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2011-12 Luvabulls: Meet Dasha

>> Back to the 2011-12 Chicago Luvabulls index

What is your proudest accomplishment to date and where do you see yourself in 10 years?

My proudest accomplishment to date is working a full-time job in a career I love, while maintaining my passion of dance in a professional capacity. I am living my dream – getting the best of two different worlds!

In 10 years I see myself graduated with an MBA, having a family, and owning a non-profit dance studio, to use the art of dance to enhance the quality of life of underserved children and young adults in Chicago, who would not otherwise be exposed to dance for classes, educational outreach programs, and performances. Dance will always be incorporated into my life :)

What does being a member of the Luvabulls mean to you?

With dance as my life-long love, and born and raised a Chicago Bulls fan in the midst of the Jordan era, it was evident that becoming a Luvabull would be the key in merging two passions of mine together! I get to watch the greatest basketball players courtside and share my love of dance in front of my home crowd…all in the home to the greatest basketball dynasty in history. Who could ask for anything better?!

In addition to fulfilling my passions, being a Luvabull has played a major role in shaping me into the person I am today. It means setting the bar higher than I ever imagined reaching, and through humbling experiences, growing stronger as a person. Thanks to being a member of the Luvabulls I’ve gained invaluable personal skills and work ethic, and even life-long friends and a network of strong women :)

What people do you admire the most and how have they supported or inspired you as a dancer?

I admire my mother and father the most, for a number of reasons, but particularly for being my ultimate fans. With all the dancing I did growing up, they spent countless hours driving me to and from rehearsal, recitals, and competitions. They always attended my dance performances – from the ones in random gymnasiums to ones in downtown theaters, from my first recital at the age of 5 to my Bulls games, from my ballet recitals to my salsa shows, they were always there, yelling my name, waiting for me backstage with flowers. Their undying support and love inspire me to always better myself as a dancer – and always push myself to be the best I can for them, which is what they’ve done for my brother and me.

How has your dancing experience led you to this point?

I never stopped dancing since I put on my first ballet slippers at the age of 5. Growing up, all through my childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, dancing was the one constant in my life. I trained in all types of dance- ballet, jazz, hip hop, modern, contemporary, African, Latin, ballroom, and tap. I got my first dose of dancing in a sports context in my high school poms squad, and then went on to dance at Northwestern with the Varsity Dance Team LadyCats. Both my versatility as a dancer and my experience dancing for sports teams led me to be ready for the Luvabulls.

What do you do for a living?

I work in advertising/sales, providing digital strategies and solutions for top food/beverage companies' marketing and advertising objectives. I also run a personal dance service for weddings, quinceneras, and other special events.

What is your claim to fame - besides being a Luvabull?

Besides being a Luvabull, my claim to fame is competing in Las Vegas at the World Hip Hop Championships with my hip hop dance group - CODA. It’s an event where over fifteen hundred of the world’s top street dancers, representing over 30 different countries, compete to capture the world title.

Describe the feeling of performing at a Bulls playoff game.

Seeing the stadium as a sea of red and the court overflowing with the press and photographers, hearing the crowd roaring, and feeling their intensity and heightened excitement - it’s impossible not to feel the playoff vibes flow throughout your body! It’s as if each and every person in the stadium, from the fans to the players and the Luvabulls, is injected with an extra dose of energy you never would have thought existed within you. One specific situation was during the first round Celtics-Bulls match-up; I couldn’t believe that at the end of the third overtime, fans were still on their feet cheering, and I still had energy to dance and leave my heart on the floor!