Photo Credit:Tonya Lessley - Inspire Photo Art
DANCER SPOTLIGHT: VERONICA NELSON
When did dance become part of your life?
Seems like always...I took my first salsa lesson at 22. I was brought up on a ranch so I remember dancing in my room to Madonna. I did advanced aerobics for a long time
What is your favorite style of dance to perform and why?
Latin matches my personality best because it is happy, free, not very structured, and about enjoying life.
What is your favorite style of dance to watch and why?
Latin because I can relate to it more. Also any style performed with passion, its less about the dance and more about how it is performed.
When did you join Independance and how did you find out about it?
I joined the first year when my Chilean friend Pamela invited me to dance and I've been hooked ever since.
What has your favorite year of Independance been and why? Hard to believe we're in our 9th season!
I don't have a favorite year. Every year bring a different group and a different experience.
What are you most excited about for this season of Independance?
That I'm going to be in it. Same as every year-exposing new people to the experience.
Outside of the dance studio, what are your other passions?
Nature, traveling, family
What is your favorite season in Bozeman and why?
Spring. All the birds are nesting, life comes back to us, all the animals are back out, having babies.
What kind of music is on in your car while you're driving around?
The radio because it is the only way to have input on American music.
How do you treat yourself after a long night of dancing?
Sleeping, the long night of dancing is the treat, then I just need to rest.
In one sentence, describe what IndepenDANCE is to you.
It's a wonderful way to bring people to the world of dance and expose them to performance and dance in general.
Name one song that is guaranteed to get you dancing, no matter where you are.
Balair or any Latin song with a strong beat.
What is your favorite dance movie and why?
Street Dance 2 because of the fusion of Latin dance.
Most, if not all of us, are dancers with day jobs! What is your day job?
Mother/Zumba instructor/Wildlife conservation educator
What does it feel like to see your piece come to life on stage for the first time?
I don't feel ownership of it. I put moves in the dance that I want to do. I love seeing the experience the dancers are having feeling it, performing it, and whether they are happy or not.
How would you describe your piece for Independance: Eclipse using only four words?
Contrasting, foreign to me [and in general], joyful, sensual.
Are you a night owl or an early bird?
Night owl 100% I don't sleep a lot. Long nights of dancing have helped me perfect that.
At what time of day does choreography/inspiration come to you?
Right before class when there's pressure to choreograph or if there's a piece of music that triggers it.
What is your favorite thing about being part of Independance?
Passing on the passion for dance and enjoyment on stage
Where did you grow up and how did that shape the kind of artist you are today?
I grew up in Argentina and Peru. That shaped me by being in touch with Latin music and way of life. It translates into dance.
What does dancing do for you that other forms of art cannot?
The physical release and component of expression is the in dance that is not there in painting or any other art form. I am a big music lover. I was almost a professional piano player but the physical part was not there. The cross between love of movement and music.
Pretend you've spent the entire weekend rehearsing and then performing for IndepenDANCE. What kind of food would you be craving and/or what restaurant in Bozeman would you go to get it?
A big arugula salad at home, no where else.
What are your Argentine influences in dance and how has it translated in your style of dance?
I took classes from one guy for a month and then just went out and danced. I learned by dancing with everyone. I had to become a leader so I exposed myself to leaders, as many as possible. I found a style of my own. I'm happy with how I dance and look. I found my own style by exposing myself to lots.
Dance and zumba gave me a place in the community I didn't think I'd have, it gave me a family, a little spot that I didn't think I'd have as someone from somewhere else.