Just keep dancing; dance becomes more than a hobby

by Victoria Vogler | Assignments Editor
Dancing, at it’s core, is a series of steps. Steps to the dance itself, steps to improvement, but also steps towards the future. One of these steps is continuing dance as a college degree or as a career. Several seniors have taken these steps in their own lives.
Senior Leah Alonzo has been dreaming of a life of dance for almost her whole life. The plan was simple; pep squad, drill team, dance team, and Lt. Colonel her senior year. But she hasn’t stopped at high school; her plan continues well into her college years.
“I want to go to Texas State to be a Strutter. Hopefully I will be an officer, and from there probably student teaching, and then eventually, I hope to get my own team,” Alonzo said.
With the many colleges in Texas with award winning dance programs, the decision of where to continue one’s career can be tough, but Alonzo’s decision was simple.“I chose the Strutters because of their reputation. They’re definitely one of the best teams, and Texas State has one of the best dance programs, so the decision was easy,” Alonzo said. “It’s what I’ve always wanted.”

Though not everyone who chooses to be on the team gets their degree in dance, it’s an esteemed option for someone who wants to continue with dance though teaching.

“I want to see if I could dance professionally after college, but I really want to teach, so I’m going to be getting my degree in dance education,” Alonzo said.

There are many other routes to achieve the same goal. Senior Kaycie Ritchie plans on taking a year at a community college before trying out for the Texas State Strutters.

“I want to get my basics out of the way for cheaper before I tryout. I’ll definitely still dance and continue to prepare for auditions, I’ll just be there a year later,” Ritchie said.

There are many other options for those who crave the dance spotlight. There are many professional teams that offer the experience.

“After high school, I want to go to college for a couple of years, and then move to Dallas and be a Dallas Cowboy’s Cheerleader,” senior Kathleen Rangel says with a laugh.

The highly glamorized team can be intimidating to audition for, and preparation is a key component to get the confidence necessary to make the team.

“Johnson dance was the perfect practice, learning experience for the Dallas Cowboy’s Cheerleaders because I feel like Mrs. Trevino’s style is very similar to the kind of dancing they expect, like big, power dancing and kicking,” Rangel said.

Not every high school dancer wants to continue in their craft.

“As much as I love dance, and dancing for Johnson, this year is going to be the end of my career,” senior Dalia Nevarez said. “I want to focus on getting my degree, and keeping my grades up. I want to be able to balance my workload before I focus on any extracurriculars.”

But the extra workload is a small price to pay for doing something you’re passionate about for the rest of your life.

“I want to dance for as long as I can,” Alonzo said. “It’s what I’m good at, it’s what I love. I really just want a job that I love, something that I can do everyday and be so happy doing.”

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