INSTRUCTOR SPOTLIGHT: JALINA PORTER
DC, are y'all ready to meet Jalina? This political junkie is also an all-out ((305)) junkie and is bringin’ the SWAG and the SWEAT to your next class.
Jalina is a get-sh*t-done stunner. She's got one of those resumes that probably should be two pages, but it’s one page (and nicely formatted) because #duh she’s on top of her sh*t. We’re crazy impressed by Jalina and her no-nonsense, laser-focused approach.
Yet, while Jalina knows how to push herself (and push you in class!), her true nature is sweet-tempered, empathetic, and kind. Her warm laughter is contagious. Jalina loves hugs and home cooking. From Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Jalina’s downright neighborly approach will make you feel like you’re with family while you’re in class.
We caught up with Jalina over a plate of red beans and rice and cornbread. Read up on this Southern gal below.
Welcome to the ((305)) fam, Jalina! So, where ya from?
I am originally from the beautiful and ever-resurgent “Boot” of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After Hurricane Andrew that my family relocated to California. I spent my formative years in the Bay Area.
How'd you end up in D.C.?
I first landed in D.C. to attend Howard University. After graduation, I worked as Peace Corps volunteer teaching English in rural Southeast Asia. I moved back the Bay Area and made my way back to D.C. four years ago.
Dayum, girl! You’ve been errrywhere. Has dance always been a part of your life?
Growing up, I was a competitive athlete in soccer and track and field. But I always loved to dance. In college, I led my sorority’s step team as Stepmaster. I've danced professionally for the National Lacrosse League, National Football League, and National Basketball Association.
Alright. So you're a legit #Ladyboss. What's your 9-to-5 like?
I’m the Press Secretary for a national security and foreign policy based think tank. When I’m not dancing or engaging with policy wonks and the press, I love taking time to travel.
Speaking of family, what’s yours like?
My family is actually very ((305)). They are the go-to folks for get-togethers, fun-loving, humble, hospitable, free spirited, outgoing, hardworking, caring, and definitely know how to get the party started (anyone who’s been to a party or wedding with us can tell you that we all get down on the dance floor). They taught me it is in giving that we truly receive. I feel very fortunate to give a piece of myself that I love very much to the ((305)) community.
What do you love most about dancing?
Dance is expression, art, and joy, and to me, it’s also deeply personal. There is nothing more liberating and inspiring than being able to share your dexterity, movement, and a piece of your soul with someone else.
What advice would you give to someone who's new to ((305))?
Come ready to party! Think: sweat and squats with a smile. I'm new here, too. We'll have fun together!
READY FOR JALINA?!
Jalina’s interview was edited for clarity.