The cap-Tans final season
The cap-Tans final season
Hannah Barczak

The cap-Tans final season

Senior Kennedie Tan pursued an unexpected dancing career and she has no regrets.

Countless hours in the studio: jump, turn, plié, step, chassé. A typical dancer spends days in the studio perfecting technique, emotion and character. Dancing is unlike other sports; dancers rerun the same routine hundreds of times to eliminate any possible mistake. Two minutes and 30 seconds on stage will make or break a dancer’s outcome. 

Antioch Community High School senior, Kennedie Tan, has been an integral part of the dance team since her sophomore year. After deciding to quit the swim team in seventh grade, her friends thought it would be a great idea for her to begin dancing. Tan danced for a competitive team; lucky for her, she was a natural. 

Dance coach and ACHS alumna, Maggie Quirke, has seen tremendous improvement and growth in Tan’s dancing. She describes Tan as bubbly, kind and a fabulous teammate. Despite Tan’s skill, her character is what propels her to be the dancer she is. Tan focuses on improving her own skills, all while providing constructive criticism to her teammates. Learning to better herself and the people around her has helped Tan take huge strides in her performance level.

“On the floor, Kennedie stands out because of her beautiful jumps and leaps. She is so incredibly talented and you can see that in the height and technique that her jumps display,” Quirke said. “In practice, Kennedie stands out because of her grit. She is willing to try anything and will not stop until she has mastered that skill.” 

Throughout her dancing career, Tan has built some of her strongest relationships. When beginning a sport at an older age, it can be hard to pick up as quickly as the people around you or even make new friends. Tan has always felt the constant support from her parents throughout her entire dancing career thus far. Despite this, Tan has made some of her lifetime friends from this sport.

“The second I began dancing, I met my best friend Brooke,” Tan said. “We became super close because we were always together. We went to school together, went to dance team practice and then we went straight to the studio until late at night.”

Throughout high school, English teacher and previous ACHS varsity dance coach, Kelly Taylor has continuously watched Tan grow. Both in the classroom and on the dance floor, Taylor has admired Tan and supported her along the way. Their relationship has played a large role in Tan’s life and resulted in Tan naming Taylor as her biggest role model.

“I have known Kennedie since her freshman year, which was the COVID-19 year. Kennedie was always one of the ones that I could count on to respond and participate even behind the screen,” Taylor said. “I remember talking with her about her dance background because I had known she was a dancer, and I pushed her to try out for the dance team the following year. Once she tried out, she immediately made the environment better. She helps bring people together. She is a leader by example first and by word second.”

Tan has created solid relationships with many people around her; this has led her to become a prime role model for all of the teams she has been a part of. Tan has built strong relationships with her coaches and teammates, which led her to her position as team captain of the ACHS varsity dance team. 

“Kennedie never fails to bring the energy up in the dance room. Her positive nature is so welcoming and never fails to make others smile,” Quirke said. “Kennedie is definitely a leader on the team and is a great role model for the younger girls on the team, hence her captain title.” 

It is no lie that the sport of dancing is strenuous and exhausting. Continuous reruns of the same routine over and over become tedious; sometimes everyone has the urge to simply give up. Tan feels that energy is one of the most important traits a team can carry through the ups and downs of being a dancer. 

“I am definitely there for emotional support. Some days can be long and grueling and I love to be there to lift up the energy,” Tan said. “Sometimes it can get negative when everyone is giving up and tired, but I try and be there for my teammates if they ever need anything.”

Tan is a teammate that others strive to emulate. Not only is she confident in herself, but she is confident while pushing people around her to achieve their fullest potential. Tan continuously wants both herself and her teammtes to pursue greatness; greatness is what all dancers strive to achieve, the goal is to be on top.

“Kennedie is a really great leader because she is not afraid to tell anyone what she thinks. She is very good at giving constructive criticism,” Taylor said. “She is not someone that will belittle or talk down to her teammates. Rather, she asks questions then gives very kind and specific feedback. Her words truly have the best intentions.”

Despite the teammate and dancer Tan is, her passion for dancing trumphs all. Tans passion has led her to future aspirations that she had never dreamed of. She hopes to entail a future full of striving for her goals. 

“I definitely want to dance in college. I have been going to recruitment camps since the beginning of my junior year,” Tan said. “I have already sent skill videos to the schools that I am interested in.”

Although Tan plans on continuing to dance in her future, she has goals for the finale of her senior season. She hopes to make it to day two of state, which she has yet to achieve since being a part of the ACHS dance team. The goal of every sport is to win or come out on top. Tan has had an incredible ride thus far and has yet to see what the future holds. All she knows is that at the end of this final season, she wants to be a champion.

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About the Contributors
Aubrey Ultsch, Tom Tom Staff
Aubrey is a senior and this is her second year on staff. She loves designing and writing stories that are outside of the box. In her free time, Aubrey enjoys hanging out with her friends, jet skiing, and playing softball for the school. The drive-thru Starbucks has a special place in her heart during off-campus lunch.
Hannah Barczak, Visual Director
Hannah Barczak is a senior this is her fourth year on staff as well as her second year as the Visual Director on the Executive Board of the Tom Tom.  Along with her interest in media, this will be her fourth year as an ACHS cheerleader. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends, taking pictures, and traveling during her free time. Barczak is excited to make the most of her senior year.

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