This beautiful 14 year old, Larissa, loves to dance and bring joy to others through dance. Capturing these portraits of her beautiful talent was a wonderful privilege! I love nothing more then a day at my studio with a ballet dancer!
How long have you been dancing? Since I was 2.5 so about 12 years.
What got you into dancing? My mom signed me up for classes because she said I was always dancing around the house and I liked to twirl. It's just another way of me expressing my creativity.
How does dance inspire you? It inspires me to push myself and test my limits. If I'm not feeling so well I have to suck it up if I want to go to dance and see my friends.
Do you have a favorite dancer? One of my favorite dancers is Misty Copland because she did so much for the dance community and the African American community. She broke down so many walls.
Where do you want to go with dance? Do you have some goals for yourself? I like using creative movement andI like the idea of using that in what I do. I wanna be a teacher so incorporating that somehow would be cool, maybe as dance therapy or something like that to help kids.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? I'll be graduated from college and I'd like to get a teaching job. I also would like to keep dancing as long as I can besides also incorporating that into my field of work like I mentioned.
Do you do any other types of dance besides ballet? Yes, I do tap, jazz, hiphop, modern, a little bit of lyrical. I pretty much do it all.
Do you hope to inspire others to dance as well? Yes, I definitely do. I'm teaching classes at dance world now and I love teaching the kids. I love interacting with the younger kids, talking to them about dance and teaching them dance. It's just something that I think everyone can do.
Do you like performing? I absolutely love performing. It gets my adrenaline flowing and then once I'm on stage I'm just free to let myself go and dance my heart out. That's one thing that makes my really, really happy is performing for people and making them happy.
How much do youpractice? I have classes three times a week. I also do dance company at my school so there's quite a bit of practicing. And I practice outside of class to if I'm stuck on a specific step or something. So yes, I put quite a bit of practice in.
What has dance taught you? It's taught me that I can just be myself and I don't make a fool of myself when I'm just dancing because I love it so much. And it's also really boosted my confidence in being on stage and talking in front of people.
If a child told you they want to be a dancer what would your advice be? My advice would be "Go for it and stick with it all the way up. You will love it when you get older and even if you go through hardships in the beginning you'll get past them and get so much better. You'll be amazing at it and you'll love it."
If you could be an animal what would you be and why? I'd love to be a dog because they are just so happy and they make people happy. They're so fuzzy and they just sleep a lot.
What are three things that are always in your bag? Tape for my blisters, hair ties, and money because I always need money.
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Dancing. Really I just love dancing and that is truly when I'm the happiest.
What is your key to success? Don't give up and keep practicing. Persistence and repetition.