We often forget that the successes of Johnson students may continue beyond the confines of this school. Victoria Perez, a sophomore athletic trainer by day, is also a very talented dancer with a resume that may shock and awe many of her fellow students.
“[Collective Dance Artistry] is a pre-professional company that goes around Texas and sometimes out of state to compete in dance competitions,” Perez said.Since she is not a Belle or a Legacy and did not participate in the freshman Pep Squad, Perez’s talent and practice – which totals 28 to 30 hours a week – in jazz, ballet, tap and contemporary dance keep her busy.
“ NYCDA, NUVO, and VIP are all dance competitions that are for those that are more involved in dance – that dance for about 30 hours a week, like me. They give out scholarships to the top dancers. But they actually have to earn their scholarships,” Perez said. “All of the competitions this year that we have been involved in, we have gotten like first and second everywhere we’ve gone with ‘Salem’.”
Although dance is clearly passion, Perez knows that dance is not in the cards as a career.
“Dance has become one of those things that everyone has started to do…,” Perez said., “ Basically, it’s one of those jobs, that if you’re going to do it you are going to have to get ready to live in a box and eat whatever you can for about 10 bucks.”
These accomplishments and the many injuries that accompany them have inspired Perez and have shaped her goals for her future.
“It hurts…Every dancer is hurt, and if you plan on being a dancer you have to be able to deal with pain,” Perez said. “In my case I want to be a physical therapist…so I am able to give [dancers] and answer that is not ‘hey, you have to quit dancing,’ I want to be able to help them dance at least a few years longer.”