Leslie Grace Talks Selena Quintanilla, Dancing Merengue & More in 'Growing Up Latino': Watch
In this week’s episode of “Growing Up Latino,” Leslie Grace discusses her experience growing up Dominican American, including childhood dance lessons from her parents and her appreciation for Selena Quintanilla.
Asked to recall an unforgettable childhood memory, Grace highlights her parents teaching her how to dance. “My parents are big dancers,” she tells Billboard. “There was always music in the house. They taught me how to dance merengue…salsa, even a little bit of cha-cha from a very young age.”
The “Duro y Suave” singer opens up about the moment that she first saw herself as a Latina, as well, explaining that it was when she moved to New York from Florida. “I was two weeks late going into school because school started earlier here, and I got there with my big curly hair,” she says.
There weren’t many Latinos in the area, and she was the only one in her class. “I looked completely different from them,” she says, adding that a classmate asked her where she was from and when she said Florida, he was confused. “I think that was the first time that I realized, oh, being Latina is different,” she reveals.
Grace also chats about the historical figure that she considers to be the most important, naming Selena Quintanilla. “I identify with her a lot,” she says, “Just because she was the prototype of what it is to be Latina Americana.”
You can watch the full video above to hear much more from Leslie Grace, including what her favorite home-cooked meal was and what her household cure was growing up.