by alyssa helsel
Through dance, there is no apparent need for words; emotions and stories are conveyed through the tapestry of gestures and movements. Art reveals who a person is aside from everyone else. For Senior Ashlyn Watkins, her favorite form of self-expression is dance. Watkins has been practicing dance for fourteen years through the Temecula Dance Company, located near Temecula Old Town. In her more recent years, she has become the Captain of Varsity Dance, called Divas. The different styles of dance that she performs are jazz, tap, contemporary, lyrical, hip-hop, and ballet.
Excessive amount of training and leadership skills are required as Captain of Divas, the varsity dance team. Watkins stated, “Us captains have to choreograph many different dances for our performances. . .the styles range from tap, jazz, hip hop, ballet on pointe, contemporary, and lyrical.” After choreographing, she has to make sure the dances are well presented so her peers are on the correct beat of the music or doing the right dance move. Then, the captain moves onward to design the costumes. Her favorite two dance forms to perform are hip-hop and contemporary. Although, these two forms of dance are vastly different, Watkins explains that she likes these two in particular because hip-hop is more aggressive and energetic and contemporary is soft and can tell a story. Last year, her contemporary team won national champions at Star Systems Dance Competition Nationals.
While she is not planning on making dance her profession, she believes that self-expression through different means of art is important for a person’s individuality. She believes, self-expression is the main weapon society has towards an ever-growing spectrum of like-minded people. Dancing is how she demonstrates her individuality. She said, “the way you express yourself in the form of another language. That’s what I love about it.” Watkins also acknowledged that people who love what they do are the foundation for creativity, giving that individual their own voice. It is also through this act that a person has the capability of inspiring someone else.
She says that the hardest part about Varsity Dance is hearing the bell ring because it marks the end of class. She mentioned, “I fell in love with dance, so for it to end is the hardest part.” Watkins believes that even with a busy schedule, there is room to add in what she loves to do. She stated that it is through the means of time management that everything she has done can be made possible. Other hardships many other dancers like Watkins face are sprained ankles and fractured feet none of these are “out of the norm in the dance world.” As always, the comeback is greater than the setback for even through the trials and tribulations Watkins has been able to win many championship titles, compete at national levels, earn different scholarships, be a part of award winning dances, and receive top recognition from well known dance influencers.