“My passion for dance has grown since I was little. I took Indian dance lessons when I was 4 until I was 6. Then, I did ballet for three years. I decided I didn’t like classical dance, so I took hip hop classes in middle school. 

When I moved to my next school in Taiwan, I joined the school’s dance program. We had many options. We could take a regular dance class, join the dance production, or join the dance teams, like Varsity and Junior Varsity. I wasn’t on the varsity team because I was a freshman, but I was on the dance team. 

At my old school, I did a lot of contemporary dance and it was not what I was used to, which is hip hop. Contemporary requires a lot of flexibility and I wasn’t flexible at all. I remember when everyone was doing splits to stretch, I was like, “Wow, I can’t do that.” Everyone was flexible except for me so I fell behind. I really wanted to keep up with them, so I stretched every day for a year until I finally got my splits. It was pretty rewarding when I got picked for a part in my old school’s dance production because they saw how far I had gone with my flexibility. I felt like if I could do this, then I could do more. I then challenged myself into jazz and contemporary dancing. 

I wouldn’t say my inspiration is any famous dancer, but most of my teachers were my inspiration. I saw how hard they worked to get to where they were. Not only did they teach, but they had other dancing jobs outside. I used to want to be a dance teacher because I saw how great my teachers were. 

Dancing – it’s really hard work because you have to be mentally and physically fit to show your emotions while being true to the dance style. I think that the way that other dancers can move their body or show expression in the way that fits the style and the song and everything combined is really cool. Dancing, for me, is a way to express how I feel without using words.” – Reina