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Stories from Soundings: For the Love of Dance

David Aranjo '17 dancing in Mamma Mia!
David Aranjo ’17 makes blending career and passion look easy. (Photo used with permission from Paul Lyden)

"I have a practical side to me, but I also have a side that loves to dream," says David Aranjo ’17 whose Instagram bio defines him as “Professional Dancer and Registered Nurse.” “I feel like I’m covering both of those sides with these two careers,” he says. With a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a dance minor, and registered nurse licensure, we have to agree with that statement.

We spoke with Aranjo about his most recent accomplishments in dance, including his role in the North Shore Music Theatre’s production of Mamma Mia!, his latest adventure, and what’s next for his career. Here’s what he has to say.

David Aranjo '17 back bendQ. What does a day in the life of David Aranjo look like? Paint us a picture.

A. Right now, I have picked up and moved to Sydney, Australia to follow my heart. I was just signed by a talent agency in Sydney. I feel like I never live the same day twice. I wake up in the morning and go through a list of things I need to accomplish, whether it’s an audition, working on some self-marketing strategies for my performance career, or taking a class. I remain open to the universe that I’m doing what I should be doing, and I live in the moment. The world is sitting there telling you what to do. You just have to be observant and open and take by storm whatever life throws at you.

Q. How does one have such a varied and unique resume?

A. I’ve always been open to going after what I love to do. Don’t get me wrong, going through nursing school and dancing full-time had its stresses, but when it’s something you love to do, it doesn’t feel like stress.

Q. Can you describe how you’ve covered so much ground in such varied industries—and so quickly?

A. It all comes down to working hard and being a good human. While in school, I did an entire course load, went to clinical, and after an eight- to 12-hour day of clinical or lecture, I’d go to my technique and performance classes at the visual and performing arts center. I put in a lot of work to be able to do what I’m doing…and I’m just getting started. I think I’m covering so much ground because I’m committing to my decisions.

Q. What are some of the challenges with blending two distinctly different careers?

A. I’ve trained and worked in the medical field part-time, but my focus right now is mainly on my performance career and that’s the biggest challenge—that there really isn’t a blend right now. What feels important to me is knowing that I have such an amazing nursing education that I can use in the future and this amazing dance and performance education that is proving to be successful and providing me with different jobs and experiences that I never dreamed would happen to me.

Q. What’s your best advice for someone starting their career or education in dance or nursing?

A. The best advice I can give anyone is to always be a good person. It’s just so important to be kind and caring and know how to laugh and work hard and always put your best foot forward.

Q. What’s next for you—your end game?

A. The truth is, I have no idea what comes next. All I know is where I’m at in this very moment, and that’s the only thing I can be certain of. I’m in Sydney, I’m with someone I love, I’m doing what I love, and I’m living and learning.

This article is featured in the Winter 2019 edition of Soundings, the Endicott College magazine that highlights happenings in our community such as academic program enhancements, alumni spotlights, student successes, campus news, sports highlights, faculty accolades, and community successes.