Mariel began her dance training at the age of 8 in classical ballet and has continued in this art form ever since. Throughout the last 15 years of her training she has ventured into other styles of dance to expand her versatility and shape herself as an artist. A significant transition point for Mariel was recovering from a serious injury that interrupted her ballet training. Instead of letting the injury hold her back, Mariel took the opportunity to learn salsa in her hometown, North Augusta, SC. Eventually as she regained her strength and returned to her ballet training, Mariel began to teach Latin and ballroom social dance for the next several years.
Her favorite aspect of teaching is working with different people from all backgrounds that share a passion for dance. Teaching has become one of her most fulfilling experiences during her dance career, as she has seen dance inspire and heal relationships between people.
Mariel earned her BA in Dance Performance from the University of South Carolina. While at USC, Mariel had the privilege to perform works by George Balanchine, Tanya Wideman-Davis, Thaddeus Davis, Amanda Miller, and others. She has attended programs at LINES Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Carolina Ballet Theater, and the American Dance Festival. Upon graduation she moved to Chicago to pursue a performing career in concert dance.
When her life isn’t consumed with dance, Mariel enjoys planning trips to see new parts of the world, reading about other cultures and travels, backpacking, and keeping in touch with her friends and family back in South Carolina.