Students of UVU: Ellen Kershisnik

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Ellen Kershisnik, 19, is an honors student and ballroom major at Utah Valley University. She is also an alumni of the Alta High School ballroom Team.
She danced on their youth teams for four years.
Before graduating high school, Ellen won the annual “Dancing with the Hawks” competition, a dance competition in Salt Lake City. After graduating high school, Ellen came to Utah Valley University to study ballroom. As a freshman, she took first and second place in two of her events at the UVU ballroom competition.
Along with dancing Ellen also enjoys the rumba and the waltz.
Q: Have you always wanted to be a dancer?
A: “I actually wanted to be a writer for a long time. About two years after I started dancing I realized that that was what I wanted to do every day, for the rest of my life.”
Q: What got you interested in ballroom dancing?
A: “The story of why I started ballroom is actually kind of funny and sad. I used to never exercise, it got to a point that my mom came to me and said that I had to start something. Her friend had told her about this dance studio and I was going to go the next week…the rest is history.”
Q: Have you always had a love for Ballroom?
A: “I have loved Ballroom ever since I started but I didn’t have any feelings about it before hand. I had never really encountered it before. Now I see it everywhere and it’s lovely.”
Q: What do you aspire to do with your degree in Ballroom?
A: “My aspirations for my Bachelors of Science in Ballroom is to have the skills to start a studio and share my love of dance with my students. Ballroom gave me the chance to see how amazing and beautiful the human body is and gave me this amazing sense of self-worth. I want to share that with people because I think it’s so important.”
Q: How has the dance education program at UVU been helpful to you achieving your aspirations?
A: “The dance program at UVU is phenomenal. For Ballroom it’s the only program in the country and in its entirety, as far as I know, it’s unique in its collaboration amongst the styles of dance. The UVU program has taught me so much. I’ve grown more as a dancer having danced here for less than a year than I learned in the four years previous. I have not only learned how to dance better, but I’ve grown as a person. I am better prepared to go out into the real world than I was before and I’ll only grow more. Coming to college I got pulled off my high horse a bit and slowly but surely I’m getting back up, because I’m actually improving and I can only go up from here.”