Dance is life to René Andres Guzman. Falling in love with dance from a young age, Guzman has a goal to dance any style and succeed at a high difficulty. He is driven, dedicated, and focused on taking his dance career to the next level.
Guzman is a sophomore Dance Education major from Payson, Utah and has been dancing since he was 12. He practices every day and can be found dancing, stretching or rehearsing for his next competition, no matter the time of day.
Guzman’s latest competition with SUU’s Ballroom Dance Company was at the Royal Dancesport Challenge in Connecticut. He and nine others competed against dancers from around the country. Guzman and his partner Lindsay Powell took first place in the Amateur International Latin Pre-Champ category.
“I cannot express the feelings I had after we won,” said Guzman. “It felt like all of our hard work had paid off, especially bouncing back from the competition before this one.”
Prior to this competition, Guzman knew he had to work harder than ever before, pushing his limits and perfecting his technique.
“Before the Connecticut competition, I competed in Las Vegas and took second place due to rookie mistakes on my part,” said Guzman. “After the loss I was determined to not let that happen again. I studied my tape, strengthened my body, and focused on the areas I needed to improve.”
Guzman has received guidance and support from all of his professors, but specifically Jess Chapman, director of SUU’s Ballroom Dance Company. Her dedication to the ballroom program and mentorship to students has truly been an inspiration.
“Jess is always coaching me and showing me how I can be a better dancer and teammate,” said Guzman. “She is a great mentor.”
Whether it is dancing or studying, there are two traits that Guzman needs to be successful: mental preparation and motivation.
“Without those two traits, I would not be where I am today,” said Guzman. “I would not be good at dancing if I did not have the motivation to get better. I would not handle the everyday stress that comes with being a student if I did not take time to prepare. It is the mentality that gets me through everything.”
Moving forward, Guzman plans to continue dancing and finishing his degree in Dance Education. He wants to perform for as long as possible, not stopping until he knows he has become the best dancer he can be.