by JENNIFER FRAKES | photos by Louise Flores and Rob Sheridan

Love for Dance

For Arwen Daniels, dancing is her passion, her talent, and her livelihood. “My mom Patte actually got me into dance. It was her outlet as an adult and she used to take me along to her classes. I loved it! At 10 years old I started taking hip hop, jazz, tap, and ballet. I began competing when I was 12 years old,” said Arwen, who now owns her own dance studio – Arwen Daniels Dance Academy.

Arwen attended the Academy of Performing Arts in La Mesa and went on to the University of California, Irvine. There she earned a bachelor of arts in dance, with a focus on choreography. “The dance department at UCI is quite amazing. It was a grueling program with academic classes, dance classes, rehearsals, and shows. I am so glad that I studied at UCI,” said Arwen.


MEET ARWEN

Name: Arwen Kriya Daniels
Community: Encinitas
Interests: Being at the beach, traveling, cats, and anything related to dance: teaching, choreographing, taking dance classes, finding new music to inspire me, and building my own business at my studio of almost three years – Arwen Daniels Dance Academy
Favorite Spots In Encinitas: Moonlight Beach, Swami’s Beach, Self-Realization Fellowship Meditation Gardens, Pannikin Coffee & Tea, and Lotus Cafe and Juice Bar


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In 2006 Arwen survived a devastating car accident that put her in the hospital for more than three weeks. “After the accident, I started to re-evaluate what I could do with dance that went further than just serving me. When dance was ripped away from me so suddenly, I realized how important it was in my life and that it defines much of who I am as a human being,” revealed Arwen. During her long recovery, she worked at a local Montessori school, eventually creating a dance program for more than 200 students. After the success of that program, she decided to open her own studio.

As a studio owner Arwen is sharing her passion for dance with her students and changing their lives on a daily basis. “The most rewarding thing, hands down, is getting to know the students and families that dance at Arwen Daniels Dance Academy. They are dear to my heart, and I love watching kids come in who have never danced before become athletic, confident, and empowered artists,” related Arwen. She is also inspired by the teamwork of the studio’s competition group and the ways in which they support one another as friends and dancers.

In her free time Arwen enjoys heading to the beach to listen to new music, relax, and unwind. She has also been bitten by the travel bug with recent trips to Ireland and Hawaii. “It’s a great feeling to experience new environments and cultures. In my opinion, traveling helps us grow as human beings and helps us understand and appreciate our differences,” stated Arwen.