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Meet Delilah Vasquez of Xhanat / Neiya Arts in Long Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Delilah Vasquez.

Delilah, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I dance, therefore I am!!!…… I can not remember a day when in my heart, I did not feel the beat of music pumping in my veins and a rhythm flowing so deeply in and out of my heart to my entire body, mind, and soul. I am so blessed!!!… To have an intense passion and be submerged in it daily!!! I would venture to say that my birth was deliberate to awaken me into a world of music, dance, art…and not knowing until a lot later in life…the beauty of culture. Born in the 70’s, of Mexican roots from Jalisco and Michoacan… But instantly assimilated into the American culture, my beginning journey into dance at the age of 1 was not what you might envision.

My very first dance teacher, for tap and ballet, at the age of four, was Leah Murphy age 74 (god rest her soul). I do not and will not forget these life-changing moments. To this day, I remember the steps she so gracefully taught me. I hear her voice calling out the names of the steps as we learned them, and me, so tiny in her grand presence, looking up at her in awe and admiration. My thought: “I long to live as long… To be so motivating and moving at such a mature age…to be a dance teacher at that age and dance so gracefully leaving such beauty in the hearts of others.” She forever, unknowingly, and never knowing, that she etched her passion into my entire being. Now, I become the dancer… I become the teacher… I dance, therefore I am!!!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It is never a smooth road. Life challenges my creativity and energy flow daily. The struggle is to be true to oneself regardless of public criticism, other’s expectations or their lack of comprehension of what drives true artistic passion.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Xhanat / Neiya Arts – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
​NEIYA’s mission is to rescue, preserve, and demonstrate Mexican culture and its traditions. We do this through dance, wardrobe, art, crafts, storytelling and writing. We provide community classes, workshops, shows and events that allow each student to shine. Our students represent the total population – youth, senior, special needs, physically fit, disabled and various ethnic groups. NEIYA provides each of our members with the opportunity to connect, participate, grow, travel, learn and share while enhancing their mental, emotional and physical fitness. The stronger our program and students, the more we will be able to positively impact our communities.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
I would say that completing a choreographed piece that tells a story and having my dancers and audience connect to it and watching it come alive on stage is a truly proud moment.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Alfred Clear Image Photography

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