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3 MORE Questions With Shani!

The Secret Life of Scientists and EngineersThe Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers

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10 questions just weren’t enough for Shani Daily. So she’s actually back to answer three MORE questions. We heart Shani!

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She’s a natural!

How did you choose dance?

I didn’t. I think dance chose me. I was a gymnast for many years, but a combination of fussy knees and a slight bit of fear of vaulting ended that career early. The day I left my gym, my mom took me to a dance studio that a friend of mine attended. Afraid that I’d be put into “baby” classes, I didn’t mention that I had never taken a dance class. As a result, in my first year of dance, I was in pointe, advanced jazz, advanced tap, and acrobatics. I had to use my peripheral vision to watch everybody else so I could pretend I knew what I was doing. Luckily, there is some overlap between dance and gymnastics; although dancers who have danced all their lives can always tell I was a gymnast.

Have you ever combined dance and engineering?

Yes. I worked on a project my first year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology called Roballet . This was a great experience where the kids programmed lights, music, and animations that were controlled through sensors attached to their bodies. Currently, my company, g8four , just launched a learning boutique called Techniq . We’re going to be conducting workshops for students to learn through the arts and technology. In one workshop, called Algorhythms, students spend part of the day learning swing dance or hip hop, and the other half of the day using computers to program 3D dance partners.

Are there other secrets you wish you had?

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La Dame de Fer

While I love dancing with all my heart there are few things that I consider equally as fantastic.

1 Movie, cartoon, or commercial voice over. Just imagine me saying, “Moms who love kids have kids with good Techniq.” Awesome, right?

2 Movie stunt double. I think it would be amazing to be able to be somebody’s stunt double. I say stunt double rather than actress who performs her own stunts, because I don’t imagine I would ever be chosen for a role.

3 Former Olympian. For a long time, I thought I could be the next Betty Okino . Unfortunately, gymnasts can’t be Olympians if they won’t vault. Who knew?