Biography

For those of you who don't know, I've been in leotards and tights since the age of 3. Dance is in my blood. I love doing it, I love watching it, and I love talking about it. You can take the girl out of the studio, but you can't take the studio out of the girl, and other trite idioms, et cetera.

Around the same time I started cosplaying, I started realizing I didn't like the way dance was fitting into my life. After eight years of teaching ballroom styles, I was unhappy in a studio environment that discouraged innovation and furthering of my dance education. I was just as unhappy when I attended formal events at some anime conventions that weren't designed with dancers in mind. For example, there were several DJs who lacked knowledge of what music could accommodate the needs of all their listeners including dancers, not just the "prom" crowd.

Rather than accommodate the lowest denomination of dance ability or confidence, anime conventions need to hold themselves to a standard higher than "prom." Why? Because partner dances like ballroom and dancesport are a cultural component of contemporary Japanese culture as well as American culture. Moreover, accompanying lessons should teach elements of etiquette and consent that tend to be lacking in our convention culture. Not everyone has access to dance and life education outside of these lessons. Not everyone has a partner or the confidence to practice dance outside of a learning environment.

With this in mind and armed with many years of experience teaching beginners, I want to change the "formal ball/dance/event" community within the anime convention community to be a safer, more enjoyable, and more educational space. I want to teach lessons that accommodate every kind of dancer regardless of age, ability, experience, orientation/identity, partner acquisition, and any other factor that might hinder someone from enjoying dance elsewhere. Using Fanimecon's Black and White Ball as a model, I want to encourage events to coordinate styles of dance to music that can be enjoyed by everyone (ranging from anime to gaming to Japanese pop music and beyond).

This field is highly specialized; I actively edit and compile songs while applying knowledge of BPM and movement sensitivity. It takes time and great effort, and some of my successful collaborations include Katsucon's Formal Ball, the Pittsburgh JCS Ouran Gala, Ohayocon's Fantasy Ball, and teaching/hosting/DJing the Matsuricon Formal Ball. I'd like to encourage qualified volunteers across the country to work together to improve events so that regardless of who hosts the event, it has a viable, ongoing, and inclusive legacy.

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