Yunhee Keough – whose beginning may have been in ballet, but now ballroom, Latin and New Age dances keep her on her toes.
It started at a young age -- with her tiny toes perched on top of her Dad’s. “He’d waltz me around the house. He didn’t count or formally show me steps, just move me around to the music.” And she loved it!
The next step for young Yunhee was ballet. A stern teacher made this a short, scary experience for the child, however.
Years later, she found herself living close to the Portland School of Ballet and decided to give it another try. This time, she found great joy in the dancing. Later, stress on her joints and repeated injuries re-directed her dancing to ballroom.
Waltzing – this time with Sergei Slussky as her instructor rather than on her father’s feet – gave her a renewed sense of wonder in movement and technique. Foxtrot, Tango, Merengue, Salsa, Cha Cha, Bachata, East Coast Swing and others soon followed. Today, she teaches these dances and others, sharing her love of the sport with young and old alike.
One student describes her as “a passionate firecracker – with a kind, empathetic eye for when you’re getting frustrated or tired.”
While her class work follows the DVIDA syllabus, she augments the choreography with her own movements from time to time, spicing up the program and sharing new moves or techniques as she discovers them herself.
What lessons has dancing taught her? “Self respect and self esteem – something I continue to work on.”
Her advice to newcomers: “Let yourself enjoy what you’re doing, and don’t be too hard on yourself. Learn the basics and build from there. It gets easier and more fun each step of the way!”