Latin ballroom darlings Jean Paul and Lana Rossi
By Stephanie Wolf of Dance Informa.
Heating things up both on and off the dance floor, Capezio Athletes Jean Paul and Lana Rossi are generating quite the buzz in the Latin ballroom scene. The hardworking and determined duo met while competing against each other — Rossi beat out Paul. Their romance has since transcended to their movement, wining them an impressive array of national and international titles.
Rossi and Paul opened up to Dance Informa about their undeniable chemistry, their preferred footwear and what it takes to compete at such a high level.
How did you get started in Latin dance?
“The sensuality of Latin music inspired us to dance, so the choice of style was easy.”
When did you start dancing and competing together? Did you two know instantly this partnership would work or did it develop over time?
“We have been together for over three years. From the first moment we danced together, it was clear to us that we had a very special partnership. We have had our share of ups and downs competing over the years, but our partnership still feels very special.”
What was the first title the two of you won together?
“The first title we won was the 2010 North American Championships. It was something for which we trained hard and we came in first place. It proved to us that everything is possible with clear goals and enough determination.”
How do you deal with the pressure of competing at such a high level?
“We view every competition as if it was a world championship so that we perform our best every time.”
How do you prepare for a competition?
“There's a lot of work that has to be done behind the scenes to compete at a top level and to feel great about it. For example, we do lots of workouts and stretching, and meet regularly with coaches. The week before a competition, we run through our routines daily. Good nutrition is also important. Doing all the preparation work gives you more certainty and confidence on the day of the competition, so that the pressure is not there anymore.”
What do you think about television shows featuring ballroom dancing, like Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance?
“These TV shows are like ambassadors for dancers. They promote dancing, and put dancers in the spotlight of media attention.”
What Capezio shoes do you wear?
What is on the horizon for the both of you?
“We just got done with working on the dance project that was beautifully orchestrated by Bear Bear Pro. It had a lot of incredible dancing, great singing and was filmed around the city of Philadelphia. We also just opened our own dance studio last month, called Main Line Ballroom. This coming year, we are performing at all the top competitions in the country.”
Any advice for young dancers aspiring to pursue competitive ballroom?
“Be passionate and stay focused!”