02 Apr Elena Gallegos: My Story
Hello everyone my name is Elena Gallegos and this my story of how ballroom dancing has made an impact on my life. I took my first steps into a ballroom dance studio when I was nine years old. I tell everyone that if I never saw the movie “Take the Lead” I wouldn’t have started dancing, and it’s true the movie inspired me to begin my journey on a path towards a career I could have never imagined possible.
When I was eleven I competed for the first time Pro/Am in Atlanta, GA. It was a whole new experience for me, but I definitely seemed to enjoy performing. Although competing and performing was fun my family was not financially stable enough to continue my training and my parents divorce put a screeching halt on my dancing. So to continue, I worked hard in my local studio to earn my lessons, and am forever grateful for that.
A few years passed and I felt I was ready to compete more seriously with my Pro/Am partner Matt Watson. I worked hard to raise enough money so that I could compete again. With work, school, and training in my hometown studio I was surprised I didn’t lose my mind. But I did it!! And on August 9th 2014, I met my current best friend Elizabeth Massey and was reintroduced to the amazing Eddie Ares; who was the head director of my first competition when I was eleven! I was seventeen at the time and was so happy to be able to compete again! Matt (my partner) was performing that night with Eddie’s Pro/Am group the Atlanta Ballroom Dance Theatre! I was so thrilled to see him perform, but something so amazing came out of it…I was asked to join!!
I am eighteen now and since that day I am now involved in not only Academy Ballroom Atlanta’s dance theatre, but also their Teacher Training program with my lovely best friend Ms. Elizabeth Massey, which we are now best known as the “Dance Sistas”!! My life could have taken a totally different turn but now I have an up and coming career in ballroom dance! I am so thankful for the amazing people I have met and the opportunities that have come along, and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store!
I did need some inspiration and faith at times on this journey:
“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.” – Nelson Mandela
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,”plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11