Stephanie Mann, Instructor

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When did you start dancing and why did you keep dancing?  Ever since I was young, I loved dancing. Me and my sister always made up ridiculous dances moves and performed in front of our parents. I was put in gymnastics at a very young age and did that on and off until I was 11, when I started dance.  My first real dance experience started here at Sherwood Dance Academy and it was an acro-dance class. I loved it so much! I remember my mom telling me that I spent half the day with my feet in the air.

Why did you want to become a dance instructor? I want to be able to express my passion for dance with others and hopefully inspire them to love it as much as I do. My mom always encouraged me to do my best and not give up. Ever. My goal is to share that same attitude with my students so they can live up to their full potential. It's so rewarding watching them succeed and to see all their hard work pay off.

Do you still dance or take dance lessons even though you are an instructor? Absolutely! Whenever I get the opportunity to dance, I take it. Dancing never gets old and it's never too late to start. 

What is your favorite style of dance and why?  I love performing lyrical but my favorite style of dance to watch would be ballet. It's incredible how much strength ballerinas must have and yet they're so graceful.  

What is the hardest part about dance to you and why?  The hardest part about dance is to keep persevering when it gets hard. I remember coming home from dance with a sprained ankle and in tears, begging my parents to let me quit. Dancing isn't always fun and games, but if your willing to go through the hard times it will defiantly pay off. 

What is your favorite thing to do outside of the studio or besides teaching dance?  I'm fortunate enough to live close to some of my cousins and we love making movies together. Not very many people know this about me, but when I'm home alone, I like singing opera. But don't tell anyone :). I also like spending time with my siblings. Since I'm one of 6 kids, there is always someone at home who I can hang out with.

What is your favorite dance quote?   "I dance because there's no greater feeling in the world than moving to a piece of music and letting the rest of the world disappear" - Anonymous

Random tidbits:  Throughout my entire dance/gymnastics experience I was always the oldest, tallest, and most awkward student in the class. A lot of people discouraged me, telling me that it was too late to become a good dancer. But I loved dance too much to give up just because I was older or taller than any of the other students. Don't let anything stop you from doing what you love!