She has taught dance in 25 countries as well as all over the United States. That's just a glimpse of Maryland native Nina Gilkenson's enormous success.
Gilkenson is often booked a year in advance to teach Lindy hop, belly dance and lesser-known swing era dances. Now the Reservoir Hill resident, 27, has slowed down her normal 45-weekends-out-of-the-year travel schedule to a mere 30 so she can concentrate on co-running Mobtown Ballroom in Pigtown. Gilkenson talks to b about her adventures, the randomness on her iPod and more.
Worst pet peeve? People who take forever in airport security lines.
What's on your iPod? Ha! Everything from 1920s jazz to Middle Eastern music to Bluegrass and Disney songs.
What song are you hating/loving right now? Loving: "Bottom of the River," by Delta Rae. Hating: That song about being at a payphone that is on every six minutes.
Last concert/gig you went to? Langhorne Slim
Your worst habit? Picking at scabs
Trend that has exceeded its natural lifespan? Super-expensive clothing that looks like you bought in it in a thrift store for $5.
TV shows you can't get enough of? "Law and Order: SVU." I think I've seen all of them at least twice.
Favorite book you recently read? "War and Peace." All 1,600 pages. It was worth the time investment.
Last great meal you had? Lamb shanks with rosemary and olive oil in Athens, Greece.
Favorite type of dance style that you teach? It's hard to say. I just love dancing. And I love helping people realize that they love it too.
Favorite place to get a drink? Frazier's on the Avenue. Cheap drinks, pool tables, interesting people AND cheese fries — what more could a girl ask for?
Favorite and most loathed fashion statements? I have eclectic fashion sense so I'm not sure I have a favorite statement, but I cannot stand when girls wear tights as pants. What, no time for real pants?
Favorite thing about Baltimore? I love how much talent there is in this city.
AS TOLD TO JACLYN PEISER