A life of pirouettes and fouettes

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This photo was taken during a photoshoot Katelin did for dance. Katelin Cunningham (10) does a leap in the air and forms a large smile on her face.

Bailey Lewis

Katelin Cunningham (10) is a sixteen-year old who has had dancing etched into her, considering she’s been dancing for thirteen years.

“I started dancing when I was three-years-old when my mom put me into ballet class. I really enjoyed it, so my mom kept me in it until about Kindergarten. I quit for two years to focus on soccer, then realized I wanted to go back to dance,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham has explored all types of dance to find her favorite. An appreciation for the sport grew when she realized how great she was at it.

“The styles I’ve done are ballet, jazz, turns and leaps, hip hop, tumbling, contemporary and when I was little I did tap. A lot of times, I got front and center, so I wanted to take more classes, and I wanted to keep dancing with my friends,” Cunningham said.

A lot of special moments, new found appreciations and pleasurable experiences have come from Cunningham dancing for so long.

“In sixth grade, I was part of the ballet ‘Peter Pan’ and I was a lost boy. It was so fun. I made a lot of new friends, and it was something different because I wasn’t really a ballerina, and I got to act a lot, which I really liked. In seventh grade, I was on a competition team and we went to Orlando, Florida for nationals, and we placed third,” Cunningham said.

Not only has dance given Cunningham the chance for new experiences, it has also improved other aspects of her life.

“I am able to memorize things pretty well because I’ve had so many choreographies I’ve had to memorize with all the specific counts and movements. I have good time management, and I’m flexible with my daily routine,” Cunningham said.

After thirteen years of dancing, Cunningham has finally found where she’s comfortable in dance and where she feels like she belongs.

“My favorite styles of dance are contemporary and jazz because I like fast movements rather than slow and I like doing hard tricks. I feel like I’m more challenged and that once I finally get it I feel accomplished,” Cunningham said.