Jasmin La Caris - "I want to be like that!"

At 8 years old Jasmin recalls watching Rocío Durcal sing on PBS with her family. She would kick her dress around and lift her arms above her head. she was mesmerized. She told her mother "I want to be like that!" and within weeks she was learning how to dance Flamenco. She continued studying and eventually discovered modern dance. Her parents were supportive and would take her to different parts of California for workshops and special classes. Upon graduating college with a degree in dance. She  found it frustrating that Fresno's professional dance scene was limited. As she began looking for work as a dancer and as a teacher she noticed that most of the schools in Fresno catered to young children. She also noticed that there were few shows by Fresno choreographers and Fresno-based companies.

She them came to a crossroads she realized that she had a choice. She could leave Fresno and make her life in a place with a professional dance scene like San Francisco or she could stay and help create one here. With the support of her family, Jasmin opened the Carís School of Dance and began offering classes to serious students ages 12 and up. She also started her own dance company and gave Fresno choreographers the chance to create new work with professional dancers. Her first production was in February of 2012 and she had four sold-out shows! Since then, she has relocated her studio downtown. In December 2012 , Jasmin invited Manuel Gutierrez from France to perform and the show sold-out a week before the event. She's encouraged by the support Fresno is showing for independent, professional dance. It truly is the only art form where humans use their actual bodies as the art. More than that, she is proud to offer a home for people like her who want and need dance in their lives and who want to make Fresno rise even higher!