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Full Name: Anna Jean Ring
Where were you born? April 30th, 1997 in Littleton, Colorado
Year Started Dancing: I took my first ballet class in 2002 I think, but I didn’t truly start training and
practicing on my own until around 2014.
What or who influenced you to start dancing?
Initially, my mom influenced me to start dancing. She did ballet for decades and I
wanted to dance because of her. I tried ballet when I was little, but I hated it.
Then I tried jazz and poms. I hated those too. I walked into my first hip hop
class with Chase after that and I fell in love with the dance.
What is your main style of dance?
What are your dance dreams?
As a dancer, I just want to be the best version of myself that I can be. I want to
always improve and work as hard as I can. I think that right now, I would like to
teach dance someday. But in order to do that, I need to continue to improve. So
my dream right now is to simply improve and grow as a dancer.
What goals have you accomplished in dance?
I have accomplished several goals. From attaining a certain move to dancing
professionally to making top eight at a jam, I have accomplished a lot. A lot of
these goals have been accomplished in the past year or two, and I think that’s
really exciting because I can see myself improving.
What goals do you have in dance?
A main goal of mine is to truly develop my style as a dancer. I have been
influenced by a lot of great dancers, and all of their styles have rubbed off on me,
but none of their styles is exactly the same as mine. So I hope to use the
knowledge they have given me and really define who I am as a dancer.
What obstacles have you overcome?
In life, I have overcome a lot. I think the main thing I have overcome is the
intense insecurity I used to feel. When I was little and up until I was about 15, I
didn’t feel very comfortable talking to people, and I didn’t feel comfortable with
who I was. I was so concerned with what people thought about me, and all of my
interactions would be affected due to this insecurity. For example, I have been
Chase’s student for close to 12 years now, and I started in his classes when I
was 8. It took me until I was about 16 to have consistent, meaningful
conversations with him. Until then, I was very shy and simply did not want to
speak to him. It wasn’t because of who he was, but it was because I was very
insecure with who I was. It was like this in school and in other social settings.
But over the years, I have overcome this insecurity with the help of dance and my
family and friends. In addition to overcoming this insecurity, I have had to
overcome challenges relating to standing up for myself and not letting others take
advantage of me. For a really long time, for lack of better words, I was a total
doormat. People walked all over me and I didn’t really do anything about it. It
took a lot of hurt and growth to finally stand up for myself and take care of myself.
What has been your most difficult obstacle you’ve had to overcome in
The most difficult thing I have overcome is moving from self-doubt to self-
motivation and self-love. For years when I started dancing, I was a hot mess. I
was very nervous, very hard on myself, and I was unable to fully be myself in
front of others while I was dancing. I am a perfectionist in a lot of areas in my
life, and I took this to the extreme when I first started dancing. Every time I made
a mistake, I was very critical of myself. It took a lot of trial and error and several
years of building confidence to get over that self-doubt and be comfortable
making mistakes in dance. In addition to the personal struggles of dance,
recovering from injuries and changing the way I practice in order to take care of
my body and be able to continue to grow and improve in dance has been a
challenge. I have had several concussions, broken bones, sprained joints, and
have had other inexplicable, frustrating pain throughout my dance career.
Recovering from injuries sucks, and making sure to be careful and contentious
while practicing has been a challenge for me.
Is there anything you are currently struggling with in dance or in life?
Time management and stress are two things I consistently struggle with. Right
now, I have three jobs, I am a full-time student at CU Denver, I train my dance 3-
5 nights a week, I have rehearsal schedules to stay on top of, and I have
personal relationships that I balance as well. While I’ve been able to handle this
so far, sometimes it really drains me. It’s hard to effectively balance my time and
do everything I want to. The stress that comes with this affects every area of my
life, including my health. So right now I just have to figure out a way to better
balance everything I’ve got going on.
What has dance given to enrich your life?
Dance has given me so many things. It’s given me self-confidence, a killer work
ethic, a second family, overall happiness and a central part of my identity that
really defines who I am. All of these things have changed me for the better and I
don’t think I would be the same person I am today if I didn’t find dance.
How do you perceive yourself as a dancer?
I honestly don’t know how I perceive myself as a dancer. I haven’t fully found my
style yet, which is one of my main goals in dance, so I can’t accurately say how I
see myself as a dancer. The closest thing to describing how I perceive myself as
a dancer would probably be describing how I feel when I dance. While they way
I feel when I dance is not always consistent, I usually feel the most connected to
myself when I just let go and dance. I feel like myself and I feel content. I don’t
necessarily feel happy or sad or any other emotion. I feel very neutral and
grounded when I dance. So hopefully other people can see that when I dance
What do you appreciate about your dance?
I appreciate my work ethic in my dance. I am proud of myself for putting in the
time and work to continue to improve throughout the years. I also like that no
one else looks like me when I dance. The way I dance is specific to me. It’s like
that for every dancer. While some dancers can make themselves look similar in
performances or other situations, not one dancer is the same as another.
Knowing that all of us have our own way of dancing and interpreting music, and
knowing that these differences are supported and respected, is a very liberating,
What has School of Breaking done to benefit your growth as a dancer?
School of Breaking has given me a supportive, safe space to practice, a second
family to practice and grow with, professional opportunities, knowledge of the
dance in general, music to practice to, and a job where I can sit back and see the
growth of the community. School of Breaking has given me so much more than
classes to take. School of Breaking and all of the people involved there have
given me a huge part of my life, and I am forever grateful for that.
What are the next challenges you want to take on as a dancer?
I want to improve my power and footwork in breaking as well as developing my
other styles within hip hop. I also want to travel to different jams and
competitions and make myself more known in this community.