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At your service: VaNavia Ventura

VaNaviVentura

VaNavia Ventura

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Updated: November 30, 2012 6:01AM



Residence: Portage

Occupation: For five years, Ventura has served as artistic director, lead teacher and choreographer for the traveling competitive company at United Dance Arts, 55 Morthland Drive, Valparaiso.

Contact: 617-0725, www.uniteddancearts.com

What training have you had? “I began training at the age of 9 in ballet, tap, musical theater, jazz and lyrical at Lyn Knight Dance Centre and Gotta Dance in Addison, Ill. My strengths are jazz and lyrical.”

What is the hardest part about teaching dance? “The hardest part about teaching dance is the unrealistic expectations of parents that want to live through their kids.”

What is the best part about teaching dance? “The best part about teaching dance is creating an atmosphere that allows kids to not only live their passion, but provide them with a safe place where they can be themselves.”

What made you enter the field of dance? “When Janet Jackson’s Velvet Rope tour came out, I would dress up in front of the television and try to mimic her dancers. At that point, my parents knew it was time to get me in dance.”

What is the most satisfying part of teaching dance? “The most satisfying thing about teaching is watching a kid make a breakthrough. The look on their face and the excitement of knowing their hard work paid off make everything worthwhile.”

Where did you attend school? “I graduated from Merrillville High School in 2007 and attended Columbia College in Chicago. I continued to train at studios throughout the Chicago area and regularly attended conventions taught by industry professionals in both Chicago and Lost Angeles.”

What advice can you give others who want to teach dance? “You need to have patience and understand that every dancer has a different thing that they are good at and a different way of learning. As a teacher, it is our job to be able to adapt to different teaching styles to make it a successful learning environment for kids of all ages.”

What can parents do to make children more ready for dance? “Parents should expose their kids to lots of different kinds of music and ask them what they are feeling while they listen to that music. Then, they should try to get them to match a movement to that feeling.”

When should a child start dance lessons? “Four is a good age to start dance. They are old enough to pay attention and retain, but young enough to mold.”

How do you know when a child is ready for dance lessons? “Someone is ready to dance when they can pay attention and focus on one thing for at least 15 to 20 minutes. They are also ready when they have mastered some basic motor skills.”

Compiled by Idelle Kerzner, Post-Tribune correspondent



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