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” Nonetheless, she blew everyone away and was hired.

Since then, almost every gig has been followed by a period of joblessness in which she eagerly sought out master teachers in a range of styles.

Okay, everybody has an opinion about everything—but my body has been a negative factor in my life all the time.

She started dancing at age 4 at her local studio in the Bronx, NY, and attended MS 180, a performing arts middle school, where she studied ballet and jazz. ” She went on to high school at the Professional Performing Arts School (whose alumni include Danny Tidwell and Afra Hines), where she took academic classes in the morning and was bussed over to Alvin Ailey studios in the afternoon.

Yearning for more intense training to get on a more advanced level , Danielle commuted to Manhattan for two consecutive summers attending Ballet Hispanico learning dance stylings in Ballet, Pointe, Horton, Flamenco, and Mexican Folk Dance.

That prepared her for high school where she trained at the prestigious and one of the most elite schools of dance, Alvin Ailey.

But if you don’t know who Danielle Polanco is yet, don’t worry—you will.

This month, the half-Puerto Rican, half-Dominican 23-year-old from the Bronx makes her Broadway debut in a somewhat serendipitous fashion: She’s playing Consuela, the bleached blonde, America-loving Shark (her favorite role) in the much-anticipated revival of (her favorite show)—despite having never been in a musical before!

In the sixth grade, she joined K-Company, a dance troupe from the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club (whose alumni include none other than Jennifer Lopez), where she learned salsa, hip hop and West African. After dancing with BFA students from Fordham University there, Danielle decided she was ready for a professional career.

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