“The Spirit of Fiesta is like the ambassador of the city,” said Corrie Jimenez, who earned the coveted honor this year. “Your role is to bring together the entire community and to give everyone a great performance and a great time.”
Born and raised in Santa Barbara, Jimenez has been dancing since she was three years old and attending the annual Fiesta celebrations for as long as she can remember. She participated in the Little Fiesta parades as a child with her family; her fondest memories of the celebrations are of spending time with her cousins and watching the dancing at the courthouse.
A recent graduate of San Marcos High, being the Spirit has been Jimenez’s dream since she was the runner-up Junior Spirit at age 11. “I knew ever since then that this was a dream of mine and I was going to work for it,” she said. She was also inspired by her older cousin, Erykah Guajardo, who was Spirit in 2004.
Although Jimenez is well-versed in tap dance, jazz, and hip-hop, and was even the captain of the San Marcos Varsity Marquettes Dance Team, she said that “my favorite kind of dance is definitely flamenco, just because it has a lot of motion and a lot of passion with it and it’s very easy to get connected and to lose yourself in it.”
Jimenez plans to attend Santa Barbara City College next year to go into nursing but has no plans to let her love of dance die. “I think no matter what profession I take, I want to keep dancing in my life,” she said, “whether it’s just for small crowds or professionally for big crowds. Hopefully professionally!