Artist spotlight: Maria Cordova

Name: Maria Cordova

Hometown: Maywood, NJ

Age: 19

What kind art field are you in? Dance is the art field that I have had a passion for starting from the first moment I stepped a foot inside my dance studio in Maywood, NJ.

What are the different types of dancing that you’ve tried so far? I have tried/danced a plethora of dance styles throughout my life. This includes ballet, tap, jazz, modern, lyrical, ballroom, and African dancing.

When did you start performing your artwork? I started working and performing this art at the age of two and a half. At my studio back home, that was the minimal age for kids to begin dancing, so immediately, my mother enrolled me to the studio and I believe that had been the best day for me. I would never have guessed that I would discover my outlet and passion at such a young age.

What’s your favorite kind of dance and why? I absolutely love every style, but if I had to choose on my favorite style I would have to say Jazz. I am a person filled with personality where I can completely let all that personality express through my dancing. I am able to be as silly and happy as I want to be through jazz.

What your favorite piece you’ve performed in and why? My favorite piece I have ever performed is a piece I had done with my studio back home to Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. This was such a powerful piece and performing it I was able to, not only express to the audience, but give myself a better understanding on society. The speech itself is strong as he expresses the struggles and hardships that were involved during that time. Visualizing the movement and expression we performed side-by-side with the audio, the piece creates a bigger image and meaning to it all.

What/who has inspired you the most and why? I have never been more inspired and motivated towards dance by anyone more than Professor Jayme Host. After one full year of working and being taught by her, I have learned more about myself and this art. Professor Host believes in every single one of her students to their full potential, and makes it known. I have grown incredibly as a person and as a dancer thanks to Professor Host. She is a true inspiration to me and for much of her students.

Is there an emotion that you wish to evoke when viewers see you perform? I hope the audience can feel the same exact emotions that I am expressing to everyone. The sadness, the hope, the struggle, the happiness, the joy, the excitement. I want the audience to feel the purpose of the dance and the overall performance, as if they too, are on stage with us.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years in this art field? I see myself keeping in touch with dancing and teaching students in my studio back home what my teachers taught me growing up. I hope to show the beauty and joy in dance as my teachers have done for me.

Do you try to incorporate your home into your art at all? When I dance, I use the time performing to extinguish all of my emotions that build up in my life. As I had mentioned, dance is my outlet. Dance is helps me take my frustrations and form it into art.

What other artists do you look up to? Or who is your favorite artist(s)? I don’t have a specific artist that I look up to. I see every artist unique in their own different way, inspiring me in different ways. Artists fascinate me in so many ways, pushing me to create and expand my own art.

How do your friends and family show you support? My friends and family are the greatest and my number one supporters. They have shown dedication throughout my countless years performing, showing up to every single one of my performances. Constantly telling me the proud and joy they have watching me on the stage is what truly picks me up and pushes me to continue.

What kind of projects are you working on right now that we can look forward to checking out? I am currently working on choreographing a Broadway Jazz piece that will be performed on November 18 and 19 in Sloan Auditorium during the Dance Consort performance.

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