Orchesis dancers leap into future, hoping to land on stage


Joe Gonzalez

DANCING THROUGH LIFE: Orchesis dancers perform in a routine from their Feb. 26 performance. The effort the dancers have put into their work throughout their high school careers are allowing them to make their dancing dreams become reality after high school.

Megan Casey, Staff Reporter

Passion, grace and determination are some characteristics that dancers have that push them toward unlocking their full potential. These Orchesis dancers have big plans for after high school to continue to keep their passion for dance alive.

The perseverance and hard work these dancers have put in have given them the strength to fulfill their dancing dreams. Their future plans are as big as their passion for dance. Most of the dancers got their start when they were very young. “I started dancing in kindergarten but didn’t take it seriously until third grade,” senior Alexandra Arndt said. “I continued taking dance because I loved everything about it. Performing on stage and taking technique classes are my favorite memories from my childhood.”

Other members had similar experiences.

“I started dancing when I was four and I just kept going,” senior Natalie Brown said. “Dance became a part of me.”

Some members did not start out participating in dance at first.

“I was a gymnast for six years and then started dancing in sixth grade,” senior Sonja Schulz said. “When I was very young I took tap and ballet classes and thought they were so boring which is why I became a gymnast, [but] after that I went back to dance and realized my love for ballet and continued it in high school.”

The dancers’ passion led them to choose paths that would help them to continue dancing. Arndt will be attending Illinois State University in the fall with a plan to major in Dance Education. Brown will be attending Augustana College and plans on being a part of their dance company, which is very similar to Orchesis. Schulz will be attending the University of Iowa and will be double majoring in Dance and Business.

Most of the dancers decided upon their college simply by their strong love for dance, but were also influenced
by people they met and talked to prior to making their decision.

“I met a woman in one of my current dance classes who went [to Augustana College] and was part of the dance company there [who] said it was a lot of fun,” Brown said.

Other non-senior Orchesis members have already started planning for their future as well and how they will continue to keep dance a part of their lives.

Junior Tianna Hagens’ current plans for senior year are to continue to be in Orchesis as well as dance at her mom’s dance studio, Rhythm University of Dance where she started dancing at the age of one. She also will start auditioning more for different performing arts projects in the city as well as continuing to go to dance intensives in order to help herself continue her exploration of dance.

“Dance is my life and passion so I really wouldn’t consider it a decision but more like my destination in life,” Hagens said.

Orchesis as well as being introduced to dance has definitely changed these dancers’ lives and has given them something that they can hopefully keep with them forever. Being involved in Orchesis helped them decide that dance was something that they will always want to have in their lives.

“Orchesis let me explore the art of dance and I also formed a love for choreographing,” Schulz said. “Orchesis [exposed me] to every form of dance and [gave me] lots of opportunities.”