COLLEGEFASHIONISTA: GOING FOR THE GOLD

Exclusive Feature, From the Editor

The XXII Olympic Winter Games are almost upon us. With the Opening Ceremony in Sochi happening tomorrow, all anyone can seem to talk about is which event their most excited to see. From Sean White’s pursuit of a third gold medal on the half pipe to Lolo Jones and her teammates competing in the bobsled, the Olympians are the new “it” crowd.

Besides being fashion enthusiasts, some of our Style Gurus have Olympic-like passions of their own. From ice skating to dance to tennis to volleyball, our group of Style Gurus are all around talents. In honor of the Olympic Games, our Style Gurus are going for the gold and sharing with us their journey and experience as student athletes. These Style Gurus juggle the demanding schedules of school and athletics all while remaining stylish as ever. Be sure to check out all the featured articles today on the homepage.

What sport do you play? Why are you excited for the Olympics? Share with us on social media using the hashtag #collegefashionista!

Kicking off the feature is our very own ballerina/Style Guru, Gabrielle Piloto, from the University of Florida.

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“Dance is a sport which takes strength and effort, dance is an art which takes patience and grace, dance is a volume which can be loud or the quietest thing in the world, dancing is a way of living.”

Dancing is like breathing to me; I have to do it to live. I started dancing when I was two-years-old at Centerstage Dance Academy. It’s still my second home. In the beginning, I danced because it was fun and exciting. I mean what kid wouldn’t want to shake their hips to the Backstreet Boys and Michael Jackson?

At the age of nine, I joined my studio’s competition team, and it was around then that I knew dancing was more than just fun; it was my passion. I danced when I was happy or mad or depressed; dancing made me forget how I was feeling and let me escape. It helped me through my darkest times and helped me celebrate my most glorious moments.

Dancing takes an incredible amount of athletic ability. From the age of nine to 18, I trained in ballet, jazz, hip-hop and contemporary for about twenty hours a week. This also included many hours of pure strength and conditioning. Not to mention in high school I was on my school’s dance team in addition to dancing at my studio. Now I’m on UF’s Danza Dance Company, which is such a wonderful group of dancers that I am so grateful to be a part of.

While dancing is not always glamorous, we do get to be divas from a young age. I knew how to do winged eyeliner by the time I was 10 and I had already worn more rhinestones on my outfits than most people do in their lifetime. When I was younger, my dance outfits were always bright colors and full of sparkle.

I have to be in my own skin to dance to my best ability. Nowadays I usual wear my Nike Pro Combat shorts or my high-waisted shorts, a Champion sports bra (when I am not wearing my Danza one), a cut-off T-shirt, long socks, like the ones I am wearing from H&M, and sometimes cut-off sweatpants when I’m cold. They may not be the most fashionable clothes, but I make sure to spice up outfits during showtime. The rhinestones come out in full force.

I’m so excited for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics because I love seeing how the athletes are so passionate about their sports. All athletes, no matter what sport, have two things in common: we will work as hard as we can and our passion for the sport is like nothing else. My favorite event is definitely figure skating; it’s the closest to dance! Good luck to all the amazing athletes in Sochi. We are lucky to have you represent the USA.

A big thank you to Olivia Muenter for taking these stunning photos.

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