Year in school: Junior.
Where from: Las Vegas (attended Silverado High)
Major/occupational goals: Ferdinand’s major is in special education, but she also has a minor in counseling. “I hope to someday work with children who have brain disabilities,” she says. “Then maybe get more into occupational therapy and work with people who have been in car accidents, or have brain injuries that have lost their motor skills.”
Why she chose UNLV: Ferdinand is very close with her family, so staying home was a no-brainer: “I knew college was going to be such a different experience and I just wasn’t ready to leave home yet.”
How she got into dancing: She started dancing when she was 3, starting with basic classes, before becoming involved with Dancin’ Rebel (now known as Rebel Starz) five years later. “When I was 8, I decided I wanted to be a Rebel Girl,” says Ferdinand, who during high school performed for both her studio, Backstage Dance Studio, and Silverado High dance teams.
Outside interests: When she’s not practicing with the Rebel Girls or teaching dance classes to children, Ferdinand can usually be found hanging out around her family. She does take a little time to hit some walking trails at Mount Charleston and Red Rock.
Favorite Rebel: Anthony Marshall.
Favorite moment during a UNLV sporting event: During her freshman year against Louisville, Ferdinand found herself performing for the first time. Not a bad day to make her debut at the Thomas & Mack either, considering the Rebels went on to upset 16th-ranked Louisville, 76-71. “The crowd was insane, there was so many people there. We ended up winning and the crowd rushed the court, I had so much adrenaline. Everything was just so intense. The energy was unreal.”
Favorite song to dance to: “Good Feeling” by Flo Rida.
Best way to get the crowd going: “When the team is not doing that great, we like to go out and play some good pump-up music and just get everyone on their feet and try to help bring up the energy.”
Bet you didn’t know this: “I’m a world champion tap dancer,” Ferdinand says with a laugh. When she was 10, Ferdinand traveled with 20 others U.S. dancers to Riesa, Germany for the World Tap Dance Championship—where the American squad picked up a pair of gold medals. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I kind of wished I would have been a little older though because I might have appreciated and understood some of the things I saw a little more. But I’m so thankful I got to do it.”