Laura Isabel Velez

Laura dancing in a green dress
Hometown: Puerto Rico
BA in Applied Dance and a BS in Exercise Science

How did you first get interested in dance?

As a two year old, I was already begging my dad to take me to ballet class. I remember we were short on money, and he couldn't pay for classes. Then, one Christmas he saved up enough to get me the Bella Ballerina DVD kit to learn ballet basics. So at around two and a half years old, I started learning ballet in my childhood home.

What kind of career do you hope to have?

I hope to perform, contribute, and choreograph different techniques in the performing arts, as well as sharing my Puerto Rican culture through our traditional dances. Additionally, I want to advocate for dancers to view themselves as athletes and treat their bodies as such. I want to educate all athletes on how what may seem like "non-traditional" training is actually extremely beneficial for improving their craft. I hope to motivate athletes to learn about their bodies and how to effectively take care of it for better performance and a healthier, longer career.

What is your favorite thing about the Department of Dance?

My favorite thing about my department is the tight-knit community that has been created among the professors and students. The dance department is small, so everyone knows everyone. I believe this has been one of the reasons so many students have been successful in their dance careers, due to the relationships formed with their professors throughout the years that add to improving their art.

When you are not in class, studying, or working, what do you like to do for fun?

I love reading and writing. If I was not working, I would have investigated in getting a minor in creative writing.