“The Counseling Department at SMC has helped me incredibly and, overall, I couldn’t be more happy. I always want to be in school! Maybe even as a teacher.”
Andrey Priadkin, formerly of Russia and now a US citizen, is a very big guy. That is to say that if you’re his dance partner, you can trust him to perform all those dangerous lifts—and do so effortlessly. “I have to say that Laura Canellias is a fantastic dance teacher, and I have her for both Salsa and Ballroom. She’s got years of experience, but she’s also a very likeable and open person.”
The study of dance is relatively new to Andrey as he transitions from a business career. “For over 10 years, I ran a commercial relocation company, and was actually a leader in the industry for a few years. I did very well indeed,” he says in impeccable English. “But the work was very stressful, so I’ve stepped away from it, and now I’m moving into much more creative worlds. And that’s why I chose to come to SMC. Because they have amazing Art and Dance departments, and the professors you find here are just uniformly excellent,” Andrey says, “I love being in a classroom, and through what I’m learning in Dance and in Choreography, I even hope to have my own company and then teach.” And though he loves the interactions on the dance floor, he’s also making use of another outstanding resource at SMC.
“Yeah, I’m actually taking three online classes in English, because I’m working towards the transfer to UCLA. They’re hard because nobody is there to push you. But,” adds Andrey, “they all are great, and I’m doing very well. And I simply feel this is my time to explore what my real passions are, and to become a more fully realized person.”
Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.