Science teacher by day, salsa dancer by night! In an Imaginary Magazine exclusive, we’ve caught up with Jessica , a Bay Area native who struggles to write profile essays that are neither smart-alecky nor dull.
IM: So you’re back on JDate… What brings you here?
JDE: I’m in a good place where I’ve achieved most of what I want in my life. Now I’m hoping to find the right partner to share it with and move forward into new adventures.
IM: It says here that you’re an elementary science teacher. How did you get into that?
JDE: I’d been teaching Spanish bilingual 4th and 3rd grade classes for a number of years. My school got a grant to add a science position and I immediately applied. I love opening windows for students into how the world works.
IM: And you’re also a salsa dancer. Do your students know that about you?
JDE: Well, they’ve never seen me perform in that red dress! But yes, I mention it, and I’ve even taught them some of the basic steps for rainy-day PE.
IM: What do you like about dancing?
JDE: I love the dynamic balance of it. You learn the fundamental pieces and then embellish and extend them. There’s a language of salsa, and when I’m dancing with a good partner it feels like one of those great, unexpected conversations with someone new.
IM: It looks like you’ve got pretty broad tastes. What else are you passionate about?
JDE: I love sports and performing arts. Even though I’m an adopted Oaklander now—just bought my first home here—I’m a lifelong Giants fan. I play softball and soccer, and try to see as many Earthquakes games as possible. My best friend and I attend the opera, something we've always wished we knew more about. I’m also a regular at CalShakes and other local theatres. Last year, I started learning how to snowboard and I’m really looking forward to heading back up to the mountains this winter.
IM: We’re almost out of time. Before we finish, can you describe your Jewish life?
JDE: Sure. I teach Hebrew school at my synagogue, where I also read Torah and Haftarah frequently. I’m a leader with a local independent minyan alongside many of my good friends. I’m always interested in learning and getting involved, though I’ve never been rigidly observant. For me, Jewish practice and beliefs are a way of connecting with others and a reminder to lead a thoughtful, meaningful life.
IM: In closing, tell us one outrageous fact people might not know about you.
JDE: Oh boy, so many… How’s this: I was bitten by an owl when I was twelve!