Michelle Marrero’s fire dancing lights up her motivation to continue practicing her passion

Balancing work and play is FIU undergraduate student Michelle Marrero’s forte. By day she pursues a double major in biology and environmental science with a minor in chemistry. By night, she mingles with a deadly dance partner.

Marrero, 21, first discovered fire dancing in 2019 when a friend introduced her to the art. It took her a bit of time to get over the fear that came with it, she says, but since then, she has begun to practice more frequently. She’s even performed publicly, including at El Toro Loco Churrascaria.

“Fire dancing makes me feel understood,” she says, “understood by something beyond myself.”

Marrero’s studies have focused on the indirect effects of climate change on indigenous communities in developing countries. She recently presented her research at FIU’s Tropical Conservation Internship Symposium and is due to graduate in Spring 2022.

Samantha Morell loves to write, draw, take pictures, dance and travel. These are interests she aims to incorporate in her career and lifestyle. She is studying journalism and philosophy at FIU because she believes both subjects make her receptive to new information, as she hopes to always be learning.