By Leslyn Villalobos 

Dance is presented in many forms nowadays. For some people though , dance is 

therapeutic. Others use it to express themselves. I had the privilege to interview one of 

our South Gate High School, senior dance team member, Monica Perez. She states, “ 

dancing is a way to express myself and it makes me feel happy being able to show a part 

of me through dance.” Her interest began in the 7th grade after watching YouTube videos 

of people dancing , especially Ian Eastwood. She confessed that she loves the way he 

moves and she wants to learn how to do it too. Other inspirational dancers include 

professionals like Chachi Gonzalez, and Brian Puspos. These idols  help her discover 

more about dancing by introducing her to new tactics. She opened up about how dance 

has helped her learn to interact with others and experience the way others express 

themselves and who they are through dance and she finds herself quite amazed by that. 

She adds, “Dance has helped me cope with emotions. Preparing for dance compe

titions involves her coach Rosie, and two other captains.” The captains 

choreograph dance routines and teach them to the rest of the dancers. They arrange the 

music mix with the help of  a DJ, mixing and tweaking until they feel it’s perfect and 

then practice , practice , practice until the day of competition. One of her best memories 

is the team’s recent trip. Everyone bonded so much in just two and a half days. She adds 

with a smile , “ It was a fun experience to not only win national champions, but to do it 

again for the third time in a row!” Although she says dance is really safe, she has 

witnessed injuries. Other girls have hurt their shoulders and arms while doing stunts. 

Finally she added, “ The hardest obstacle about dance is being able to steady your 

breathing while performing or dancing since we dance for about three minutes straight. 

There are girls with asthma and breathing problems and it can get hard sometimes but we 

all give it our all, always.”