Photo by Cherlyn Mann
When Senior Martina Theriault was younger, she may have seemed like a typical little girl whose mom signed her up for dance class. However, she has evolved into a disciplined dancer who has found her passion through the art of dance.
Theriault began her journey thirteen years ago when her mom decided to sign her up for classes. The love of dance didn’t stop with her mother, it runs in her family: Theriault’s grandmother and two older sisters were dancers, too. She felt persuaded by her family to give dance a try.
Luckily for Theriault, she loved it too, and her journey has been successful even through some ups and downs.
Theriault’s success does not come without hard work and dedication; she dances roughly twenty-four hours each week and practices ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, ballroom and acro. She says that her favorite style of dance is jazz because it is the most upbeat and fun.
On days when Theriault competes, she usually wakes up around five a.m. and then does her hair and makeup for about an hour. After transforming into her stage persona, Theriault goes to the competition, warms up for two hours, and competes for about seven hours straight. “I get pretty nervous before my competitions, but I know that all my hard work will pay off,” said Theriault.
“My favorite competition was in Las Vegas because of the liveliness of the city and meeting dancers from all over the country.” She also enjoyed traveling to New York City four times for dance camp.
Being in New York opened Theriault up to new opportunities for dance auditions, even for Broadway productions. “It was really nice to experience these auditions before the more intense college auditions,” said Theriault. The exposure to professional dancers and programs sparked her passion to dance at the highest level.
Unlike most people who face struggles in the field of dance and ultimately decide to quit, Theriault has learned how to persevere. With the high level of commitment that dance requires, she knew she would need to make some difficult decisions on how she was going to spend her time throughout high school.
“At the beginning of freshman year, I thought dance was going to be too much of a commitment and interfere with my high school life. However, I decided to continue my career and it was the best choice that I have ever made,” said Theriault.
Through all the obstacles she has faced, Theriault has leaned on her dance friends and teachers when times get tough. “I spend the most time with them out of anyone. They have pretty much become my family,” said Theriault.
The person who has made the greatest impact on her has been her dance teacher, Ms. Ashley because as Theriault explains, “she went through the same exact process as me, dancing in college while also wanting to maintain a social life.”
Theriault has grown into a mature and persistent dancer and will continue her dance career as a dance major at Oklahoma City University in the fall.