We have the privilege of sharing with you an interview from Jenell Maranto!
She is the owner and teacher with Jim Maranto of the Academy of Ballroom Dance in Phoenix, AZ. Jenell is a Fellow of the Imperial Society Ballroom Branch and has produced numerous US Ballroom Champions. She is also a DVIDA examiner.
Let’s begin with, what was the most challenging dance routine you have performed or learned?
Every performance is challenging for me because I’m always nervous.
Your favorite dance performance?
My favorite thing is competition. Competition is fun and makes me happy Being alone on the floor performing is not as satisfying.
Who/what inspired you to start dancing?
When I saw Australian Ballroom Champions Kerry Wilson & Ann Harding perform in 1981 in Reno Nevada, I knew I had to lean how to ballroom dance.
What is your most memorable experience in dance?
My most memorable experience in dance was winning the U.S. Professional Smooth Championships in 1993-94
What is your favorite quote?
Once a mind has been stretched, it never regains its original shape.
What do you look for when judging a Pro/Am competition?
When judging Pro/Am I look for; Assured footing, balance over ones own feet, musicality, body stretch, and partnership.
What considerations go into turning Pro?
I was already a professional dancer before I learned ballroom so I didn’t know I had a choice but when my Pro/Am student – Jim Maranto won the U.S. American Smooth Championship we decided to turn Pro together and compete with the big kids. I already owned my own dance studio and Jim joined me and started teaching. It was a great decision for both of us.
And finally, what would you like to tell dance students that you wish you knew when you started dancing?
No regrets, being in the ballroom dance business has always been great for me.
Stay tuned for more interviews!