I am a proud Afro Mexican Native American Woman. She/Her/Lola are my pronouns. I am a professional tap dancer well versed in modern, contact improv, and street jazz. My first love was and will always be dance. Before I could even speak words, my mother would find me in the corner of our home by myself celebrating my soul through movement. Communicating with the ancestors before I even knew who they were and what this connection meant or the power it held.
I grew up in poverty surrounded by music and movement. Hip hop was my first introduction to dance and music saved my life. I was later formally introduced to jazz, tap, ballet, and modern dance in the 6th grade. I, an incredibly shy 10 Year old who was afraid of her own shadow and barely spoke, desperately needed to move. I attended Emerson School for the Visual and Performing Arts in Gary, Indiana. A safe space, where my healing process really began. This beautiful space saved so many souls.
I am taking much needed time to deeply discover my roots, where I come from, how I can continue to build/create while being guided by my ancestors. Currently pushing through an intense dark night of the soul and preparing to relaunch my company in the near future, The Dolo Project.
Currently I’m an Artist in Residence at the American Tap Dance Foundation and running my own Tap Mentorship program under my company, The Dolo Project.
My Advice to Dancers:
Be YOU. Be Creative. Take Risks. Be Open. Be vulnerable.
Be fully present. Take breaks. Love YOU Deeply. Reclaim Your Power.
There is no one doing what you love to do the way that you do it,so do it!
Walk in gratitude, but don’t sacrifice your soul.
Validate Self. Laugh. Smile. Breath.
One of my favorite mantras that I learned through a reiki session.
Honor Your Body. Honor Your Process. Experience All of Who You Are.
Thoughts on teaching:
I absolutely love teaching and I miss it so much. Regardless of what level I am teaching, I want people to come out of my class feeling more connected to themselves. I want them to have a new found love for tap dance and the joy it brings.
I want students to walk out of class with their hearts smiling and their bodies sweating for their lives! I want them celebrating the fact that they showed up for themselves and loved themselves through the beautiful intense process that is learning to tap dance.
I want students to walk away knowing what a privilege it is to put these shoes on and speak. To understand how important it is to honor those who came before us and afforded us the opportunity to fall in love with the dance.
My vision for tap dance:
My vision for tap dance is to see it get the respect it deserves in this industry. Tap dance is such a beautiful language of truth that offers so much more than what most think it to be. There are so many Amazing tap dancers that deserve to be seen and heard. That deserve to share, shape, and hone their own individual voices among us. There is healing available for us. There is growth. There is love available for us. There is an even greater sense of community and expansion available for all of us.
My vision for tap dance is also to see it expand beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.
Tap dance gives me the opportunity to heal, hold space to help others heal, and it allows me the opportunity to reconnect with myself and the community.
The tap community inspires me, offers love, and opportunities to expand, grow, and learn.
My biggest tap dance influences:
The Legendery Gregory Hines. Watching him in the movie tap is the only reason I put on a pair of tap shoes and never quit.
Diane Walker “Lady Di’ is without a doubt an influence. She is one of the most beautiful dancers. With such an incredibly clean, sweet, sophisticated shuffle. Always loved listening to her speak through her feet and when she shares her stories, the history of tap dance.
Chloe Arnold and Maud Arnold. These two ladies are Unstoppable Powerhouses. They have created a beautiful community that has expanded and continues to expand the reach of tap dance.
They have two of the biggest hearts I have ever known. I am grateful to call them family and am always in awe of what they are going to accomplish next.
2021 is a year of expansion and a continued reclaiming of my own power. I gave myself permission to exist, to create, to heal, and offer healing. I gave myself permission to sit in uncomfortable spaces/emotions and face truth. 2020 took a toll on my health. I was diagnosed with being prediabetic, having high cholesterol, and overweight with poor blood circulation. First time in my life that my health and weight have ever been a challenge for me. The growth I have found in this process has been me putting me first in a way I never have before. Loving parts of me that I neglected for so long, deeply and without judgement. Healing is a never ending process of pulling back layers, facing truth, and expanding. Grateful for the opportunity to continue truly loving me, unconditionally.