AHN’s First National Dance Honors Society

Sophomore Maddie Obregon states,

Sophomore Maddie Obregon states, “I’m so exited that the art of dance will begin a new name here at Academy.” Credit: Maddie Obregon

Audrey Diaz, Sophomore Staff Writer

For the first time in Academy Fine Arts history, the Fine Arts Department is preparing to welcome a whole new opportunity for AHN dancers: National Dance Honors Society. The National Dance Honors Society was started this year by performing arts teacher, Vivian Kimbler, and is comprised of 12 dancers. 

As to why this National Honor Society was founded, Kimbler stated, “I wanted to start this society mainly because it was the only art without one. I feel that the art of dance deserves more appreciation, and that with this society the members will have the chance to excel in their talent.”

In 2015, Kimbler gave her first-year dance appreciation students an opportunity to showcase their talent. Credit: Sydney Schaeffer/Achona Online
In 2015, Kimbler gave her first-year dance appreciation students an opportunity to showcase their talent. Credit: Sydney Schaeffer/Achona Online

Members in the NDHS range from freshman to seniors. Freshman Lindsay Ayers claims,

“I’m so excited that i’m able to be part of something so special in an art that I love. I feel honored to be able to be a freshman while this society is starting, and that I have the opportunity to watch it grow through the next few years.”

Dancers include:

Lindsay Ayers (9)

Rebekkah Eicholtz (9)

Tess Jakubiec (9)

Juliana Jett (9)

Hannah Rodriguez (9)

Maddie Urso (9)

Samantha Garateix (10)

Alex Smith (10)

Tessa Vaughn (11)

Ruby Knopik (12)

Maddie Matesich (12)

Alicia Rooney (12)

Dancers in the society range from Jaguraettes, competition dancers, and ballet dancers. Credit: Ruby Knopic
Dancers in the society range from Jaguraettes, competition dancers, and ballet dancers. Credit: Ruby Knopik

While going through the process of entering the society, ACHONA received the chance to talk with the president of the society, Maddie Obregon, and her fellow members Sam Garateix and Alex Smith.

When did you start dancing?

Obregon: “I started when I was two years old.”

Garateix: “I started dancing when I was 4.”

Smith: “I started dancing at a studio, Centerstage Dance Academy, when I was 3 years old. I still dance at the same studio today.”


What kind of dance opportunities have you been given at AHN?

Obregon: “Dance in the Raise the Curtain show, dance solos in Art Show, and be president of NDHS.”

Garateix: “At AHN I have had the opportunity to be in Dance Appreciation and I have also had the opportunity to be a member of the Jaguarettes Dance Team.”

Smith: “I am currently in Dance/Choreography/Performance Honors with Mrs. Kimbler which has given me a lot of opportunities to dance I never thought I would have at school. I have been able to choreograph pieces and expand my dancing to different styles I don’t usually focus on. I was excited and honored to have been able to choreograph a piece for Bye Bye Birdie this year!”


What has been you favorite dance performance you have had at AHN?

Obregon: “Raise the Curtain because I. got to dance with my dance appreciation class and do a solo It was fun!”

Garateix: “At AHN my favorite dance performance has been to be able to preform at Spike and Splash with my team for the past two years.”

Smith: “My favorite performances so far has of course been Maddie and I’s Drake performances. We performed Hotline Bling twice, although each time was a bit different. When we initially performed it at the pep rally, we had only just choreographed it the day before. The dance wasn’t too complex, but the energy in the room was so infectious and made that performance really special. I also loved the talent show performance because we were able to put more work into the piece, and we fully dressed like Drake head to toe. It was amazing seeing our fellow sophomores come to the show and support us. Winning third place wasn’t too bad either!”


Why did you want to be in National Dance Honors Society?

Obregon: “I love dance so much and wanted to give dance a good reputation at AHN.”

Garateix: “I wanted to be in National Dance Honor Society to have more honors when I graduate, but more importantly because I love to dance.”

Smith: “I was excited to be a part of Dance National Honors Society because it brought us together and helped Maddie and I meet so many great dancers in the high school we hadn’t known before. I think it is great that dance is being recognized as an honors society, like art and creative writing already are.”


In what ways has Mrs. Kimbler helped you in dance?

Obregon: “[She] helps me stay determined to go after my dreams.”

Garateix: “Mrs. Kimbler has helped me to better understand and know about the famous dancers of our past.”

Smith: “Mrs. Kimbler has encouraged me to explore different styles of dance, like broadway and tap, that I don’t usually work on outside of school. Her class is helping me to become a more well rounded dancer and also pushing me to work on not only dancing, but choreographing as well.”


What do you hope to achieve in the society and what are you most excited for?

Obregon: “I hope to represent dance well at AHN and I am most excited for our performances.”

Garateix: “In this society I hope to gain some more opportunities to perform and do what I love. I am also so thrilled to be in this society with my best friends by my side.”

Smith: “I am excited to work with other dancers from different grades to share dance with the rest of the students. I think the Dance Honors Society will help dance become a more prominent art form here at school.”