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Dancer hopes to inspire youth

Porsche Norman, 28, dance major, warms up by rehearsing tap dance numbers.

Porsche Norman, 28, dance major, warms up by rehearsing tap dance numbers.

Porsche Norman, 28, dance major, warms up by rehearsing tap dance numbers.

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As a remix of Pat Benatar’s 1980 hit single, “Hit Me with Your Best Shot,” blared through the speakers, a group of 13 young adult dancers sprang to life, twirling and jumping around the studio.

Of the 13, one was the clear leader, demonstrating the motions and directing the others on what to do.

Porsche Norman showed command of both her students and the routine while also portraying her jovial attitude.

Norman, 28, dance major, first started dancing at a young age and is experienced in a plethora of genres – something she showcases at various El Camino College events, such as the recent “Night of Resident Artists.”

“I (initially) danced from four to about 18 years old,” Norman said, “I trained in tap, jazz, ballet, modern, hip-hop, African, pretty much all styles.”

Through her dance, Norman discovered a passion for teaching, which she satisfies with her business, Tajallet Dance Company.

“I definitely want to continue to be able to teach and share the gift (of dance) with other students,” Norman explained.

Norman is able to connect with her students due to her joyful personality.

El Camino dance professor Michelle Funderburk described Norman’s personality as “full of energy, bubbly and very personable,” adding that she is able to “connect with a lot of people of various cultures and ages.”

Despite the amount of work she puts into working on her dancing, Norman still finds time to focus on her studies and excel in them.

“She probably did the best comprehensive final exam I’ve ever seen,” EC dance professor, Daniel Berney, said, “I actually had to call her in to talk about it to make sure she didn’t compromise the material somehow.”

Norman remains inspired by her late dance teachers, the brother-sister duo of Paul and Arlene Kennedy.

“It was because of (the Kennedys) that I’m able to share the gift with the students now because they taught me not only how to learn but they also taught me how to teach,” Norman recalled.

Norman also named EC dance professor Pamela Santelman as part of the reason she got back into dance following a five year break to explore other options and take care of her now four-year-old son, Desmyn.

“(Santelman) reminded me of all the reasons why I love to dance,” Norman said, “All the older teachers that I had and everything that I had learned, she brought right back to me when I came back to dance.”

Never one to limit herself, Norman has set lofty goals for the next few years.

She has made it her dream “to do Broadway before I’m 30.”

Norman not only dances for herself but also views it as a way of positively influencing the people around her.

“I dance to work my way through my issues but I also dance to be an inspiration to the next generation,” Norman stated.

As Norman looks to inspire the youth of today, she has a similar effect on the people closest to her, regardless of age.

“I’m really proud of her for living to the beat of her soul and giving back,” Norman’s mother and former EC graduate, B. Rene Norman, said, “As a daughter, I wouldn’t have her any other way.”

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Dancer hopes to inspire youth