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National Dance Week: Temecula Dance Company

This week, we’re focused on celebrating dance and what it means to us. At Jackrabbit, we are honored to work with dance studio owners and love hearing about their passion. I love to see dance studio owners and teachers connect to share the love! Keep an eye out for the other posts in the National Dance Week series to meet some other awesome Jackrabbit Dance users!

Temecula Dance Company
:established in 1992 and is the largest dance studio in Riverside County. Three locations serve over 2500 dancers ages 9 months to adult with over 35,000 square feet and 21 dance rooms. Instruction includes beginning to advanced levels in tap, jazz, ballet, and hip hop, in addition to combo classes, tiny tots and wee ones. Under the direction of Lani Morel, Director and Jimmy Peters, Artistic Director, the studio attributes their success to high expectations, dedication and commitment. Their amazing instructors and dance families work together to help their dancers grow as young artists to become a positive force in their community.
Why do you dance?

Dance is the best way for me to communicate my feelings. I use dance to express to an audience how things are in the world good and bad. For instance, I have used dance to have students and audiences talk about bullying. I have also used dance to have people never forget something that happened that was very important like 9/11. This year our production discusses briefly discrimination which is a hot topic in America today. Dance is a great way to get people to feel something about the world and hopefully try and make it a better place.

What is your passion?

My passion is inspiring the next generation of young artists. Helping students discover their passion and how to express it. My goal as an educator is to inspire the next generation to be better; to make the parts of the world I touch better.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a performer. Which I was. A very successful one for many many years. I am a member of all the performing unions; CEA, AEA, AFTRA, SAG and AGVA. I have performed from NYC to the White House and over seas. After I was finished performing, my next passion was choreography and teaching. I went back to Grad School to get my MFA in choreography from U.C.I to study under one America’s best choreographers of ALL time, Donald McKayle. It was incredible watching him work and teach. He inspired me to be a better teacher, student, choreographer and that is what I pass down to my students.

What is your biggest challenge and how do you overcome it?

My biggest challenge is self doubt and fear of failure. AM I good enough? Is the choreography good enough? Did I push the students far enough? Did I make a difference? Every year I try to be better than the year before. Failure to me is not helping students become the best they can be or reach their goals. That is an endless job that I love, but that fear of failure pushes me to be better. I don’t know if you ever over come self doubt and fear of failure. I just try my best and work as hard as I can.

What is one thing a dancer can’t live without?
Dancers can’t live without a healthy body. Dance is an art where our bodies are the canvas – we create our art. A healthy body is vital to making dance and dance helps to maintain a healthy body.

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