Progress looks different on everyone. We all have different goals and definitions of success.
But what all of us have in common is our limitless potential. No matter where you’re starting or where you want to go, we all have the ability to make our way there.
You’d be surprised at how all of the dancers you look up to have such humble beginnings. Their stories are inspiring, not because they’re superheroes, but because they are regular people. They just happened to love dance so much that they worked their butts off for it. It’s reassuring.
One STEEZY Studio member, Albert Zhu, is in these humble beginnings.
What’s impressive about his story – aside from the fact that he’s a full-time computer science student at Trinity School of Arts and Sciences at Duke University, or that he only started dancing a year ago – is the constant tenacity with which he approaches his passion.
Having almost no prior dance experience, Albert is now the Co-President of his campus dance team. He also choreographs his own pieces and shares them on YouTube. He even helped the team host their first ever showcase just this month. All because he committed to his love for dance.
Albert’s the dancer homie that pushes all those around him to grow together.
Phase I: Discovering Dance
Albert really started dancing in January of 2015 – yep, just a little over a year ago!
Before then, he always had an interest in dance. He dabbled in things like figure skating and K-Pop clubs (to impress a girl, naturally, in high school. These first encounters with music/movement laid the seeds for what would later become a passion.
Hip-hop choreography took center stage in his life in college when he auditioned for and made it into his current dance team, Street Medicine.
“The team is geared more towards beginners. I’d attribute a large portion of my growth to the outside training I did in the North Carolina dance community. I took workshops at Kodachrome NC, (*which has unfortunately since then been disbanded,) and I was hooked.”
Weekends became FILLED with plans to take classes or go to workshops, near or far. No length of commute would deter him from taking class.
When he stumbled upon STEEZY articles, and STEEZY Studio, it was “basically a dream come true.” With scarce resources and a growing hunger, Albert turned to STEEZY Studio as the perfect way to get his dance fix.
“I kept trying to get out of my shell and not care so much about what other people in the class were thinking.”
Growing up, Albert had been involved in activities that were a lot more competitive than supportive in nature.
In figure skating, orchestra, and swimming,
“if you didn’t do well, you left yourself open to being judged and ridiculed by others.”
Though all new dancers feel nervous about dancing in front of people, we soon discover that the community is full of love and support. Albert is one of many dancers who have benefited from this nurturing, supportive environment.
Albert has made tremendous progress in a short amount of time, and continues to set new goals for himself. His top 3 right now?
“1. Build up styles that I currently enjoy (grooves, popping, house),
2. Expand my arsenal of styles for the sake of versatility (I’d love to try out waacking, locking, breaking, etc.)
3. Become more comfortable with freestyle.
I’ve found that building your basics is really valuable. I’m looking to find and define my own movement and dancing and I think by training foundations, expanding, and exploring through freestyle, I’ll be able to find new unique ways to move.”
You can check out their performance at “Unleashed,” below:
“The dance in North Carolina is amazing. We don’t have any prominent studios or choreographers (that stay here, at least). So the community that exists is one that thrives off of mutual support and sharing.”
North Carolina dancers will travel 3 hours every weekend, driving from the mountainous western region of the state to the eastern coast and vice versa. Just to take class with and from one another. 3… hours…
“ACTUALLY, I’m so glad that there was a 12-week training program thing that Steezy published the other day because that was basically EXACTLY what I needed (#TYBG).”
Albert is one of many dancers improving their skills and finding an online community of support through STEEZY Studio. He’s been able to accomplish so much in such a short amount of time – all the while juggling a hectic schedule outside of dance!
What’s your excuse? Trust us, trust him, and trust yourself – anything is possible.
We appreciate Albert and everyone who is passionate enough about dance to find the time and energy to dedicate towards it. If you’re interested in joining the STEEZY Studio fam, you can sign up for a free account today!
Found Albert’s story relatable? What were some of the things you had in common when you started dancing?