When looking around, people may not notice the wonderful talents and histories of other Latinitas with a simple glance. People may only notice the outside appearance of these girls, but not know their true talents. Latinitas sat down with talented Latinas to share their story with our readers. These talented Latinas represent some of the different passions and diverse creative skills. A passion to dance, a yearning to sing, a want to draw, a mission to explore, a talent with words, and a drive to design will be explored as these girls speak of their passions.
Hannah Velasco has been a ballet dancer since the mere age of six years old. Now seventeen, Hannah continues to dance and is aspiring to become a physical therapist for other ballet dancers whilst continuing her dancing career. Hannah speaks of dancing as a way to escape from the outside world full of worries and stress. She says, “I started to dance to find my place in the world. My dad had just left the family and dancing fulfilled this void in the best way possible.” More than the absence of her father, Hannah’s whole family supported her in her dancing career as there were other dancers in the family. “My family encouraged me since I turned five, but I wouldn’t let them since I just wanted to have fun. Then, when I was six I went to watch my cousin dance and I immediately knew that I needed to be up onstage.” Hannah’s passion continued to grow as she grew in age. Her favorite part of this creative process is the detachment she feels from any worries she may have as she begins dancing. “I basically become another person, “she states, “I become the character that I’m meant to be in the ballet.” Outside of dancing, she has the work load of a high school senior to worry about as well. Her ballet practices sometimes last until late hours like 10 or 11 p.m. The next day, Hannah is up at 6 a.m. to continue her routine even after finishing her homework the night before at 1 a.m. When asked what makes dancing worth this struggle, she always smiles and says, “All the years of preparation I have dedicated to dancing sum up in those 30 seconds of thrill on stage. This feeling is almost addictive.”
Tatiana White was never the typical student. She always had a way with words that made her teachers marvel at her incredible writing. Tatiana was first introduced to writing in the 5th grade, when her teacher assigned a fictional story assignment. This Latinita felt encouraged to widen her creativity and to tell a story with her own words. From that point on, Tatiana continued to tell stories through pen and paper, eventually via her laptop. These tools turned into her best friends. As Tatiana says, “These stories helped me express myself in a way that is sort of hidden.” By hidden, Tatiana means that she does not write simply for her teachers to see, she writes for herself. Writing is such a great life of Tatiana’s life that she feels prepared to take the next step and make it part of her future.This Latinita’s future career plans center around using her skills with words to help the human mind; her books will be about psychology. “Writing has helped me to a great extent whenever I feel stressed or I need a little relief from the world. I want writing to do the same for other people.” Tatiana’s gift of writing has flourished from writing 5th grade fiction to the writing of a talented 18 year old with a dream to help the world.
During her first year of high school, Valeria Duron was asked to make a permanent decision: what do you want to do for the rest of your life? Some of her classmates hesitated to choose, but Valeria knew right away: she wanted to be a architect. Some people were flustered by the fact that she could choose so quickly, but Valeria is determined to achieve her dream. “It’s the only thing I can picture myself doing,” she shared. After this decision was made, Valeria began integrating herself into architecture classes. The more she listened and paid attention to the subject, her interest grew and she yearned to learn more. She compares her yearning to be an architect to that of historical figures, “The Egyptians would devote their whole lives to build a mark on the world. I want to do the same thing.” Besides this ambition, Valeria loves a very important aspect of architecture: mathematics. She says, “[Math is] easy and everything always fits in perfectly. Even if I don’t know how it works, I know that it’s important and incorporates with every aspect of my life.” Even though Valeria is only 17, she has dreams as big as an Egyptian pyramid.
When people see Daniela walking around, they may not think anything other than, “That girl is dressed very nicely,” or “Wow, I wonder where got those clothes.” What these people don’t know is that every aspect of Daniela’s clothing was designed by her and made with her own two hands. Daniela Ruan’s interest in fashion sparked when she was a small girl. “My dad bought my sisters and I a white board because he wanted us out of his hair. However, it turned into something else for me.” After this purchase was made, she began to draw and sketch on a daily basis, it soon became her favorite hobby. As she grew, Daniela’s interest blossomed even further. She noticed that her sketches were mainly comprised of purses like none other, innovative shoes, and creative blouses. At that moment, Daniela decided that fashion design was the career that was meant for her. With this decision came about the creation of her own clothes, which she wears on a daily basis. Now at age 18, Daniela has big hopes for her future, “I want to hear people say ‘I’m wearing Daniela Ruan’. My creations will give me a sense of accomplishment like no other.”
The Outdoor Photographer
Courtney Francisco dwells out in nature through hiking. She started through the influence of her step dad and through the presence of the hiking culture in her Virginia hometown. Courtney says, “I lived in the Valley and there’s a lot of hiking there. It’s really green, almost out of this world.” Courtney enjoys this activity so much because it’s a chance to spend time with her family and meet new people. Since hiking is such a common activity there, it’s very common amongst the people within the area. “Everybody on the trails has something in common, so it’s a great conversation starter.” The best part for Courtney is the reward of reaching the top. After feeling so tired during the climb, nothing feels better for her than seeing the whole of her hometown. Another part that is especially enjoyable for her is the photography opportunities that there are on the trail. Through this photography, she has learned about the nature out there, recognizing plants and memorizing most of the trails she has traveled through. Courtney’s hiking is something she takes with her everywhere. Where there’s a trail, there’s a way for Courtney.