The University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point is host to
many great alumni, among them Martin Ortiz Tapia. Ortiz Tapia, a former triple
major in Dance, Spanish, and Music during his tenure at Stevens Point, returned
to his college town on Feb. 27 and performed as a dancer at Sentry Insurance
with Giordano Dance Chicago, a renowned dance company.
Ortiz Tapia has excelled professionally in the dance
world, even going so far as to be called the “Swiss Army Knife of Chicago
Dancers” by Dance Magazine. He is described in nearly every article about him
as an extremely hard worker. In a field where hard work is part of the
territory, this is a great compliment.
“I have been always a very determinated person where
persistence plays a very important part in my life. I guess I get that from my
family,” Ortiz Tapia said.
Ortiz Tapia, who moved to Wisconsin with his family
when he was 14 years old, had a long way to go in order to get where he is.
Unlike many dancers, he did not even start dancing until college, where he
picked it up naturally through UWSP’s dance program.
“This is where I started dancing! The faculty has
always been wonderful,” Ortiza Tapia said.
His schooling here helped give him the tools to
succeed, and he recognizes this, saying “...I’m dancing in an amazing Dance
Company thanks to [UWSP’s] schooling.”
Ortiz Tapia is a family man at heart and is incredibly
thankful to his own for all the help they had given him.
“They always have been there for me, and I consider
myself a very lucky guy with a family that is everything to me,” Ortiz Tapia
His biological family isn’t the only one that is
important to him. His dance company is a family as well.
“The company is just a beautiful family of dancers,”
Ortiz Tapia said. “I am so proud to be part of this family.”
Ortiz Tapia isn’t just a great professional dancer. He
is also a great dance teacher to underprivileged youth in Chicago through
Giordano Dance Chicago.
“I teach first, second and seventh grade science and
health with dance education. I truly enjoy this part of my job as well because
I know how valuable education really is,” Ortiz Tapia said. “Dance is not only
a beautiful art. It can also be described as exercise, therapy and definitely a
way of life because it helps you build great discipline with hard working
skills that most definitely can be used towards a healthier and happier life.”
Elizabeth Smith, a music major at UWSP, enjoys seeing
the success Ortiz Tapia has gotten in his field of study.
“It reminds me why I’m here at this great school and
why I do what I do,” Smith said. “Getting the chance to see what can be
achieved is encouraging and inspiring.”
Ortiz Tapia is surely an inspiration for all aspiring
artists at UWSP and an encouragement to keep doing what they love.