Carla began dancing at The Dance Academy (TDA) when she was six years old after trying two other studios, but made TDA her home. For Carla, dance was always a passion and she knew there was something special about TDA, the teachers and the dancers. As a dancer Carla was able to grow and flourish due hours spent on TDAs competition team, session’s with guest teachers, and TDA classes that pushed her to the limits the best way possible.
Dance has the power to take me to a place of pure bliss, which is probably why I am still dancing all these years later.
Like many young adults, after she graduated high school she headed off to college to pursue a degree in English Literature at Saint Joseph’s University, with a minor in Communications. Her goal was work in Higher Education post-grad.
But then, in Carla’s sophomore year of college, on a whim, she went to a local audition for Walt Disney World Entertainment to be a part of their Disney College Program. The audition went extremely well and five months later she packed up her things and moved to Florida for what she thought would be a six month stint. After her six months, she made the decision to stay on as a Seasonal Cast Member with the company and returned to SJU to finish her degree. For several years she flew back and forth to Orlando every chance she had and unsure if she would return fulltime to Disney after graduation.
Carla applied to various jobs in Pennsylvania and New York, all which would utilize the degree she worked so hard for – taking six classes each semester, making the Dean’s List every semester, countless hours in the library studying, etc. Yet, there was a huge piece of her still in Disney; so much hope and potential of parades and shows she hadn’t yet learned. Then Carla took a chance — she literally went from her graduation ceremony to the airport because she was set to perform in Star Wars Weekends at 7 A.M. the next day at Disney.
Performing for thousands of people each day in the Happiest Place on Earth. How could you not love it? Carla is now a full-time performer with Disney, and lives in an apartment right behind the Magic Kingdom.
“The opportunities I’ve had this past year are just amazing… I’ve been on the closing casts of the Jedi Training Academy, Celebrate the Season Christmas Castle Show, and The Main Street Electrical Parade. I’ve also opened Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple, Anna and Elsa’s Royal Sommerhus, and Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire Castle Show. I’ve also learned roles in the Festival of Fantasy Parade and Fantasmic!,” said Carla.
According to Carla, Disney has brought so much light into her life, but she would not have gotten as far without the support of her family and strong dance background from TDA. Something that she will always take with her is remembering while she may not have always been the best dancer in the room, she always tried her hardest.
Carla stated, “If I had to give advice to young dancers, I would tell them to never let anything, especially their own self-doubt, stand in their way. My time with Princess Anna from Frozen has taught me so much, but mainly to be true to yourself and never give up. I know that may sound cheesy, but it has been the key to my success here at Disney. Giving it your all on stage and in the rehearsal room is the best way to ensure your top performance. Don’t take all those hours in the studio for granted; use them not only to perfect your technique, but also your smile and energy. I have made it through multiple domestic and international auditions to see the best technical dancer in the room get cut because they weren’t truly “performing”. Just something to keep in mind during your next rehearsal.”
Click on the album to view photos of Carla’s time at TDA.