Former Joh’anna’s Jazz in Motion dancer lands role in famous movie remake
Former Joh’anna’s Jazz in Motion student Kristy Flores has studied dance around the country and can now be seen on the big screen as Rosie Martinez in the 2009 remake of “Fame,” now in theaters.
“Kristy was born in Bronx, New York, but has studied dancing across the east coast from my studio in Destrehan to the Lawrence Ballet Academy in Massachusetts to the Bronx Dance Theater,” said Joh’anna Walker-Hebert, owner and director. “Her mother put her in dancing at the age of two when she began learning ballet, jazz, tap and gymnastics.”
When Flores was six, her mother, Inez, lost her battle to breast cancer. One of her last wishes was for her daughter to continue dancing.
“Her mother always dreamed of Kristy becoming a dancer and a singer, and as she laid on her death bed, she kept telling me to please keep her daughter dancing,” said Walker-Hebert.
Over the next few years her father and dance teacher worked hard to keep Flores excelling in dance as she performed at competitions in Las Vegas, Walt-Disney World in Florida and in many parts of Texas and Louisiana.
“Kristy was an inspiration to other students as she pushed herself with dance,” added Walker-Hebert. “She loved to dance and has always wanted to dance on Broadway.”
At age 11, Flores and her father moved with her stepmother to New York where she could continue her career. Although out of state, Flores kept in close contact with fellow students in Louisiana and visited Walker-Hebert’s studio as much as possible.
“When Kristy was in high school, she helped form a dance crew called Synergy and even served as one of the choreographers,” said Walker-Hebert. “They performed all types of hip-hop styles from old school poppin’ and lockin’, waving, breakin’ to fresh street jazz. She also joined a local breakdancing group called The Spiders.”
Being exposed to many different types of dance helped Flores to discover just how much she loved it. By middle school, she began writing poetry and songs which led her to join a high school program called, “Vibe Theater Experience,” where she was able to get firsthand experience on what teenage girls from different boroughs throughout New York were interested in.
“They learned how to act, perform monologues, and write plays,” said Walker-Hebert.
“This also led her to attend another program called “Vibe Song Makers,” where she was able to write and record on an album with other talented teenage girls.”
Flores continued with the group until she joined the Bronx Dance Theatre, teaching at local schools.
“Our Kristy has come so far and we are proud of her,” said Walker-Hebert.
“She has lived a Cinderella dream, but she has worked hard and her determination has paid off.
“We all know that her mom is looking down on her and we all wish her the best of success.”