By Dominique Barba.
Since her childhood, Natali Rodriguez, a young resident of Doral with 14 years old has distinguished herself in musical activities especially in dance. She dances a variety of styles, such as contemporary, ballet, lyrical, ballroom, belly dance, character, tango, jazz, jazz funk and hip hop.
She took her first ballet class at the Doral Isles Club house when she was 5 years old, but began official competition training when she was 8 in Dancing In XS.
Her daily routine everyday is getting home from school around 3:00 p.m., have lunch and then head to the studio. She does homework in between her dance classes, or after. She trains around 14 hours a week, and sometimes more whenever they have scheduled extra practice, or simply when she decides to stay in the studio some extra time to practice by herself or with her teammates.
She had competed in many Regional competitions like Starbound, Showstoppers, IDC, StarQuest, Creation Dance, Bravo, and a National Competition, Contest of Champions in Orlando.
Her team has performed at Johara International (a belly dance organization), Miss Hispanic International USA Organization, and they have trained in workshops like The Pulse and Jump. They have also danced for non-profitable charity events to help raise money, like Relay for Life and March of Dimes.
Her team won first place in Contest of Champions in Orlando for 3 years straight, so she is extremely proud of the studio for doing so. They also perform at any charity events they get the chance to, and that’s what brings her most satisfaction because they are dancing for a good cause.
“I wish to continue improving my dance, and hopefully try out for the TV show So You Think You Can Dance. Education-wise, I wish to attend college in Europe. I will have a high opportunity of getting accepted into colleges in the area if I succeed in the Cambridge program because it is recognized worldwide”, said Natali when we asked her about her future plans.
We asked who has been her inspiration and she responded: “There’s many people that always inspire me to keep dancing. First of all, my parents and brother who are always there to support and help me with everything I do. Secondly, my coach, Adriana Nassiff, who has been training me since I was 8 and always motivating me whenever I get self-conscious about my dancing. I’m a teenager so it’s normal to feel insecure about myself sometimes, but she has always been there to lift my spirits up, and has become more than my coach; she’s become like a sister to me. Finally, my friends and teammates are also extremely supportive of everything I do and simply watching other great dancers inspire me to want to improve everyday.”
About her community she said: “I really think everyone should just be original and not care what others think about them. People worry too much about their image and other’s opinion, when really the only one’s that matters is your own. A lot of people will come in and out of your life, but throughout all of it, the only one that’ll never leave you is you. Others might try to bring you down or try to stop you from fulfilling what you want to accomplish. That’s why you have to follow YOUR dreams, live up to YOUR expectations and work to satisfy yourself, not others. Learn to love yourself for who you are.
Natali Rodriguez is a 9th grade student at Ronald Reagan Doral Senior High, having many options she has chosen this school, we asked her why and she said: “I had the option to try out at magnet schools, which are high-ranked in dancing, such as Miami Arts Charter School, Coral Reef, and New World, but I decided to choose Ronald Reagan Doral Senior High School. It is the only school in Miami with the Cambridge program, in which I knew many people who highly succeeded when graduating from this program. My family as always supported me in this choice, and according of what I saw in the first weeks, it was the best choice without any doubt, I feel blessed being a RRDSH student.”