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The Girl Who is Dancing Her Way Through Life

Amy Hood is an amazing student who is dancing her way through life.

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The Girl Who is Dancing Her Way Through Life

Amy Hood doing ballet

Amy Hood doing ballet

Amy Hood

Amy Hood doing ballet

Amy Hood

Amy Hood

Amy Hood doing ballet

Hannah Goldman, Staff Writer

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When walking up and down the halls of Erie High School, there are many unknown people. People with different talents, hobbies, and skills. One of the faces you may notice as you are walking by is Amy Hood, who is a freshman, as well as one of the many talented athletes at Erie High School.  

Hood grew up watching her favorite television shows, playing with dolls, and drawing with chalk on the sidewalk. Her favorite memories are going to the Rocky Mountains with her family. In addition to all of Hood’s amazing childhood memories, one of the key points of her childhood was learning how to dance.

Hood’s dance career started when she was two. At this age, her mother decided to enroll her in dance lessons Boulder. Going up to age fifteen, dance has still been a major part of Hood’s life.

“Dance and school have impacted me majorly, so have my parents, encouraging me to do well in both dance and school,” adds Hood.

However, Hood’s dance career has not been completely bump-free, as she has undergone many injuries in her 13 years of dancing. The worst injury that happened to Hood was a knee injury. When a person undergoes a knee injury, it can take a while for that injury to completely heal. In Hood’s case, her knee injury keeps coming back since she first injured it in sixth grade. After the doctors cleared her to dance again, it was not smooth sailing,

“It was hard for me to jump back into dance. I had to work for everything and figure out how to do everything again,” explains Hood.

A common trait in athletes is lack of confidence. Whether the athlete feels as if they do not have a strong enough serve, or layup, or a swing, this trait is that they have to overcome throughout their athletic career. Hood is one of the many athletes that have to overcome lack of confidence during their time.

“Dance has helped me get in touch with who I am as a person and artist, it has also helped me confidence wise by believing in myself,” comments Hood.

Confidence is defined as “a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.” In many styles of dance, it is a must to have a plethora of confidence so you can express yourself through your sport.

“I got more confidence when I started to win more scholarships,” Hood stated, “It allowed me to realize that if other people feel as if I am a good dancer then maybe I should feel that way as well.”

Amy Hood
Amy Hood in her ballet leotard holding up some gorgeous flowers

When she needs some inspiration to rebuild some confidence she looks towards Tyler Peck from the New York City Ballet, and Carla Körbes who was previously in the Pacific Northwest Ballet. Both of these dancers have dedicated their lives to dance. What really sticks out to Hood is that Körbes was dedicated to dance even throughout her pregnancy.

While Hood may receive some confidence from her idols, she also gives some out to kids who want to start dance. If they come to Hood for advice about wanting to participate in dance, she would encourage them to do dance because it is an amazing sport.

“I would tell them to definitely go for it, it takes a lot of work, but in the end it is an amazing experience and worth all of the hard work and effort,” adds Hood.

Hood’s proudest moment of her dance career is when she got accepted into Joffrey Ballet School summer intensive program a prestigious program for ballet. Joffrey Ballet School offers many styles of dance, and is in the heart of New York, New York City. Hood is extremely excited to go to this summer program. If she enjoys the program then she is hoping to go back in summer 2019.

“I am very excited to be at a new place, be away from my home, and be able to dance with some of the best teachers in the country. To me it just blows my mind that I have this amazing opportunity,” Hood elaborates.

Hood currently dances at Reverence Academy of dance in Lafayette. She has also danced at the Erie Recreation Center, BNC (which is now currently called CCD) in Westminster, Dance Dimensions, and Boulder Ballet.

“I am going to still be dancing at Reverence Academy of Dance next year. As of now I have nowhere to go as far as skill levels that is offered, so we will see what happens in the years to come”

While dance may be what Hood eats, sleeps, and breathes, she also has many other hobbies which she is passionate about. Hood loves to bake (cupcakes and cookies in particular), draw, and paint; basically anything through which she can display her artistic side.  

Looking back on previous years of her life, Hood realizes that she is very happy about where she is in life right now and would not change a thing.

“I would not change anything if I could go back in time because I am very happy with my life right now and I would not want anything to get in the way of that,” elaborates Hood.

However, if she could look into the future, Hood would like to see what her life is like and what her future career is. In Hood’s mind, her ideal future career would be to become a high school teacher. She is also considering whether or not she would want to dance professionally. In a perfect world, Hood’s goal would be to dance professionally for the New York City Ballet. For the next year, her goal is to audition and get into The School of American Ballet.

