The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper


Spotlight: Dancer Tessa Shanley

Photo by Leland Bernstein

By: Diya Roy

Homecoming star Sophomore Tessa Shanley was seen in multiple dances throughout the week. Not only was she rocking the amphitheater on Sophomore Day, but she also proudly represented her class Thursday during the Senior Class Unity Dances. Tessa has been dancing hip-hop and contemporary for the last six years.

Smoke Signal: How did you first get interested in dancing?

Tessa Shanley: Well my mom signed me up for ballet when I was like three at Mission Dance, but then my teacher stopped working at the studio so I quit. But I guess when I was in about fifth grade, I took dance up as a hobby again and started taking classes. When I was in 7th grade, I started getting more serious about it and now it’s practically my life!

SS: What do you love most about dancing?

TS: That’s hard to answer… probably those moments when I finally step onto the stage and give it my all after months and months of hard work and practice. I love when the time comes to perform and show everyone what I can do. I love the feeling I get when all my hard work really does pay off.

SS: Have you done any choreography before?

TS: Yeah of course! I’ve choreographed some airbands and other performances including the opening sophomore dance this year! And I like to choreograph random dances when I’m bored too.

SS: Who inspires you to continue dancing?

TS: Probably Keone Madrid. He’s an amazing hip-hop dancer and every time I watch one of his pieces on Youtube my jaw just drops. I took a class from him this summer and I loved doing his choreography!

SS: Where do you hope dance will take you in the future?

TS: I’m not exactly sure. At some point I hope to try out for “So You Think You Can Dance” – just for the experience! And hopefully some day I’ll be in a crew or teach somewhere or something like that!


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