This week I was able to interview a professional dancer in Orange County who also teaches on campus at CSUF. Her name is Kazumi Devries and she was born in Osaka, Japan. As a young girl Kazumi wanted to become an artist and paint. After having two children in their teens Kazumi went back to school at Irvine Valley College to pursue her Bachelor’s in Fine Arts.

Kazumi was a very busy woman with two children, taking 23 units per semester and owning a business. At the end of the week if she accomplished all her goals she would reward herself with Salsa lessons on the weekend. Her first experience with salsa was when she went out with a class after the end of the semester to Salsa night at Tia Juana’a in Irvine. A friend then took her to another Salsa night and suggested Salsa lessons if she was interested in improving.

She transferred to Cal State Long Beach and continued to take lessons 3-4 years after. Kazumi’s instructor began to use her as a substitute when she was gone traveling to do workshops and instruct elsewhere. Eventually Kazumi taught her own class with another instructor. At one point one of her instructors introduced her to New York style Salsa. She began to take private lessons since he was an amazing and talented instructor.

She then formed her own dance company because she could not join an established Dance company because their schedule of rehearsals would not fit into Kazumi’s schedule. Her dance company is called Reflejo which means reflection. The company represents the reflection of two couples. Reflejo started in 2007 in Fountain Valley. Kazumi currently paints oil on canvas during the daytime. She has her own art and teaches private lessons of oil on canvas. She is currently the CSUF Salsa Club instructor but we will get more into that topic next week.


About ocbarrios

Professor for Cal State Fullerton's Barrio Studies class for Fall 2011 semester

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