Guilty pleasure: Tacos

Favorite expression: C’est la vie!

Southern California girl Crissy Rangel has been shaped tremendously by the three So. Cal counties she has called home. 

Born in LA County, working in Orange County and living in Riverside County, Crissy considers herself a product of all three areas. Crissy likes to stay involved with her local community through organizations like the OC chapter of Young Catholic Professionals, of which she is a proud member. 

Her greatest influences in life and dance are her mom and dad. Mom, a native of Mexico City whose thirst for knowledge and discovering new things makes life full of flavor. Her dad, an American of Mexican descent and classic California guy, is also described as a “John Belushi-esque man.” They both love music and dance such that many describe them as a treat to watch.

While growing up (and until this day), Crissy’s house has never been quiet. From Irish music to Astrud Gilberto, 90’s House, Glenn Miller, merengue, Steely Dan, tango, Bossa Nova, Tchaikovsky, blues, jazz, Sinatra, salsa and Middle Eastern sounds, eclectic music has always spilled out from her walls.

While she didn’t have formal dance training growing up, Crissy was exposed to less formal kinds of dance throughout her life, recounting, “My brother and I took dance lessons at the best studio… our kitchen. We were totally home grown.”  After years of home training in her kitchen, Crissy eventually found her way into a dance studio, and signed up for classes at ATOMIC to learn from the pro’s. She’s now a regular and social dancing at the ballroom about twice a week.

She hopes to one day to be able to combine what she has learned at home from family (the love for dance), as well as what she has learned from her dance teachers – (their sharp technique). Crissy’s dance training began by taking salsa along with West Coast swing over the past year and a half. She still considers herself new to the scene, so especially appreciates the veteran dancers who she finds to be very welcoming and thus make ATOMIC what it is. She elaborates, “I really love the people! It’s great to dance with others that want to push themselves, be creative, practice, mess up, laugh, and do it all over again.”

On how dance contributes to her goals, both professionally and personally, Crissy says, “I want to be the best that I can be, and well, life and work can be full of daunting obstacles. Dance is a great de-stressor that keeps me balanced. It also challenges me to keep learning and constantly adapt; which are both great habits to posses in ones life and work.” Speaking of obstacles, Crissy points out that dancers are said to get injured more than football players. Knowing this, she takes great care to minimize injuries, while advising others to take care of themselves on the dance floor and in their normal day to day activities, also emphasizing the importance of stretching.             

Crissy believes that there are two kinds of dancers: the crazies, and the ones that want to go dancing. She explains, “If you love to dance, no matter the obstacle, you are crazy. You just go, against all odds. If you don’t love dance you will always find a valid excuse not to go such as feeling tired, always being busy, your age, etc… In two years you will meet another dancer and say you want to go. Save yourself the two years, just go.”

Being such an enthusiastic person, Crissy encourages others to give dance at ATOMIC a try, explaining, “The first night is not about getting on the dance floor. It’s about making friends. So get out of your comfort zone, introduce yourself, find people you can talk to and laugh with, and take the classes.”

Dance means a lot to Crissy, and has impacted her life tremendously. Crissy passionately explains, “Dance is a form of theater to me, and I love theater! It’s a chance to hear a beautiful song and through collaborating with someone else, movement, and connection, express synergetic journey. It makes me thankful to God for my life and these priceless windows into the transcendental.” She ends with an impassioned quote by St Thomas Aquinas : “The world, and man, attest that they contain within themselves neither their first principle nor their final end, but rather that they participate in being itself, which alone is without origin or end. Thus, in different ways, man can come to know that there exists a reality which is the first cause and final end of all things, a reality “that everyone calls God.” 



  • Favorite dancer/artist of all time : Michael Jackson, Bob Fosse & Fred Astaire
  • Least favorite style of dance: “Norteño, oh que la fregada! (But if I’m bored I will still dance it, no sense sitting down.) On the other hand I do like Nortec,” she adds.
  • Other hobbies & interests : “I sing, I love soccer, baseball and hockey. I am a city girl, and a terrible camper!”
  • Favorite music genres and artist to dance to : Samba, merengue & Tito Puente!