This spring, we are celebrating our Senior Team dancers. Most of these amazing young ladies have been dancing with BCA since they were little girls, and our Senior Team has been a testament to the rewards of hard work and dedication.
Makenna Shafer has been a part of the BCA family since she was 9 years old. Now 16 and a sophomore, Makenna has been on the Senior Team since she was 12 years old, which alone is an amazing accomplishment.
We talked with Makenna about her appreciation for the guidance she received from her older teammates, and how much she loves her BCA family.
We Support One Another
Q: You just returned from Nationals where the Senior Team won two bids to Worlds. Talk about the experience of going to Worlds and the hard work it takes to get there.
A: It has taken a lot of hard work to get to the place where we are. We practice four times a week, and the competition has gotten harder and harder and harder. We were so excited to get partial-paid bid in Pom, because it’s a new routine for us and the last bid we wanted to get.
Q: Describe what it has been like to dance at BCA for so long, and to be on the Senior Team since you were 12 years old.
A: BCA has always been a family to our family. It is nice to know all the staff and be able to talk to any of them about anything. All the students are super nice to each other. We all support one another like a loving family. Coming to seniors when I was so young, I have learned a lot from the older girls. They’ve helped to shape me into the dancer I am today and I thank them for that.
Q: What is your favorite style of dance, and why?
A: Ballet, because it is the first technical form of dance, every other style is built off of ballet.
Q: You are a very successful soloist and you just won Performer of the Year in your age division at Nationals. What do you find more rewarding, the solo experience or the team experience? Why?
A: For the solo experience you are only yourself on stage, so you have to try your hardest. If there’s a mistake you can see it, and it is scary. The team experience is so much better; you can talk and help each other. You are in your own head as a soloist, telling yourself to keep going. But with teammates around you it is more rewarding; having a family around you right before you go on stage encouraging each other is so much better.
Q: What is the most memorable moment from your time on the Senior Team?
A: Making the finals for open jazz at Worlds last year. We were not expecting it at all—only three teams from the U.S. made it, and the other U.S. teams were so good! We were the last team to be called, which made it so much more special. We were all crying and screaming!
Q: What is the most important thing you have learned from your coach, April Mallow, regarding dance? Regarding life?
A: April has always taught me to dance like it’s my last time. She always tells us a story about a girl who was injured and couldn’t dance again, and that always sticks with me. You will never forget your last time on stage, so never have regrets. April is also a great role model because she has shown us how successful a person can be if you try your hardest.