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A few minutes with Raiderette Leah Gonzalez

March 30, 2005

"A few minutes with" is a lighter look at a student who has recently been in the news.

Photo of Leah GonzalezMeet 22-year-old Leah Gonzalez, a junior majoring in dance. This former Rookie of the Year for the Oakland Raiderettes hopes to graduate next spring and come back to the Raiders for her third season. Teaching dance classes, attending acting auditions and training to be a trapeze artist for Cirque du Soleil keep this Bay Area native active, healthy and happy.

Who are your heroes?
One, (laughs) it kind of sounds cheesy, but, my mom. I just really admire her because she's very supportive. And she really encourages me to go for what I want to do and to pursue my goals. And who would have thought that I would have wanted to join the circus! You know what I mean? (laughs) She really backs me up 100 percent and the same with my brother. He's a magician. She has kids that decided to pick some weird professions, and she's supportive of that.

What was your first job?
Teaching gymnastics at a little dance studio in Pinole. But my first "job" job was at In & Out in Pinole. With the big ol' diaper pins [in the hat]! I like the food better now that I don't have to eat it as often. Most of my jobs have been either teaching gymnastics or dance.

What are your long-term goals?
Hopefully in a year, I'm going to get my resume, videos and everything ready to take to Cirque du Soleil. It's very competitive. You have to stand out to them -- there has to be something to draw you to them.

What is your favorite off-campus hangout?
I love watching movies. I'll probably either be at the movie theater, or at my boyfriend's watching a movie. Relaxing, just, you know, letting my body rest.

Other hobbies?
Recently, I started knitting. So I'm learning how to do that right now, making scarves! It's kind of like a stress-reliever.

What is the most important issue facing college students today?
I think a lot of college students don't get enough sleep. … You're studying so much and reading so much and doing homework that you end up staying up really late.

If you could change one thing about SFSU, what would it be?
Free parking. Or a pass that you could buy for a semester, then you won't have to have money every day to pay for parking.

Do you have a favorite quote?
"Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion," by Martha Graham. It can apply to anything.

What is guaranteed to bring a smile to your day?
Pretty much anything will make me smile or laugh. It's funny because when I was in high school or cheering with the Raiders, if I'd come in and I'm not smiling they'd say, "What's wrong?"

-- Student Writer Lisa Rau with Matt Itelson
Photo: Olan Mills


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Last modified March 30, 2005 by University Communications