‘I battled through Breast Cancer at the young age of 26 when I was in the prime of my career. I had just finished dancing with JLO, Madonna, and Flo Rida and I suddenly got diagnosed with this atrocious disease. It waged warfare on my mind and body. My spirit did not break through and I was able to overcome what I thought would kill me at one time.”
Dance Mogul: What inspired you to start dancing?
Olivia: Music has always been a driving force in my life that evokes feelings and inspires movement. My Mom used to teach at Fred Astaire’s in the evening after working in the hospital all day. I remember going to the studio with her and not being able to sit still. By the time I heard Ricky Martin’s song “Maria” come on I was hooked for life!
Dance Mogul: How do you feel dance as an art form and business has grown based on where it has been?
Olivia: In my opinion, dance is an ongoing art form and business. It is constantly changing and evolving into new territory. I think the music and life around us dictate the content that is produced and from there something honest and beautiful manifests. However, certain elements repeat themselves if there is an understanding and appreciation for foundation and style. This approach creates a deeper level of creating something new and interesting but still maintains a timelessness and classical feel.
Dance Mogul: What hardships have you encountered during your journey?
Olivia: There have been many hardships along my journey as a dancer. Growing up it was mostly financial limitations in terms of how much I was able to train. Ballroom lessons, gowns, and competitions get expensive!!! Luckily I was able to attend Performing Arts school and I had a couple of mentors who believed in me along the way and helped educate me. In fact, I can remember taking lessons in my teacher’s home and dancing in her kitchen every weekend. More recently, I battled through Breast Cancer at the young age of 26 when I was in the prime of my career. I had just finished dancing with JLO, Madonna, and Flo Rida and I suddenly got diagnosed with this atrocious disease. It waged warfare on my mind and body. My spirit did not break through and I was able to overcome what I thought would kill me at one time. I continued to practice and perform throughout my treatments and surgeries. Actually, I think dancing was my therapy and healed me back to health.
Dance Mogul: What health advice do you have for young dancers?
Olivia: I would tell young dancers to take care of their bodies. Eat right, workout, get enough sleep, and most importantly LISTEN to your body. Be gentle and loving with yourself and don’t waste time making comparisons. This is the only life and body we get so treat yourself like a Ferrari!
Dance Mogul: Where do you see yourself 5 years from now in the dance world?
Olivia: I see myself moving into acting/films/and Broadway. I also see myself creating dance camps for young women and children. I want to share my knowledge and experience with the youth and play a role in future generations to come. This is my duty actually.
Dance Mogul: Is there anyone you would like to thank for helping you on your journey thus far?
Olivia: I would like to thank God for always being at my center and grounding me. I know through Him all things are possible. I thank my mother for always believing in me and introducing me to my first love (dance)! And I thank my teachers and partners for always inspiring me, motivating me, and adding color to my life.