Meet the dancer
Omar, from Anaheim, California, is 14 years old, and is currently studying in 9th grade. He has been dancing on the Passion y Tumbao Project of OCAC since he was 9 years old. He is a 2x World Silver medalist in 3 salsa divisions with Passion y Tumbao. His interests outside of dance are playing sports like soccer, basketball, and skateboarding. He also thinks math is interesting. Omar wants to go into the field of computer science when he grows up because he thinks computers are interesting, and he wants to later code software. For fun, he would like to dabble in photography and film.
Why does he need a scholarship?
Omar would love to attend Fairmont in the near future because Fairmont is a good school and the teachers care about their students. Fairmont has a computer science program that includes beginning and advanced courses as well as courses in photography and film. Students create a video once a month called Husky Vision, and they can show it to the school. He states, “Fairmont’s environment is nice and the classes are smaller, so I can get more individualized instruction. Individualized attention and teacher help is important to me because one time I went to tutoring for an online Health class. The tutor could not help me because the teacher did not understand what to do. This was very frustrating to me because I went seeking help and found none.”
Omar says that dance has made him a happier person and it keeps him fit. He also has learned about leadership and teamwork through dancing. “One day, two new little boys came in and my director asked me to teach them the basics. I had a lot of patience to teach them, even though at home I don’t have a lot of patience with my little sister. It made me happy that day because I was able to teach someone something new. Even though I am still in high school, I am able to pass on my knowledge and skills to someone younger. This is definitely part of the leadership abilities I have learned through dance. This is important because when we start the Fairmont team, I will be the oldest. I need to be encouraging and show maturity. Most importantly, I cannot let anyone on my team get behind.”
Through dance, Omar has been able to travel to different places like Hollywood, San Diego, and Orlando, Florida, even sometimes without his parents. He says when he dances on stage, “It makes me feel like I can do anything. All of the nervousness and stress fades away when I see a lot of people watching me.” Now Passion y Tumbao has a boys team, and he said that it makes the whole dancing experience more fun because there are more boys to talk to and hang out with. He wants to get more boys to join. In addition, he feels that dancing with Marco, the director, pushes him to get better faster.
Omar’s mom is really excited about this possible opportunity of higher education through dance because he will get more attention from his teacher, and he can be a part of creating a better future for Latin dancers who come to join the team after him.