By Joi Wilson
Elizabeth Ante is an Administrative Assistant at the Alameda Health Consortium (AHC). She divides her time providing support to the multiple programs and staff at the AHC including meeting preparation, travel arrangements, and managing office inventory supplies. However, when Elizabeth is not at work, she’s busy living out her passion as a dance instructor. I recently sat down with Elizabeth to ask her about her experiences dancing.
Joi Wilson (JW): How did you get started with dancing?
Elizabeth Ante (EA): I got started dancing in the Philippines when I was seven years old. I started off doing ballet and eventually joined the Bayanihan Dance Group International. I’m also a member of Dance Time with Chito which is a dance show in the Philippines. When I came to the United States I took a dance class to try and meet people. My instructor at that first class eventually became my husband and he encouraged me to become a dance instructor.
JW: Do you compete professionally?
EA: I don’t compete professionally anymore but I do compete with my students in what’s called the ProAm. We compete about five times a year throughout various locations in the Bay Area and Las Vegas.
JW: What is the best award you’ve ever received in dance?
EA: The best award I can receive as an instructor is to see my students grow in their ballroom dancing. I am always grooming my students to eventually take my place because in five to six years I could be ready to hang up my dancing shoes. So seeing them develop as confident dancers is truly my biggest reward.
JW: As you know, every year AHC and CHCN hosts Clinic Appreciation Dinners in August. How many routines have you coordinated for these dinners and which one was your favorite?
EA: I think I’ve done three so far. It started with the Thriller performance and then there was a line dance, and last year we did Zumba. I don’t have a favorite. I just have so much fun doing these and teaching the program to everyone. We create a video here at AHC with some staff and then send it out to the clinics for them to practice with so it’s really great to see it all come together at the dinners and to see how excited people get.
JW: What can we look forward to this year?
EA: Well, I don’t know if we’re going to do a big group dance again this year but if we do I’m going to suggest Gangnam Style.
JW: What is your advice for someone who wants to try ballroom dancing?
EA: My advice is to just have fun. Dancing is fun and if you enjoy yourself enough you will learn it even better. Don’t worry about competing and awards. Sometimes life is very stressful so I advise people to go out and dance. And keep dancing! It will keep you young!
Dance is a great form of physical activity and there are many different types to get your body moving. If you are interested in learning how to ballroom dance, check out Elizabeth’s class website at www.antedance.blogspot.com or search for other dance classes in your community.