burgos_john
I have been a dance student under the direction of Yvonne for five years and have danced for her for two.  With in those four years I have learned a great deal about professionalism, not only in dance but in life as well.  Yvonne has influenced me greatly in my choice to pursue dancing.  She is a very dynamic, focused, and accomplished dance instructor.  Her ability to relate to her students in a professional manor motivates them to challenge themselves to achieve greater potential.

I was heavy most of my life and rarely exercised.  However, I never was teased about my weight in school because I was known as the smiley happy kid, with a great personality and I got along with everyone.  I always felt that it is what's on the inside that counts, and the way you looked did not matter.  Because I was so cool with everyone, no one ever felt the need to tease me about my weight, so therefore I never saw myself as being FAT.  I had to realize it for myself, and boy when I did…

I had been acting/singing and taking classes in the theater department at the Abrons Arts Center (one of the places where Yvonne teaches) since I was 13.  It wasn't until I reached the age of 19 when I realized that I needed to do something about my weight otherwise I was going to continue to be type cast as the father, funny uncle or even a bear.  I rarely played roles  representing characters my own age.  Although theater exercises your mind, it doesn't necessarily work out your body.  So I would go to the gym every now and then, but once I would see all the "Skinny" people, I just felt that I was never going to be like that and I would stop going.  I needed to be someplace where everyone was at the same level and it didn't matter what shape or size you were.  So I decided to pick up a brochure from the Abrons Arts Center and see what dance classes they were offering.  I quickly skipped over the ballet section.  No one wanted to see me in tights, hell I didn't want to see my self in tights.  Nothing really interested me, and then I saw it in big bold letters "NEW" Beginning Salsa for all ages.  I registered immediately.  After my first class I was hooked, I had finally found what I was looking for.  Originally, I had only joined the class to get fit, and I did.  I went from a size 42 waist to a present 32 - not to say that I did not diet as well.  Now four years later I am still taking classes with Yvonne, but now I am in the advance class and performing with her dance group "Herencia" and I love it.  I am also in my third year of Flamenco with Yvonne, and loving that as well.  My dream all my life was to become a famous actor.  Yvonne has change that for me, she has given me other options.  Now I just want to be a working performer regardless of the medium.

Yvonne,

Thank you for everything you've taught me.  Because of you, I continue to advance in my dance study.  I have very few roll models, and you are one of them.  I am lucky to have crossed paths with you and I am very proud to know you and have you in my life.  In life, if your lucky, you get to meet people, who touch you, inspire you, and change your life.  Thank you for changing mine.  Thank you for giving me the experience and the gift of dance