Students, teacher find joy through dance


Mayla Gilliam

Juniors Hailey Germann (left) and Rachel Cheeseman (right) perform during the May 11 dance concert. Cheeseman favors lyrical and contemporary dance while Germann cites modern dance as her favorite.

Jordan Nolan and Riley Saunooke

Rachel Cheeseman is a junior dancer who continues to grow as she moves forward in her art, hoping to continue dancing into her adulthood.

She began dancing in the third grade and plans on majoring in dance in college.

Cheeseman favors lyrical and contemporary dance, “because it holds the most meaning.”

For Cheeseman, dancing can be used to express her emotions.

“It gives you an outlet, kinda gives me a place to let everything out,” Cheeseman said.

Her favorite part of dancing rests in the, “collaboration with students.”

Dancers often have a role model to inspire them to dance and keep going and create their love for dancing.

“Middle school dance and definitely my dance teacher now, Mrs. Newhouse,” Cheeseman said of her mentors.

As much as dance is fun, dancers do come across challenges in their dance life. For Cheeseman, her greatest challenge is, “Flexibility.”

Cheeseman tries to capture what it feels like to be in the moment during a dance recital.

“It’s amazing. You kind of just feel like it’s going through your head except for what is happening in the moment.”

With her time under one spotlight coming to an end, junior Hailey Germann has made a way to showcase her talents under another.

“I was a gymnast but could no longer do that, so I switched to dance,” Germann said. “I got injured too much, and so the doctors said I wasn’t allowed to do it anymore.”

Germann spoke about the setbacks she’s faced that led her to find dance as an outlet.

“I have not experienced a lot of them, but the biggest one, being my last injury, was emotional because gymnastics was a big part of my life,” Germann said. “After practicing it almost everyday for 12 years, it was hard to accept not being able to do it anymore.”

Despite only dancing through her school classes for two years, Germann has quickly identified her favorite aspect of dancing.

“My favorite part of dancing is choreographing and incorporating my work into the dances in order to show off my work,” Germann said.

She also has found her favorite type of dance.

“I like modern dance best because you can really fuse many styles together and form one dance,” Germann said.

Although dance has given her a new physical outlet, Germann feels that dance will never fully replace gymnastics.

“I will most likely continue dancing for fun as a way to stay active and keep moving,” Germann said. “If I had a choice and the doctors would let me, I would do gymnastics because it was my first sport, and I put a lot of work and effort into it.”

Cheeseman and Germann’s dance instructor Sherri Newhouse brings her long-time love of dance to her students.

“I was about 7 and I just loved dance a lot, and I knew that’s what I wanted to do. From the time I started I think I told my parents that’s what I wanted to do,” Newhouse said.

Newhouse, who teaches modern dance here, has also taught tap, jazz and ballet. She derives enjoyment from watching her students succeed.

“It makes me feel successful, especially when they do something awesome.”

Newhouse has enjoyed teaching different ages at different times in her life from elementary aged dancers to adults. Currently, she enjoys working with high school dancers the most.

“I think I inspire them by impacting and powering them to create their soul, what is it that they want to say to their audience and I let them do it.”