Dance is probably one of the more important aspects of art that, although I haven't paid much attention to, is one of the harder arts to master (or at least for me, I have two left feet and the coordination of a drunken man). It's a beautiful way to express emotion with your body, be it passion, joy, sadness, anger, whatever you can think of.
Barbara's way too talented and is already reaping the fruit of her hard work within this form of art, and in my neverending interest of how talented people think, I decided that an interview wouldn't hurt at all. I think that congratulations are in order for she's now in the Broadway show named "Wicked" presented in Mexico City, and this, I hope, is just the beginning of a great career.
-First things first, who or what inspired you to start dancing? And at what age did you begin?
- I started to dance when I was 2 years old. It all started when my mom realized I liked music and I had so much rhythm. I loved watching musical TV shows and danced along. One of my mom's friends, which was a dance teacher, recommended her a dance studio and I entered. As I grew up I started to get involved in so many dancing events and competitions that made me believe I wanted to do this for the rest of my life.
-What do you feel when you dance?
- Dancing itself is so amazing. I think everyone gets a different feeling, but in my case, I feel free and able to express myself in a very unique way. I feel fully connected with my body and with the music and that makes it so amazing.
-Which is your favorite dancing style?
- I do lots of styles such as ballet, jazz, contemporary, hip-hop, lyrical and jazz-funk, but I think my favorite ones would be contemporary and hip-hop.
-Who's your role model when it comes to dancing?
- I have a lot of role models. One of them is Bianca Marroquin. She inspires me so much because she's mexican and got to succeed on Broadway, and when you're not from the US it's even more difficult, but she's so talented and it makes me think that dreams do come true. Mollee Gray would be another role model. Everything she does is so amazing and every movement and trick looks impossible to do, and I think that makes me practice and practice a lot so that I can be able to do it, too. Last but not least, of course, my mentor Ivan Freeman. He's a great teacher, and I think all he has gone through and everything he has achieved thanks to dance is so inspiring.
-How many hours do you train in a normal day? Do average aspiring professional dancers train as much?
- I normally train from 6 to 7 hours daily. Not all aspiring dancers dance that much. They normally do from 3 to 4 hours or even less. On the other hand, professional dancers and other young dancers who are homeschooled dance about 6 or 7 hrs daily, too.
-Do you believe that there's something different in your attitude versus the girls who didn't get chosen for the dance team?
- There are tons of things that differ me from other dancers, but here are some of them. I think I have the luck to be able to learn from lots of teachers and most of then internationally known. That makes me learn and use all of their different styles to make my own, and I think that by now I've got my very own style when I dance. Another thing is that there are lots of disrespectful girls either with teachers or other dancers. The directors notice it and that's why even if they're so good they don't get chosen.
-What are your plans after Wicked?
- I would like to go to AMDA, which is a university in both LA and NY. That's one of the best schools for a dance carreer. If I get to LA I would also love to be part of a great choreographer's company.
-Would you think of opening an academy someday?
-Until now, what has been your favorite part of dancing?
- I think that the best part has been to be able to get to know lots of great people and some of them are my inspirations and role models. Having the opportunity to know them, dance with them and learn from them has been so amazing. Also, getting to inspire other people or communicate with them with what I do makes dance even more great.
Hopefully after reading her replies you will be able to understand what it takes to be successful, as she's shown dedication, perseverance, and respect amongst a myriad of other important values. I want to thank Barbara for taking the time to answer these questions, and again, congratulate her for what she's achieved through hard work. I know that if she keeps up a good attitude and working hard, she'll achieve whatever she wants. She's a role model not only for dancers but for those who want to achieve dreams that at first might seem unrealistic. I'm pretty sure that we can learn a lot from her and people who would put even half the effort she does into what they do.
And of course, I won't let you go without a small but impressive demonstration of her talent.