BY DANI SHAPIRO
Ever since senior Kristina Kovaleski was two years old, she said she always had a passion for dance. She does styles like lyrical, jazz, hip hop, ballet and contemporary. She said her favorite and strongest style is lyrical. Kovaleski said she hopes to continue dancing in college and as long as she keeps on working hard, she may have an opportunity to make it. She said if it was not for her mom, Yesenia Kovaleski, didn’t push her into a dance class when she was younger, Kovaleski probably would not be dancing like she is now.
“My mom forced me to go to my first dance class and I hated it,” said Kovaleski. “The reason my mom put me in dance was because my older sister Isabella, who is a freshman at University of Florida, was dancing, and she loved it.”
Kovaleski was born in Costa Rica and started to dance with her sisters at a local dance studio there. After trying a couple more classes, Kovaleski said she started to enjoy it more, so she decided to keep going with it.
“I have been a part of three different dance studios because I moved a lot during my childhood,” said Kovaleski. “I love the studio I’m at now because the people are so nice, and I love the environment. The studio itself is so pretty, and all the members there are so friendly and sweet.”
After living in Costa Rica for 12 years, Kovaleski moved to San Diego, California. Kovaleski and her siblings wanted to continue dancing, so they found a new local dance studio. For the next two years at their new studio, Kovaleski improved a lot in her dancing and started becoming more involved in dance competitions and conventions.
“Two years later my dad told us we had to move to Florida because of his work,” said Kovaleski. “I was a little sad at first because I was finally getting settled into my new home, but I’m so glad I moved to Florida.”
The summer before freshman year, Kovaleski moved to Weston, Florida. Kovaleski’s dad kept on getting his work relocated, which is why they had to move a lot. Kovaleski said she was glad it was their last time moving because traveling to different states can be stressful. The week Kovaleski settled into Florida her family found a dance studio called Performance Edge Dance Studio.
“When I moved to Florida, I was already nervous I wasn’t going to fit in with the people at school and at the dance studio,’’ said Kovaleski. “Performance Edge was probably the smartest idea because many of the girls went to Cypress, so they helped me out a lot.”
Yesenia Kovaleski said she put her kids in dance just to try it out because she had a feeling they would enjoy it like she did when she was little. She loves watching them and seeing them work hard.
“I hope Kristina can dance in college because I know how much she loves it,’ said Yesenia Kovaleski. “She has been a hard worker ever since she was a baby, so I’m not worried she won’t be able to dance in college.”
Kovaleski said dancing is her passion and she loves it with all her heart. She dances every day, and she said she never gets sick of it. She said she hopes that all the years of hard work result in something good for her future.
“My older sister is dancing in college at UF, so that gives me hope that I can too,” said Kovaleski. “It would be amazing if I can make it into a good program.”
Kovaleski said she is already searching for colleges that have a successful dance program. At the moment, she is dancing at Performance Edge Dance Complex, but since college is coming up, a couple of schools she has been looking at are University of Florida (UF), Florida State University (FSU) and University of South Florida (USF). She said as long as she dances in college, she will be happy.
“I danced when I was a kid and I was obsessed with it,” said Yesenia Kovaleski.
“I was so excited to put my girls in dance class because I wanted them to commit with something they love as they grow. Dance ended up being that something.”