Many of us make friends by choice when we find ourselves pursuing similar interests. We meet other animal lovers at dog parks, or we meet artistic individuals at galleries or workshops, and the bond of a common interest is automatically in place.
For many people this bond is friendly and the hobby that you both pursue is the foundation that starts you off. But some people take their pursuits very seriously, and their interests are better referred to as passions than mere hobbies.
Anyone who has seriously competed in anything knows the drive to push yourself, to present the best version of your work that you can, and all while dealing with the pressure and stress of pitting your craft against other people’s.
It’s invigorating, but it can be hard, which makes having an ally with the same passion even more beneficial. For Shane and Shannon Jensen, that bond resulted in marriage and pursuing their love for competitive dance together. Their story is detailed on their joint Facebook page.
When Shane was just 6 years old, he started training (and competing) in gymnastics. That interest moved into dance, and specifically ballroom dance, as he entered his teens.
It was more than just an after-school activity for Shane: He was recognized as a National Amateur Cabaret Vice Champion and a National Amateur Youth Latin finalist.
He continued dancing at Brigham Young University where he majored in Spanish and minored in dance.
Another dance fanatic attended BYU at the same time. Shannon had a similar childhood, also starting ballroom dance at the same age Shane did, and landing the National Amateur Cabaret Vice Champion title and others while she was still a teenager.
“While completing their education they were part of the 2010 winning Blackpool Amateur Latin Formation team and had the opportunity to perform and compete all over the world including Scotland, England, Thailand, and Vietnam,” their page reads.
“Having turned professional in fall of 2012 they moved to Stamford, Connecticut and later to Bonita Springs Florida to pursue their career teaching, competing and performing. Since that time they have enjoyed great success.”
You may have spotted them on “America’s Got Talent,” NBC’s “Today Show,” or other recorded performances. Once you watch this video, you’ll see why they’ve become so popular.
All those years of training have certainly paid off. The couple moves with such grace, and they clearly have so much trust in each other.
Shane’s gymnastics background certainly comes into play here, as the couple displays quite a few impressive acrobatic maneuvers. So many aerials and balancing acts, in fact, that many viewers groused that what they were doing wasn’t dancing at all, but was actually gymnastics or ice skating (sans skates, obviously).
At the level of recognition and technical skill these two have achieved, though, I think it’s safe to let them define what “dancing” means. No matter what you would call their routine, it’s impressive!
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