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photograph by John Rae

In the groove
"I found a passion I never knew existed."

NAME: Ricardo E. Martinez-Guzman, E02

MAJOR: Mechanical Engineering

HOMETOWN: Westboro, Massachusetts

WHAT'S NEW: Last year was a member of a dance crew that won the national hip-hop championship in Los Angeles. Now choreographing the launch tour of a boy band in Taiwan.

INSPIRATION: An audition for Spirit of Color dance group, done only on the urging of a friend. “I found a passion I never knew existed.”

TOUGH CALL: After graduation, was awarded an internship at the Broadway Dance Center in New York, on nearly the same day he was offered a chance to work as a mechanical systems consulting engineer. For six months he balanced dance training with a day job, “but the internship was like a litmus test for my commitment to dance.”

LEAP OF FAITH: Quit his job to juggle waiting on tables with dance auditions. His parents took the news well. “They said, ‘If that’s your dream, go for it.’ My father was a world-class fencer and he knew what it meant to give something your all.”

INCREDIBLE BUT TRUE: A conversation in a Los Angeles pub led to being invited to join a new hip-hop dance crew. After only five rehearsals, they would beat out more-experienced groups at the national hip-hop championships to win the gold.

WHAT I LEARNED AT TUFTS: “When someone asks you ‘What did you learnat Tufts?’ the answer is how to learn, how to do. I wouldn’t be here today if not for Tufts and the discipline I learned there in engineering.”