Intensive dancer finds self-expression through craft



Sophomore Lily Woodward dances at the Dance Academy of Siagel Productions and on the high school dance group, Cantico. She views the activity as a way to build confidence, destress, and follow her passion.

Hallie LeTendre, Staff Writer

The music is loud, voices are yelling out in the crowd, and all eyes are focused her way.  Although all eyes are on her, sophomore Lily Woodward can transport herself into a different world, focusing on her fluid movements to the rhythm of the music.  

Since she was in 3rd grade, Woodward has been dancing for six days a week. She is also a part of the dance team at the Dance Academy of Siagel Productions.

Through dance, Woodward feels that she can break out of her shell.

“I’m a pretty quiet person, but through dance, I have been able to become much more confident and express myself,” Woodward said.

Junior Maia Selhub began dancing for dance group Cantico at the same time as Woodward, and has seen her progression.

“I’ve seen her become much more comfortable, not only around us, but in her confidence as a dancer” said Selhub.

Woodward believes that her years of dancing have shaped who she is and taught her things about herself and the people around her.

Woodward has been dancing for Cantico for the past two years. She feels that she and her teammates have a bond over their love of dance.

“It’s given me a community at the high school of people who also share the same passion and given me a group of people to dance with while doing something fun,” Woodward said.

Junior Soleil Benzan has been dancing for Cantico with Woodward throughout high school and has seen her progression up close.

“It must’ve been scary for her to be in a class with pretty much only older people, so she was super shy at first.  Now she has really come out of her shell, and can really see her true personality,” said Benzan.

“Her character shines when she dances.  When she dances, her personality shines through” Selhub said.

School and life as a teenager can be stressful and hard to manage.  Woodward has been able to de-stress and disconnect through her passion for dance.

“When I start dancing it’s easy to forget about everything else going on in my life.  When I go to dance I’m allowed to not worry about anything else,” Woodward said.

According to Benzan, Woodward’s positive attitude and energy helped her do well in dance, and bond with her peers.

“I love Lily, she’s awesome.  She first started out being one of the only freshmen, so she was like our little sister.  She has a ton of energy,” said Benzan.

Woodward is able to express herself in finding a passion and doing something she loves.

“There’s a lot of lessons to learn through dance and through your teachers,” Woodward said. “You can learn about their stories and who they are.”