We at NorthdelaWHEREhappening.com are so very honored to spotlight Clayton’s, Naya Karmyn Gonzalez, as our very 1st Happening Kid!
At just 9 years old, Naya has achieved more than most Adults. She carries a 2 year Little Miss Hispanic Delaware Title, is an achieved Ballet Dancer currently enrolled at the Dance Conservatory all while facing health challenges that she clearly doesn’t let hold her back. Naya’s glass is indeed half full. When she’s not tiptoeing her way to the top and through her living room to the sounds & sites of Disney, Naya is a 3rd grade student who attends the Campus Community Charter School in Dover.
You can check out Naya and the rest of the Dance Conservatory team this weekend in Dover at the Schwartz Center. Public Performances are Sat, Dec 10, 2:00PM and 7:00PM and Sun, Dec 11, 2:00PM.
NDH: How long have you lived in Clayton,DE(half in New Castle County)?
Naya: I have lived in Clayton with my parents for the past 6 years, prior to that we lived in Bear, DE.
NDH: What is your favorite subject in school?
Naya: My favorite subjects in school are reading and music.
NDH: What accomplishments are you most proud of?
Naya: My biggest accomplishments have been how far I have gotten in dance. Ballet is not easy to do or learn, it takes a lot of dedication and many hours and days of practice. I love it!
NDH: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Naya: When I grow up I want to be a professional dancer or a Veterinarian or perhaps both!
NDH: So what are you doing now after Little Miss Hispanic Delaware 2010?
Naya: Well… I am still holding the title as Little Miss Hispanic Delaware 2011, now for the 2nd year in a row. So I feel like I’m very lucky to still be the “Queen”. While I haven’t done many appearances this year, I have gotten the opportunity to perform at Delaware State University and I was just recently interviewed by the anchors from Delaware’s WITN TV Channel 22.
NDH: Tell us about your dance career – we hear your performing this week at the Schwartz Center in Dover – wow!
Naya: Well I started dancing when I was 5 years old at Providence Creek Academy in Clayton, Delaware, where I was cast to perform in the production of “Peter and the Wolf” and in “Snow White”. Although, I no longer attend Providence Creek Academy I do thank all the teachers for dedicating their time and effort in teaching me all the basics in Ballet. Now that I am a little older and I’m growing in the area of dance, my parents felt that I needed some visibility. So they have enrolled me at the Dance Conservatory in Dover, DE. It has been quite an experience! I had to get used to their way of dancing and of course meet new friends. But it has been fun! I love my friends and my teachers there. So, now that I’m with the Dance Conservatory, I was able to audition for this holiday production “The Nutcracker”. The auditions were very intense and hard. My teacher “Mrs. Emmons” is a graduate of one of the famous schools of the arts in NYC “Juliards”, so with that being said our auditions were as though you were auditioning to attend that school. It is really cool, but a lot of work. After many hours of auditioning for a part and competing against other great dancers, I not only got one part but I got two parts. Yayyy ME!!!! So you might be wondering what parts I got – right? Well, I am a bom bom in cast 1 and a rat in cast 2. So if you are not doing anything this weekend December 10 & 11, please come on down to the Schwartz Center in Dover and see me perform for the first time in the production of “The Nutcracker”.
NDH: We also read that you had an opportunity last year to attend a three-day intensive ballet class under the direction of Madam Dellas, a master teacher for over 40 years and Mrs. Vicky Silva, school director and ballet teacher at the PA Regional Ballet Theater – what was that like?
Naya: Oh Yes!!! The first time I was invited was summer of 2010, and I was so excited to go. Not only did we get to learn from the professionals but we also got to meet some new dancers from all over the world. It was a very nice experience. Then the summer of 2011 came around and not only was I invited to attend again but I was also blessed to have received a scholarship. However, I couldn’t attend because at that time I was having some minor heart problems that we needed to take care of, but lucky for me, I am fine now!
NDH: What has been your biggest challenge thus far?
Naya: My biggest challenge has been overcoming all of my illnesses. I was born with 80% hearing loss and although I can hear today, it has taken 7 different surgeries to correct my hearing. I am also epileptic and I have asthma. So with all my illnesses put together, you can imagine what I have had to overcome throughout my years. I think this is why I love dance so much, because I can feel the music from my feet and when I dance I’m in my own element. So, I don’t take my disabilities as something to stop me from doing what I want to do, I just fight it and overcome it.
NDH: What can we find you doing in your spare time besides dance?
Naya: In my spare time, you can find me in my living room stretching and dancing, watching the Disney channel or Dancing with the Stars with my Mom, spending time with my family, playing with friends or even reading a book. But if you were to ever look for me…I can tell you that most likely I would be dancing as I love it so much.
NDH: What advice would you give to other kids your age?
Naya: I would tell other kids to follow their dreams, because nothing hard comes easy. I would tell them also to have fun while following their dreams. That is something my parents tell me all the time, so I live by that. I work hard at dance and at school but I also have FUN!
NDH: Anything else you’d like to share with us as our first ever “Happening Kid”?
Naya Yes! Don’t ever give up on your dreams and always remember that beauty comes from within!
Do you know an outstanding kid from North Delaware, New Castle County? If so, nominate him or her to be highlighted as Happening Kid on NorthDelaWHEREHappening.com by emailing [email protected] with the subject “Happening Kid.”