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With classes for all ages just getting underway this week at Destiny Dance Academy, we had the opportunity to catch up with one of the Academy’s most promising dancers whose activities this past year included a scholarship to attend a dance course in Chicago! ¡Muchas felicidades!
As early as three she began to show signs that dance was her passion; now following more than 9 years of dedication, Irlanda Castro has become a young woman with tremendous promise in the field.
As she enters junior high this year, Irlanda seems to be living in her own world, catching a glimpse of herself as she spins in front of mirrors. She knows dance, but not as a pose, but rather from years of discipline, challenges, and in proving to herself that her body follows a certain melody.
Guided by instinct, her mother – whose name is also Irlanda – took the young dancer at just 3 years old to try out for her first class. Even though the teacher at the time, Abigail Fernandez of the Cambre Academy, said the school only took girls four years old and up, it didn’t take long to discover the young girl was made for dance and Irlanda was undoubtedly accepted into her first school.
“I have seen something in her since she was little,” explains her mother, “though honestly I always wanted to be a dancer. She had the look of a dancer. It was this sensation, a mother’s instinct that she could do it, I perceived it and I hit the nail on the head. I went with Abigail and told her, and she backed me up saying she had a lot to work with.”
That early perception of Irlanda was not in vain. Since her early ballet classes, not to mention those in other dance genres, she has clearly demonstrated her interest for this fine art, so much so that she would like to pursue the discipline as a profession.
Irlanda’s drive and discipline has taken her to great heights, including important recognition such as a scholarship awarded at the Hollywood Dance Experience, which gave her the opportunity to attend competitions and organized events in different parts of the U.S. This also provided her the chance to gain recognition for her solo dance work presented in Chicago this past April.
Many of Irlanda’s achievements can be accredited to the support and preparation she has received at Destiny Dance Academy, where she has been enrolled for more than 4 years as part of the dance company under the instruction of Director Marisa Arellano and teacher Melissa Green, as well as one of the first teachers Alejandra Maynez.
“Honestly, the teachers have provided a lot of support. However, Marisa has something that motivates them, makes them believe in themselves,” explains Irlanda’s mom.
A large part of the strength Irlanda has demonstrated in dance comes from the support of her parents, Irlanda González and Eduardo Castro, who have managed to back all of her projects, trips, and competitions. Even in knowing it is a difficult profession, requiring dedication with no immediate economic guarantee, they are there to support her.
“Irlanda has our full support,” assures her mom, “of course we had thought she could study engineering or medicine, which is every parent’s dream, but she is inclined toward dance and the most important thing is that she do what she is passionate about.”
In addition to preparing herself as a dancer, Irlanda has demonstrated a joy for teaching. At just 12-years old she is always searching for a way to share what she has learned with her dance peers, such as in the annual festivals where she seeks the opportunity to offer tips behind stage and share details about what works for her before going out on stage.
Though seemingly very serious, Irlanda enjoys time with her friends just as any young girl. Still, her family knows that dance has molded her discipline; this can also be seen in school and in sports such as basketball, which she also plays.
Another fundamental part of Irlanda’s growth comes from her brother Jordan as they share high hopes for life and in upholding their dreams. He is currently readying for a degree in Political Science and Management, in addition to playing guitar and being a young man with a clear panorama of the country’s current social and political situation.
With a promising future, and well on her way to fulfill her dreams, Irlanda Castro González is making measured yet firm strides as a teen entering junior high, hand in hand with her preparation as a dancer. She is fulfilling her own challenges and obeying her passion for dance through the movement of her body.
Destiny Dance Academy phone: 638 384 3404 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hollywood Dance Experience: 1 platinum, 3 gold (2013); 5 gold (2014); 3 gold, 3 platinum (2015), 2015
Cultural Contribution Award in Puerto Peñasco
Photos: Used with permission of Irlanda Castro González