“Dance has impacted my life by hopefully becoming a better person. I also had to grow up much faster than kids my age would normally grow up. In addition, I also had to learn about life, and communicating with other people much sooner than I normally would have had I not been in the situation I was in,” notes Hood. 

“I enjoy dancing because it is an outlet for me to express myself and to be creative in a different way than most people can.”

In the next 20 years, Hood hopes to see herself married and with kids. She would encourage her kids to try dancing, but if they decide that they do not love it, then she will encourage them to do whatever makes them happy. In addition, Hood will also hopefully be a high school teacher.

Hood’s favorite style of dance to do is definitely ballet. Her favorite parts of ballet is pointe, where you dance on the tips of your toes with specific shoes. Hood also enjoys that you can express yourself in certain ways in ballet, that you can not express with words. In addition to ballet, Hood does many other styles of dance, including contemporary, lyrical, jazz, tap, modern, ballroom, and obviously ballet. As much as she loves ballet, however, Hood does not enjoy watching ballet as much as she does ballroom dancing.

“Ballet is fun to watch but is never been my favorite to watch. For me, I have seen so many ballets that it is not as interesting for me as it used to be. As for ballroom dancing, it is so interesting to watch people dance so beautifully as the communicate back and forth at the same time,” explains Hood.

Hood’s friends and family play a big part in her life. Her family encourages her to do her best while her friends keep her stable and allow her to let loose and have fun.

“My friends and family have always encouraged me a lot to participate in dance; as long as my school work was prioritized and stable, then I was free to participate in dance,” says Hood.

In addition to her friends and family encouraging her dance career, every of Hood’s coaches and teachers have also played a big role.

“My dance coaches have encouraged me and have pushed me to be the best that I can with some tough love. Every coach that I have had has shaped me and pushed me to be the dancer I am today,” reflects Hood.

Hood is currently enrolled in multiple advanced placement (AP)  and honors classes. This may sometimes be a large workload and hard to accomplish without three to four hours of dance each night. Besides her rather challenging classes and busy schedule, Hood has managed to make her grades a priority and excels in school. Her favorite subject in school is math. This is because she enjoys writing down equations and working through them like they are a puzzle. Hood loves feeling the satisfaction of finishing a very hard math problem. In addition, she enjoys history because she has been interested in the subject from a very young age, specifically European history.  

You will almost never see Hood complain about her schedule since she is well aware about the commitments she has undertaken. It is rare to see Hood complain about exhaustion or how late she had to stay up because of school work or dance. Hood has a positive mind no matter how stressed she is. She does this successfully by balancing out her work and using every moment possible.

“I balance my school work and dance by using every minute possible. This includes if I have extra time in class and study hall. I almost always have some breaks at the studio so I use those as homework opportunities as well.”

On an average day, Hood goes to school for eight hours, then she dances for three to four hours, and then does around another four hours of homework, takes around one to two hours for eating, and then ends her night with about eight hours of sleep. Hood’s busy schedule adds up to around a humanly impossible 25 hours, which means that she does not have enough time to do homework, or get enough sleep. Hood somehow manages to show up to school the next day with a smile on her face.

“It is especially hard because my work can be a lot. Sometimes I will be at dance for four hours and then have to go home and do homework for another four hours,” remarks Hood.

Amy Hood posing in her pointe shoes on a bridge

Over the summer Hood is going to the Joffrey School of Ballet for four weeks, and plans to spend time with her friends and keep dancing.

Hood is very excited to go to New York because she loves to travel. Taking little trips to the mountains was a big part of her childhood and she just enjoys seeing new places. If she could go anywhere in the world, Hood would love to see and explore the British Isles. The two most well known parts of the British Isles are Great Britain and Ireland. Out of all of the places Hood has traveled, she has enjoyed Oregon the most.

“I love having the ocean nearby and forest and woods nearby. Also it is almost always cloudy and rainy which is one of my favorite types of weather,” notes Hood.

The performing arts college Hood would prefer to go to is Julliard, however, she is not sure if she wants to continue dancing in college.

“I am not necessarily sure if I want to dance in college because most people get into companies when they are around 18 years old and does not even go to college for dance,” explains Hood.

As of now the college she wants to attend is The University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Hood is attracted to this college because she has always wanted to live in Alaska and hopes to live there as she gets older. In addition, the programs that the college offers seem very appealing and fun to her.

If given the opportunity to be a part of the Erie High School dance team, Hood would pass on it. This is because if she does decide to go to college for ballet, many school will decline one’s application if one were a part of a dance team during high school.

If Hood could describe herself in three words those would be: artistic, organized, and motivated.  

“In both dance and school I think it is important to be artistic, organized, and motivated because without these you can fall behind very easily.”

Amy Hood is a dedicated, hard-working student and athlete. She goes through each day with a smile on her face while she is dancing through life.

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