Dance: ‘It’s about the heart’


Abria Turner

This quote by Martha Graham is the driving factor of Dance Teacher Christina Hofstetter’s classroom: “Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.”

Hofstetter is no stranger to the community. Her mom started teaching physical education here in 1991 and later became her teacher when she attended the school. At the early age of five, Hofstetter went to many football games and learned about school spirit. After her mother retired, she got hired to teach dance and physical education.

“I’ve been dancing since I was two, and I was in diapers,” Hofstetter said. “And I just fell in love with dance as soon as my mom put me in there!” 

Imagine a two-year-old in a classroom full of slightly older kids! Hofstetter was the youngest in her class. But since that day, she has never stopped dancing.

Before receiving her degree in Kinesiology, she had attended many dance studios throughout Orange County. She also worked at Disneyland as a parade performer. There, she always was able to perform one of her favorite jazz moves: the box step. But despite her enthusiasm, Hofstetter did not want to be a professional dancer.

“I wanted to be with family. And to be a performer, you have to work during the holidays and in the summer. And I remember being on stage one time performing in college, and my family was camping. And all I could think about was camping!”

Hofstetter demonstrates her passion for family and dance through teaching and supporting her students. 

“A few weeks ago, some of my beliefs clashed with the style of dance we were being taught,” sophomore Ava Stebbins said. “When I explained the situation to her, she was kind and very understanding about what I had to say. She didn’t make me feel uncomfortable about sharing personal feelings with her. I think she handled the situation very gracefully, and I appreciate her being so understanding about the whole thing.”

Stebbins started taking dance at the beginning of this school year. So, being in a new environment was already a challenge in itself. But Hofstetter’s personality played an important role in her success.

“Mrs. Hostetter is a really energetic and exciting teacher,” Stebbins said. “Even when she’s playing classical music, it’s always something fun and interesting. She makes learning about dance and the techniques really easy for beginners, like myself.”

Ayala Dance Production (ADP) was a new addition to the dance program when Hofstetter began. Now this dance company has become something many people look forward to joining in high school.

Junior Delaney Hovey had two sisters who were both a part of ADP. They influenced her to join during her freshman year of high school. And today, she is still a dedicated member. 

“She inspires me to work harder, be a better person, and she gives us advice when we need it,” Hovey said. “She’s been in our position before and it inspires me how she can build this trust with all these teenagers and become a role model to all these people.”

What makes Hofstetter a great instructor is not just her level of technique. Hofstetter is passionate about dance, her students, family, and friends. Dance is the language she chooses to express her gratitude and authenticity.

“Dance is done with passion,” Hofstetter said. “It’s not the technique that matters. It’s about the heart.”