For Love of Dance

Serena Goode, Staff Reporter

“Dancing makes me feel great because I’m doing what I love,” 9th grader Emmy Forloines said. 

Forloines is a dancer with Wilson School Of Dance as well as a member of the AHS Dance Team.  

Forloines has been dancing since she was three, but participated on and off growing up, quitting multiple times. 

“I took a really long break and started dancing again in 7th grade, and I’ve been consistent since then,” she said.

Forloines rekindled her love of dance through hip-hop classes. “It’s what keeps me grounded. I tend to quit things when I’m not good at them, so I guess hip-hop reminds me that you have to work hard to be good at things.” 

She has had a lot of experience with various types of dance through performing in shows at the Pavilion including a Christmas group dance and Fridays After 5 in 8th grade. 

“Dancing at the Pavilion was a really cool experience because it’s a really big deal in Charlottesville.”  

Forloines was also accepted onto the performance dance team at her dance school [Wilson School Of Dance] earlier that same year.  

“The performance group really helped me improve as a dancer,” she said. She learned how to do rolls on the ground while training with them, an important technique in dance.

Forloines said that she “loves dance” and enjoyed her experience as a member of the Wilson performance team. The heavy expenses, such as costumes and the performance jacket (which is around $70), made her decide not to continue with the performance team this year. 

She will continue to practice with The Wilson School Of Dance, which offers lessons in nine dance categories for their students: jazz, ballet, broadway jazz, tap, pointe, lyrical, hip hop, contemporary and princess ballet. 

Forloines decided to take classes in contemporary, hip hop and ballet this year. “I really like the moves and how it [contemporary] is more modern,” she said. “I take ballet because it’s all about technique.” 

While she enjoys the other two, Forloines’ strongest category is Hip Hop because “it’s what brought me back into dance in the first place,” she said.

Despite not being able to dance with the performance group this year, Forloines has stayed in front of a crowd with the AHS dance team. “I like performing more than once a year,” Forloines said, just one reason why the AHS dance team is so important to her. 

“The first time I danced with the team I was terrified,” she said, but now she enjoys her time in the spotlight during half-time at AHS home basketball games. 

The student-choreographed routines are not easy, but Forloines persevered while learning them. 

“She was struggling with the calypso. It’s a hard move; I didn’t get it until my tenth year of dancing,” senior dance team captain Gracie Bitrick said. “Every practice she would immediately start practicing it and she would ask for Leah [Johns] and I to show her again. She kept doing it and eventually she got it.”

“I can tell that she values the friendships that she has made,” Bitrick said. “She tries to stop and talk to me even though we don’t have classes.”

Forloines’ favorite dance team routine this past season was “24K Magic.” “It was groovy and fun,” she said. 

“Dancing in front of people is a bit nerve-racking, but after I start dancing, those feelings go away.”