In the early 90s, the athletic Smith ran track for Klein High School and still holds the Klein Independent School District record in the 100 meter dash. Smith’s track abilities garnered her a full scholarship to Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma, where she completed her under graduate degree in 1997.
“I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was basically an Army brat. I moved approximately every three years. I have an international heritage with my parents being from Panama, Central America,” says Smith. “After college, I married and started a family, but eventually divorced. In time, I moved to Florida and started working in radio and marketing. Additionally, I started Step It Up in 2003, a non-profit organization that teaches kids to dance through after-school programs. After moving back to Houston, I continued the program and am currently working with the Alief and Conroe school districts.”
At 32 years old, Smith realizes she is pursuing her dance career well past the age when most people begin dancing professionally.
“I started to seriously pursue dance when I was 27 years old. The key word in that would be ‘old.’ Most dancers start at a very young age and most people consider starting at 18 years of age…very late,” says Smith. “While I was in Florida, my interest in dance/cheerleading led me to audition for the Miami Dolphins, Florida Marlins and Miami Heat cheerleading teams mostly advancing to the finals but not making the teams.”
This past year, Smith began studying dance at North Harris College under Professor Pam Heard. Her courses included Ballet I and II, Jazz I and II doing so well she was accepted into the college’s dance performance company the “North Harris College Dancers.”
“Professor Heard greatly inspired and encouraged me. She has taken my dancing to a whole new level. I attribute a lot of making the dance team to her and what I have learned in her classes,” says Smith.
Smith said she first heard about the Dynamo Girls tryouts through her part time job at Clear Channel Radio.
“Trying out was nerve racking. I was doing fine until the final audition. I felt I kept messing up the dance and was standing out like a sore thumb…when everyone went up, I went down and vice versa,” says Smith. “I had to really pull it together and finally nailed the last two chances out of the final seven tries. I really thought I was going home. I was so shocked when they called my number that I went to the director afterwards, just to make sure I heard them correctly.”
According to Smith, some of the official duties of the Dynamo Girls include promoting the national championship team, dancing at the games and making community appearances.
North Harris College offers a two-year course of study in dance and the credits are transferable to a wide-variety of private and public colleges and universities nationwide.
“Our students have been accepted into local programs as well as elite institutions such as Fordham University’s dance studies program run by the Alvin Ailey dance company in New York,” says Professor Heard. “We accept and welcome all interested dance students at any level into our program.
For more information call Professor Heard at 281.433.4858.
North Harris College is located at 2700 W.W. Thorne Drive, one-half mile south of FM 1960 East, between Aldine-Westfield and Hardy Roads. Registration for summer and fall 2007 is now in progress. For more information about the college, call 281.618.5400 or visit northharris.lonestar.edu .
NHMCCD, among the five largest and fastest growing community colleges in Texas, comprise, Cy-Fair College, Kingwood College, Montgomery College, North Harris College, Tomball College, six satellite centers, and The University Center.
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