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Student Spotlights


Ketlen Aguiar

When did you start dancing? 
I started dancing Zumba when I was still living in Brazil. After I moved to the U.S., I was looking for Zumba classes and found ADC. I had loads of fun dancing Zumba with Kris! A few months later, she convinced me to try ballroom dancing, and what can I say? I fell in love with it! I loved everything - the teachers, the students, and now I can't see my life without it. It's been four years since! Time flies.

What’s your favorite dance memory?
When I performed for the first time! I was so nervous, but after I started dancing, everything clicked. Afterward, I felt so alive and ecstatic. It was amazing!


What advice do you have for new students?
Come to our Friday parties from the beginning! While it's essential to learn and practice, remember to have fun. Often we are too hard on ourselves and expect perfection, myself included. Social dancing, for me, is the time to relax and have fun!


Dan Pillai

When did you start dancing?

I registered for a ballroom course in grad school and dropped it when I realized I'd probably end up with a failing grade. I was trying to find a hobby years later, and the Intro to Ballroom classes at ADC were at a pace I could keep up with. I then started really liking how the classes were organized and taught at ADC, and the community, and the teachers, and the dogs (and the cat). Over the past year, the classes and the Friday night practice party have become the most enjoyable part of my weekly routine.

What’s your favorite dance memory?

Despite it being only a year, I have loads of really nice memories, and it's hard to pick one. Probably that time a new follower thought I actually taught at the studio.

What are your current dance goals?
Learn enough dances sufficiently well that I can be a fun lead for any music that comes up in dance parties!


What advice do you have for new students?

Take it at your own pace - slow or fast - but don't forget to have fun. If you're like me, the beginning can be especially hard since you do not know any of the fun parts yet despite all the homework. But it gets easier.


Donna Verna

When did you start dancing?

I never took formal dance lessons as a child or adult. I started in the Intro to Ballroom class with a girlfriend and Jeff about 12 years ago. Lerey was my first instructor, and he convinced me to do a performance 3 months after I started! It was a Christmas show at the Mountain View Center for Performing Arts. We danced waltz and I only stepped on his toe once. 

What’s your favorite dance?
I love them all for different reasons — I love the elegance and “pictures” of the waltz, I love the drama of tango, I love the speed and flow of Viennese waltz, I love the nostalgic feel of foxtrot and... well, who can’t just fall in love with the fun of a quickstep!


What advice do you have for new students?

Dance like no one is watching! They aren’t. Except your coaches and they watch you with love so they can help you become a better dancer.

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