Although she could easily have been satisfied being the center of attention, Danielle Leon Guerrero chose to forego the spotlight that comes with dancing on the stage. Her earnest maturity has driven her to seek new challenges as an instructor/choreographer, all while appreciating a simple yet contemplative life on the island.
Words by Matthew Arcilla | Photography by Xander Angeles
Styling by Patrick Galang | Hair and Makeup by Qua Mua
I heard dance is a passion of yours. When and how did you get your start in dance?
My parents let me try dance classes with the SKIP Entertainment Company when I was nine. I began touring when I was twelve and had the privilege to travel the world to participate in competitions with kids all over the world. After my junior year in high school, I trained with Bodyarts Dance Company who has become my dance family since. I was able to travel with them during my senior year as well and soon after came back to dance for the SandCastle in Saipan. I trained in various styles throughout my dance history.
You’re also a dance teacher now. Tell us what that’s like, transitioning from performing to teaching young people the moves.
Teaching dance is completely different … and it has become my new love in this art as I now get to take my vision and allow it to be seen through other people in the art of their bodies and movements. It’s an amazing feeling to see your vision come to life. Choreographing gives me the freedom to express myself by capturing a feeling or moment through a piece I create. I was honored when Bodyarts took my pieces to their competition in Vegas and won awards with them.
What is it you love most about dance?
I love that it’s subjective like any art form and it can be interpreted through each person differently allowing the audience to feel whatever way the piece relates to them best. It’s amazing to hear the stories people can come up with on how the dance affected them.
What is it like growing up on Guam?
During my childhood, I loved being able to walk to the beach from my house and play in the ocean all day. Guam has always been home; ever-changing, yet always the same. The next couple years will see changes with the military infrastructure and it’s important that we hold onto our traditions while welcoming new challenges. I pray Guam will keep its beauty with our land, traditions, and people intact so future generations can enjoy it the same way I did growing up here.
You placed second runner up in Miss Guam Universe ’08, and won Miss Photogenic. What was it like competing for that title?
I learned mostly about myself and who I am. I realized I have a great support system to always guide me and it was after the pageant life that I found I am happy living a simple life. I loved being able to go to Japan and I made great friendships along the way. Iwas proud to represent our island and will always be promoting our island because Guam has so much to offer and Guam will always be home to me.
I hear you are an outdoor girl. What about the beach itself? Are you a mermaid or a landlubber who has yet to find her sea legs?
I love hiking and soaking in the sun when I can. I feel very blessed to have grown up where I can see the beach every day and watch the sunrise and sunset. I’m usually the first one in and last one out of the beach with my friends. When I go paddleboarding in Tumon, it’s a very peaceful and spiritual experience. It’s amazing to see all the colors of the sunset and realize how immense and beautiful the world is in that moment and to feel so alive. It’s very intimate and humbling to ponder on life, love, and the many blessings God has given me.
What other plans do you have for the future?
I’m currently working on my Bachelor’s degree in English literature and I hope to continue on to a Master’s. I definitely find love in traveling and want to help in missions trips or apply for the Peace Corps. There are many things I want to do while I’m young and I want to take advantage of the opportunities that come. I like to live life as it comes and take things day by day, so whatever the future brings, I’m open to it.