Juniors Find Fulfillment in Dance

Mariel Rossi deVries, Staff Writer

When junior Gwen Kessenich began ballet at Ace studio, she found something she looked forward to every week, and a group of girls she considers her 2nd family. She now co-teaches a class for kids 5 years younger than she is. “I feel like I am an older sister to them,” said Kessenich.

Kessenich also does jazz, contemporary, and pointe training in ballet. According to Kessenich, dance has taught her “to find her center, to seperate from life and put things in perspective,”

Fellow junior Sofya Pesternikova also practices dance, but in a very different style. Pesternikova began Latin ballroom dancing in grade 8, learning dances like the Samba and Jive.

“I love how it is very disciplined, and it helps me to focus. I wouldn’t be who I am today without it,” said Pesternikova. She firmly believes that having a strong base will help her later in competitions, allowing her to add on layers to perfect her routine.

Pesternikova and Kessenich agree that dance has provided a positive influence that carries over into the rest of their lives. “Any dance is good for the soul, because it helps calm you down and focus on the present,” said Pesternikova.