years old with ballet and jazz. Tap as well. Then I started acting and singing. I wasn’t taking too many dance classes, and then I joined a school in Buenos Aires called Broadway Street. We had workshops with teachers from New York, and I just fell in love with dance all over again. And started taking more classes in hip-hop and urban style.
How did you find out about Broadway Dance Center program?
My school from Argentina took trips to here to take classes. When I was thirteen years old, I got a chance to come here with my friends from Argentina. That’s how I heard about BDC. I heard about ISVP program but I knew I had to be 18. So I waited and prepared myself to do it. Now I am here as an ISVP.
How was your move to New York?
It was kind of a tough experience. In Argentina, it was 40 degrees celsius--so it was really hot weather. I came here in January and was freezing. I moved to Long Island because I actually have family there. You couldn’t even see the streets. Everything was white and snowy. Super cold. In Argentina, I didn’t have to commute at all to go to places. Here I had to start taking the train-ride that was an hour and a half long. I’d wake up at 5am in the morning. It was hard first, but I loved it. I was so excited about the program and dancing here. It’d be three hours of commuting every day.
What’s your typical day like in the city?
I come here very early and rehearse. I usually come home around 9pm or 10pm. I am basically in the city the whole day. If I am not in the city, I am on the train.
What’s your favorite part about the city?
I love the diversity of the city. There are so many people from different countries. You’re just a subway away from everything. You have Central Park, fancy new buildings, all parts of Manhattan, everything at the same place. I love that.
What about your least favorite part?
It’s super crowded. I hate that there are so many rude people sometimes.
Any memorable experiences with rude people?
I was on the train once with two of my friends who were visiting from Buenos Aires. It was really early on the train and packed on the train, so they couldn’t sit next to me. I told them in Spanish that we could talk when we get off the train. And this man heard me talking in Spanish, and from that moment, he looked at me in a disgusted, racist, bad way. I felt so uncomfortable. The whole trip we didn’t speak at all.
When we reached Penn Station, my cousin asked me how long it would take us to go to BDC, and I answered her. Then this man went crazy, shouting that if we wanted to talk, we could go to the last car of the train. Everyone on the train was kind of surprised at his reaction. I knew that it was because we were speaking in Spanish and aren’t from this country. We were reaching Penn Station and the train got stuck there for fifteen minutes. Everyone stood up and I was standing right next to this guy, and this other man who was hispanic approached me, and in Spanish, he asked me “What did he tell you? What did you do?”
I was about to cry. I felt really disrespected. I don’t know what his problem was, but he treated me so badly. I didn’t do anything. So this hispanic man asked the other guy what his problem was. And the man went crazy. He started cursing at everybody. He started cursing me, and everyone was looking at that point, but nobody did anything. This guy almost hit me on the train. But nobody did anything. Except for that man and the lady who was sitting next to me. She was defending me because this man said that I was disrespectful because I talked the whole way on the train, but she was like, “she didn’t even say anything.” It was a huge fight. I felt really awful that day and then Brinda and Bonnie, the directors of the program, tried to comfort me. That was the worst experience here—and in my life. Nobody was ever racist towards me, and this was the first time I’ve experienced it. I talked to some of my friends which experience this kind of situations almost everyday, and I don't know how they can live with that. I felt so bad that day.
What has been your toughest time as a dancer?
Probably when I started dancing again. I was focusing on singing and acting so I couldn’t dance. When I returned to dance, I felt like I was out of place and the worst in every class. I couldn’t keep up. I was rusty. I lost my flexibility. Then I just got back into it. I also had a huge injury on my knee. It got dislocated, so I stopped dancing for three whole months. That made it worse to come back.
How did you overcome that?
I talked to the director of my school. She is this incredible woman. She helped me get through it. I also talked to so many people who have been through worse things—worse injuries that stopped them from dancing for years. That pushed me to overcome that and stop hearing that voice in my head saying, “You’re not good enough.” And just do it. Just do the best that I can in every class. This didn’t happen that time, but one of my teachers here—I love him--he is Phil Orsano. He is such an amazing dancer, and he started dancing at 18. Doing ballet. Everybody was telling him, “You can’t do it. You don’t have the feet. You don’t have the body.” Now, he has done so much. He has danced for Madonna. Danced for Complexions Contemporary Company. That kind of people really pushes me to do everything.
What’s been your happiest time?
I have so many moments here. I think because hip-hop is so different in Argentina, it was hard for me to keep up with the classes here. When I was first called in the groups in an advanced class, I was so happy. I am much more confident now thanks to that moment. That was definitely one of those moments. Also, I was told that I could start doing pointe shoes. I always loved ballet but I felt like I couldn’t do it because ballet is hard and technical. When I had to buy my first pointe shoes, it was so exciting.
What are your plans after?
I am definitely going to stay in the entertainment industry. Now that I am finishing my dancing program, I want to work on my acting and singing part as well. Probably come here as a full artist—not just a dancer. I am hoping to get a working visa so that I can stay and audition and actually do the jobs if I get them. That’s my plan for now.
That’s incredible. Some people complain about living in the city. Yet, there are people outside of the country who are trying to get to the city to pursue their dreams.
That’s what I usually tell my friends here. I still have to get a working visa to be able to stay here. I can’t wait to get it and start doing what you are doing right now. I hear the complaints all the time and I am like, “Be grateful that you don’t have to get a visa approved because you’re from here.”
Who has been your biggest role model in your dancing?
From here, Neil Schwartz. He’s my hip-hop teacher. He’s my mentor. He became very close and helped me get through my fears. I had no confidence at all. I was hiding in the back in the classes. He really made me push myself in ways that I didn’t know I could do. Now I feel much more confident. I really feel like if I work hard enough, I am going to be able to get whatever I want. So he’s definitely a role model for me.
From Argentina, the director of my school, Laura. She’s amazing. She can do everything. She knows about everything. She’s friends with so many teachers from here in New York. She was offered jobs here in the city for Broadway musicals and everything. She’s such an incredible woman. I would love to be like her when I grow up. Singing, dancing, directing, everything. And be capable of being a boss of my life.
What advice would you give to other dancers?
I think what I learned the most here is that it’s true: if you work hard enough, if you really want it, you are going to get it. It may take you more time than other people, but you don’t have to compare yourself to others. Everybody has their own paths. Everybody has their own goals. You’re not going to have the same goal as another person. Just work hard and focus on achieving what you want, and you’re going to get it. Be confident with yourself.
Any last thoughts?
To all those people who are not from here, it’s possible to come here and study in New York—especially for people in South America. The situation in our countries is little more difficult, I think. It’s possible to come here and if you really want to live the dream to dance in New York, work hard to do it because it’s totally worth it.