Alicia shared that she grew up in a musical family, “My Dad plays the piano and he and his brothers had their own band, my brother was involved in musical theater in school, and my grandmother shared her culture with me by teaching me Japanese dance as a teenager. We always had music around in my home.”
Sharing what motived her, “I wanted to create a dance show because it helps me with my mental and physical health. Especially with COVID going on, some of us couldn’t travel around the world.” Alicia and her Dance Instructor Jacki, from Beyond the Ballroom, planned “Dancing Around the World”, showcasing different dance styles from many countries. “Jacki has a big, soft heart for teaching dance to me and my friends. She understands me.” Alicia invited her Teammates from RythmXpress to join in the show. A lot of practice and hard work from the Team went into preparing for the show. Costumes were chosen, props were found, music selected and weeks of practice readied the cast for their performance.
The show included the following dance styles representing different countries: polka (Germany), waltz (Austria), tango (Argentina), samba (Brazil), bachata (Dominican Republic), salsa (Cuba), and the Hustle (United States).
Alicia was empowered and took ownership of her vision. The pride of the whole group was palpable. Alicia explained how she connected the music to each movement and her emotions and feelings. She describes, “We practiced hard, never gave up and persevered. This performance helped all my friends shine while building each other’s confidence.” View a portion of Alicia and Jacki dancing the waltz to Edelweiss. (Be sure to turn your sound on for the music!)
“My friends and family in the audience told me I looked beautiful and was graceful and that they loved my dresses. I felt confident and strong. A huge thank you to everyone who came to the Dancing Around the World production!”
Alicia is already dreaming and planning her next program for 2022. Her Dad shared, “Nothing Easy, Nothing Hard, Just Do It!” and Jacki mentioned that; “Every single dancer and parent said to me after the performance that they can’t wait to do it again!”
“Now that it is over, it feels so good in my heart. I have been through a lot of trials and bullying. GiGi’s is a safe and secure place and I feel like I’m in heaven here. I prayed for a place for many years that would open a door for me, and I found it.”
Congratulations to Alicia, Jacki, and the Rhythm Xpress Dance Team!