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Dance studio serves as second home for many students

Photo cotters of Colleen DishyFreshman Louisa Lloyd (front center) dances as a swan in the winter show, “The Steadfast Tin Soldier,” at Dance Fremont! with other students

Photo cotters of Colleen Dishy

Freshman Louisa Lloyd (front center) dances as a swan in the winter show, “The Steadfast Tin Soldier,” at Dance Fremont! with other students

Tess Harstrick, Editor-in-Chief
Originally published March 29, 2016

For more students than you might think, Dance Fremont! has served as a kind of second home. Teaching a variety of dance styles to young adults and children, it is a creative out- let many students take advantage of.

Freshman Louisa Lloyd is one of these students. Coming from a dance family, with both her mother and sister, senior Ellery Lloyd, active in dance, Louisa Lloyd began dancing at age seven.

“I liked to move a lot as a kid, so my mom just decided to put me in dance,” she said. But she stayed in dance for herself. “I like the movement, and I think it’s a really good way to express myself.”

Dancers at Dance Fremont! attend practice five days a week, which can each be three or five hours, depending. The studio teaches both ballet and modern dance, but Louisa Lloyd herself favors ballet.

“[Ballet is] something I’ve seen a lot more of. Again, I grew up watching PNB [Pacific Northwest Ballet], and so I think I have more of a connection to it,” Louisa Lloyd said. One of her favorite ballets is the Russian ballet, “The Sleeping Beauty.”

Louisa Lloyd’s sister, Ellery Lloyd, also attends Dance Fremont!, along with senior friends Amanda Munro and Elizabeth Burning. All four girls have achieved Level 6 at the studio, the highest level reachable.

“Its really interesting to have a relationship with people both in school and in dance,” Munro said. “When you’re at dance, you’re more vulnerable and open because it’s your own sense of artistry. . . it’s kind of fun to have someone to relate to with school work and dance, and share that.”

The community at Dance Fremont! is a huge aspect of the dance classes. Six students dance at Dance Fremont!, including Louisa and Ellery Lloyd, Munro and Buening. Sophomores Isabella Warshaw and Sophia Alvord also dance at the studio. All girls are in Level 6.

“It’s really special because we all know each other and support each other, and help each other through [dance]. . . We’re all there so often, and I think we’re really lucky that we’re all so close,” Louisa Lloyd said.

Dance Fremont! performs “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” every year for their winter show. The Hans Christian Anderson story is essentially the story of a toy soldier, gifted to a young boy, who then falls in love and goes on an adventure. The studio has been performing the play for 20 years.

Louisa Lloyd was given the part of a swan, one of five pointe roles in the ballet. A pointe role, while normal in professional ballet, is an elevated role for Dance Fremont! dancers. It is one of the few solo roles in the production.

“It was definitely like a boost of confidence to know, because it’s a pretty good role,” Louisa Lloyd said. The studio does not hold auditions, instead instructors pick dancers based on the talent they have observed in their students throughout the year.

“[The winter show is] all the kids in our school, from little tiny kids, like 7-18 year olds. It’s a whole range of technique and it brings our whole studio together,” Munro said. “[Louisa getting the role of a swan] was a really big deal. . . she kind of wasn’t really expecting a bigger role, and we were all really excited for her.”

Louisa Lloyd is considering dancing professionally after high school, though is not entirely sure if that is what she wants, since she is so young. If she were to professionally dance, she would do that directly after high school, attending college once her professional dance career is over.

“I thought about continuing to do [dance] professionally. [I’ll] definitely [dance] through high school and college,” she said. “[Professionally dancing is] not something that a lot of people do so I think that would be really cool.”

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Dance studio serves as second home for many students