Nhan was affectionately known as ‘Mymy’ by her loved ones. Fonda Quan grew up in the same house as her aunt, along with her parents and grandmother.
Nhan grew up in Ho Chi Minh City and emigrated to Rosemead with her family in the 1980s. She had an infectious cheerfulness and an eagerness to celebrate the victories of those in her wide circle of friends, Quan said.
For years, she and her aunt took classes at the Star studio. On Saturday, Nhan left the studio early to go home so she could put together a family shrine to pay homage to ancestors for the Lunar New Year, according to Quan.
Just as she was leaving with her partner, the gunman arrived and fired into their car, according to a report passed on to Nhan’s family by the partner.
“She went to the dance studio in Monterey Park on weekends for so many years,” her family says said a statement on Twitter. ‘It’s what she loved to do. But unfairly, Saturday was her last dance.
One of Nhan’s old instructors, Maksym Kapitinchuk, said her presence brought to life both the Star Ballroom Dance Studio and the Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in Alhambra, where the gunman went after shooting the Monterey Park victims.
“Dance was her life,” he said, adding that she took classes every night of the week. “She was just the light of the class and the light of the studio.”
Those who knew her as a regular at social dances knew that Nhan would sit next to the stereo. She sipped tea between samba or tango sessions, said dance instructor Elena Krifuks.
“She had everyone’s phone numbers,” Krifuks said, “and she was friends with everyone.”