Members of the Padua Dance Team Share Their Experiences


Stella W. '19

I asked the dancers to strike a pose, and they didn't disappoint.

Stella W. '19, Editor-in-Chief

Every Padua student who’s seen a pep rally knows that the dance team performs fantastically coordinated numbers—but do we know how much work and dedication goes behind the scenes?

What motivated them to start dancing? “I was a really shy child and hated sports, so my mom threw me in ballet,” says Ella Sargent, a sophomore. Leah Gentilotti, also a sophomore, shares a similar origin story. “My mom put me in classes and I just never stopped. I always wanted to go back.”

“Dance was always my sport, I quit it and I always came back to it,” says Jordyn Collins, a junior. “It was always my favorite way of expressing myself.”

“I always thought it looked cool on TV, so I tried it,” says Delaney Lawson, a sophomore who is new on the Padua team this year.

The average starting age between the four of them is about four, meaning that between these four young dancers they boast roughly a combined 43 years of experience. That is an undeniably significant commitment to an activity that is both time-consuming and physically draining—so what motivates them to keep dancing?

“The end result is the most rewarding,” says Collins. “The fact that we all go on the court, we get a lot of attention from our teammates and from our fellow students, it’s amazing when you are having a really tough struggle with something and you finally achieve it.

“If you have a bad day, it’s such a good feeling to get it all out,” says Sargent.

If you have a bad day, it’s such a good feeling to get it all out.”

— Ella Sargent

For Gentilotti, social media plays a major role in motivating her to keep dancing. “For me, I love watching social media influencers dance. They’re really cool to watch and they motivate me,” she says. “And growing up I watched a lot of dance moms, so those people inspired me as well!”

Many students will remember the incident at a spirit assembly last year in which the dance team’s music shut off halfway through the routine, and the performance kept on going without it. Sargent cites this experience as one that made her realize the connectedness she shares with her teammates, saying, “It’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever witnessed.”

“It was one of the scariest things in the world because we have to have music to perform,” Collins elaborates. “The interesting thing was that we all knew what to do, and all knew how to come together. We didn’t even need the music—it’s really cool that you can have people that you can rely on to do that with you.”

“It also really showed our chemistry,” says Gentilotti. “A lot of people thought that we practiced that. We didn’t!”

The dance team never fails to get students excited, and no doubt will continue to impress us this school year.