Eleanor Bogart-Stuart staff writer
After school, most people go home and do homework. Some go to practice on a sports team. Others go to extracurricular club meetings. But junior Greta Voci isn’t like most. To the outside world, Voci is just like any other teenage girl. She likes doing her nails, getting frozen yogurt and taking selfies. But when the final bell rings, Voci becomes her alter ego: a dancer.
“We have a lot of stress in school and we have a lot of pressure. I’m not saying we don’t have pressure in dance, but it does give you time to relieve yourself from everything. You forget about judging ideas, because in class you’re completely judge-free and just open,” Voci said.
Voci is a member of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy, a competitive dance academy for young adults located in Baldwin Hills. She dabbles in a broad range of dancing styles, from jazz to hip-hop to ballet. Voci goes to dance practice all seven days of the week for at least four hours on week days and around 12 hours on the weekend.
“Ms. Allen is very specific and strong in her beliefs and that’s what I think makes her amazing. Sometimes we don’t agree, but overall I love her as someone very dear. At the Academy, we’re all a family. I’ve met many lifelong friends and I will always cherish our memories together,” Voci said.
Voci and the rest of her academy troupe are currently preparing for their “Hot Chocolate Nutcracker”, a dance performance of the Nutcracker with a modern twist.
“This is my fourth year doing the show and there are no words to describe how thankful I am to be participating in it. I am especially excited since this year it will be held at the renown Dorothy Chandler Theater,” Voci said. “Our Nutcracker is not at all ballet, but it is all types of dances, from Bollywood to hip-hop to jazz. I recommend everyone and anyone to see it.”
Voci plans on pursuing dance in the future, but not exclusively. She hopes to major in communications or international relations in college, but always keep dance as a part of her life on the side.
“I think everybody should just experience dancing, even if you’re the worst person at rhythm and beats. You need a certain pattern and rhythm in life, and dance helps you find that rhythm.”
Check out last year’s performance of the Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, featuring Voci and other members of the Academy.