Window Dance Ensemble welcomes new members

WHS' Window Dance Ensemble performs during its annual spring show. The group took on five new members this spring, including junior Michayla Mathis, sophomore Taylor Travis, and freshmen Sarah Liszewski, Sammy Janoff, and Taylor McGuire.

Credit: Jackie Stoller

WHS' Window Dance Ensemble performs during its annual spring show. The group took on five new members this spring, including junior Michayla Mathis, sophomore Taylor Travis, and freshmen Sarah Liszewski, Sammy Janoff, and Taylor McGuire. "It's a close-knit group of girls and I'm really excited about it," McGuire said.

Joanna Barrow

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Window Dance Ensemble leaders, seniors Lauren Campbell, Eden Vanslette and Dale Lippincott, brought on new members this season after losing three graduating members. The new members, junior Michayla Mathis, sophomore Taylor Travis, and freshmen Sammy Janoff, Taylor McGuire and Sarah Liszewski, will bring new talent and choreography to the table. Starting at the beginning of March, the directors held auditions to give students a chance to become part of Window.

McGuire was, at first, nervous about the tryout but relaxed as her confidence in her abilities grew.

“The first two days I was nervous, and it was intimidating because there were so many experienced dancers in the room,” McGuire said.

Janoff never felt stressed during the audition process. Despite initial feelings of apprehension from not knowing what to expect, Janoff remained calm through the ordeal.

“It was really chill,” Janoff said. “I didn’t really know what to expect. I wasn’t sure if it would be scary, but I wasn’t really scared of not getting accepted because even if I didn’t get in, I knew I could try again next year. I was just really excited because I knew it would be fun.”

Liszewski had a similar experience.

“It was easier than I expected, but I was still nervous,” Liszewski said.

The periodic performances put on by the ensemble turned out to be Window’s biggest recruiter for new members. Both Liszewski and Janoff signed up to audition after seeing the dance troupe’s performance during Winter Week as well as performances from past years.

“I saw the performances from previous years, and I thought it looked really fun,” Liszewski said.

Janoff also felt compelled to join after seeing a Window show.

“I saw [Window] at the talent show during Winter Week, and I just thought it was really cool and I just loved their dances,” Janoff said. “I’ve always loved dancing, so I thought it would be fun to try out.”

All three freshmen are ecstatic to be part of the WHS dance group, which puts on annual spring shows as well as performances for events such as Winter Week.

“When I found out I got in, I was really excited and I was really surprised,” McGuire said. “I was very happy to find out, and I started thinking about the season.”

Janoff was similarly excited to be accepted into Window.

“I’m really excited for our first practice. I think it’s going to be really fun and that I’m going to learn a lot,” Janoff said.

All three freshmen find different ways to keep themselves motivated to practice and persist in their dance careers in spite of the obstacles they often have to overcome.

“Managing my time can be difficult, because I’m at the studio Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights, as well as Saturday mornings and Friday nights, so I can’t procrastinate in my work and have to manage it well,” McGuire said. “But it’s all worth it.”

For Liszewski, keeping herself interested in dance means learning new techniques and incorporating different aspects of dance into her choreography.

“I think learning new things, like different styles or tricks, makes me want to keep doing it,” Liszewski said.

For McGuire and all of the new members, dance is more than a hobby. It’s a way to meet new people, exercise and have fun.

“I like dance because it’s a fun way to stay healthy, it’s social and it also relieves a lot of stress,” McGuire said. “You definitely get better every day when you’re dancing, and that definitely pushes you harder every day.”

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