VIDEO: State Rep. Rene Plasencia Prepares To Dance At 4th Annual ‘Dancing for the Space Coast’ On June 2
By Space Coast Daily // May 27, 2018
Florida State District 50 Representative
ABOVE VIDEO: “Coach P” Plasencia is fine-tuning his final dance routine for the 2018 “Dancing for the Space Coast,” Brevard County’s biggest charity event set for Saturday, June 2 at Florida Tech’s Clemente Center.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – With less than a week remaining, dancers in the 2018 “Dancing for the Space Coast” are fine-tuning their final dance routines ahead Brevard County’s biggest charity event set for June 2 at Florida Tech’s Clemente Center.
With a sold-out crowd ready to pack inside the Clemente Center, one of the dancers in this year’s event is state representative “Coach P” Plasencia.
Plasencia was born and raised in Orlando, the son of a Cuban born father and Puerto Rican mother.
Growing up he was always reminded by his father the gift of living in a free and democratic country.
His mother taught him the value of perseverance, never allowing him to quit anything he started. His parents taught him the virtues of integrity, hard work and dedication.
Plasencia graduated from Dr. Phillips High School where his strong work ethic and dedication earned him a track and field scholarship to UCF. While at UCF, he started their first student-athlete advisory board and served as president its first two years. He earned several athletic honors and still holds the indoor mile record.
For the last 14 years, he has dedicated himself to teaching and coaching at Colonial High School. As a coach for the track and cross country programs, he has created a culture of winning and success where there once was none.
It is through his devotion and faith in his athletes that he was able to accomplish what no other coach in Colonial’s 53-year history could. In 2011, he led his boys Cross Country Team at Colonial High School to its first-ever state title, at the same time winning Colonial’s first state title in any sport.
In 2014, incumbent State Representative Joe Saunders, a Democrat, ran for re-election in the 49th District, so Plasencia ran against him. He faced Ed Rodriguez, a retired police detective, in the Republican primary.
Plasencia campaigned on his opposition to the Common Core Standards and standardized tests, saying, “We need to give teachers the ability to teach. A lot of what we do is almost clerical work.” He ended up defeating Rodriguez in a landslide, winning the primary with 77% of the vote and advancing to the general election, where he faced Saunders.
Plasencia defeated Saunders and winning his first term in the legislature with 51-percent of the vote.
With a reelection on the horizon for this year, Plasencia received a solid endorsement from a group of prominent elected officials from Brevard County and City of Titusville, including Sheriff Wayne Ivey.
Plasencia’s Instructor: Hannah Pickard
Hannah Pickard has been a ballroom teacher and professional competitor since 2012. and made the move to Orlando in 2014 to focus on her career in dance.
With her new home at Dance It Studio, Pickard also teaches at workshops & schools around Orlando. She holds DVIDA certifications in both Smooth & Rhythm and is a member of the National Dance Council of America.
She also holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Electronic Media Communication with a concentration in Television Production.
Before entering into the ballroom dance world, Pickard danced primarily ballet, tap, and jazz. Modern dance has also been a huge influence in Hannah’s dance career with her minor in dance from Middle Tennessee State University.
Another one of her passions has been dance photography and video, and she has been able to collaborate with Dance Theatre of Tennessee, Core Project Chicago, Shelter Repertory Theater and Heritage Dance Project for many amazing mergers of the arts.
Pickard has danced professionally in Smooth and Cabaret categories. She has had the pleasure of working with many world-class coaches including Michael Chapman, David Elkin, Tommy DiTommasso, Eric Luna and Georgia Ambarian, Nick Kosovich, Gary Pierce, Wendy Johnson, Eugene Katsevman, Felipe Telona, and many others have greatly influenced her movement and teaching style.
“I look forward to continuing my dance career. I hope to challenge myself and take pieces
of everyone I coach with, collaborate with, and train with. I am a teacher, but I learn the best life lessons from my students.So many blessings have come to me through being a part of this, a large family I feel connected with in the name of art.”
Last year, more than 700 attendees gathered at Florida Tech’s Clemente Center for the third annual Dancing for the Space Coast. Over $250,000 was raised for local nonprofit organizations.
ABOVE MAP: Florida Tech’s Clemente Center is located at 3011 Panther Place, Melbourne, FL 32901.
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