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Student Spotlight: Ava Guzman

1. How old are you?


2. What are the activities you do at Garden Street?

I have been part of the Dance Team since Sept. 2015. I currently take ballet, lyrical, contemporary, jazz, hip hop and acro. This past December I was happy to be part of the Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker playing the role as a Snowmaiden and Party Guest.

Additionally, I was involved in performing as a ballet fairy in Hoboken Tale. On Sep. 24, 2016, I participated in Fourth annual Cheer and Dance Night in Citifield and had the opportunity to dance with NY Jets Flight Crew Cheerleaders. I also had the honor of performing for the community of Hoboken on a few occasions. In 2016, I performed for the Cabin Fever workshop. Additionally, I had the honor of dancing during the Hoboken Mayor's State of the City Address in 2016 and 2017.

Not only do I dance with Garden Street, I also had the honor of taking a few private singing lessons with Neil Tracy. Additionally, I have had the opportunity to take acting lessons with Nickelodeon star Mikey Reid and audition for top NYC talent manager Jackie Reid from Lil' Angels Unlimited and was happy to be signed.

3. What made you join the classes?

Before joining Garden Street, I was a competitive artistic gymnast for about 4 years. It was an intensive 4 years and I was not able to join any other activities during that time. After my 4th year, I was interested in learning something new. At that time, I was watching a lot of Dance Moms so dance became something that I wanted to try.

4. What is your favorite class to take and why?

Acro because I get to combine dance with my gymnastic skills.

5. What is the hardest part about dance?

Perfecting my technique is the hardest part. Things such as turning out, keeping your posture up, and keeping shoulders down throughout the dances are a challenge. Also, being comfortable in making facial expressions is something that I continue to work on.

6. What is your favorite thing about being on the competition team at Garden Street?

My favorite thing about competition is being able to share the stage with other talented dancers and singers. Also, having the support from my team mates is truly a great feeling during competitions. Running off the stage and knowing your team is there to tell you how awesome you did (even though you messed up) is such a special feeling.

7. Do you have a favorite performance memory?

It had to be the time I first performed Girl on the Train at competition. For me, it was such an intense (and tiring) dance that at the end of it, I felt a sense of accomplishment (and relief).

8. Do activities do you do outside of Garden Street?

I love to watch cooking competition shows. My favorite is Cut Throat Kitchen. I also enjoy making all types of slime.

I also have a hobby of collecting these things called Squishes. They are foam play toys that you can enjoy squeezing just like a stress ball. They come in different real life designs like baked goods, pastries, and animals and they also have scented ones too.

9. What advice would you give to kids looking to get into performing?

Go where your heart takes you and always be yourself.

10. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Besides dance, I also want to be an orthodontist. So 10 years from now, I think I would be in dental school taking some dance classes on the side or teaching dance as a part time job. Also, I would hopefully be dancing on Broadway.

Fun Fact: When I was younger, I used to take mental math classes so now I can do arithmetic faster than a calculator.

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