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10 Questions with…dancer Aaralyn Johnson


Junior Aaralyn Johnson has been a dancer for roughly 2 years now. Johnson speaks on how they would prepare for dance competitions, different travel spots, techniques, her future career and young dancers in the Woodhaven community.

How do you and your team prepare for Dance Competitions? What are some ways you guys practice?

We prepare by practicing a lot, and very hard at our practices, but basically, when we practice we run the dances over and over and we fix every little mistake. We do this thing called cleaning which is when she looks at every little thing that is wrong so then when we perform we will look clean. I think we all get very tired, but it’s definitely worth it.

What is it like traveling from place to place as a dancer? What are your top 3 favorite places you visited and why?

It’s very tiring, definitely very tiring. It’s also really fun though because we get to experience new places and see new things, but I do have my favorites places like the Little Caesar Arena is definitely my top one because it was just such a cool experience because we got to meet other teams and things like that. Another place that I would say is when we went to camp. I think it was Oakland University if I’m not mistaken. It was really tough at camp, but it was also really fun, but still a lot of hard work. The campus was absolutely beautiful. There was also this high school that was two hours away and it was huge and gorgeous and the way they set up the competitions was nice. We really enjoyed it.

How do you think people should prepare themselves to audition for the dance team? What specific techniques should they pay attention to?

A way they can prepare themselves to audition is by paying attention to techniques like, keeping your toes pointed, having strong arms and always keep a smile on your face even though that really doesn’t count as a technique. Just always have some type of facial expression because it contributes to the dance. Also make sure you have straight legs when you are going into your  jumps, your leaps, and your turns, and also by just having a smile on your face. I definitely think that’s what they look for in a dancer.

How do you think your mind has developed as a dancer now compared to when you first started? Do you feel as if you move more fluently now than when you first started out?  

I definitely started to pay more attention to how I do the moves rather than just doing the moves. I also learned how to just go with the music and vibes. I also feel like I move more fluently than when I first started. When I first started I just wanted to get the moves down and I was just going through the moves rather than just feeling them if that makes sense. I feel like now that I’ve grown as a dancer I’m starting to really learn how to feel the moves and go with the music and pay attention to my technique.

What dance style makes you the most active? How often do you perform these styles of dance and what do you feel when you do these dances?

I would say between Pom and Jazz, because Pom you have to be very sharp and we perform Pom very often, we literally perform it at every football game. It’s basically the main thing about dance. It’s always going to be at least one genre of two of our competition dances. With Pom I feel very confident. Then with jazz, you have to move very fluently and iridescently.We’ve done Jazz like once during football season. Jazz is my favorite specifically for this reason because when I do jazz you don’t have to be super sharp all the time and I feel like a feather.

Do you see yourself becoming a professional dancer? If not, what career do you want to pursue in the future?

I don’t see myself being a professional dancer, but I do want to be a nurse because I think I have a lot of empathy for people, and I just like to take care of people and see them healthy.

Tell me about an average dance competition. What do you do? What do you want people to know about the JV Dance team when it comes to competitions?

An average dance competition is having to wake up super early and then getting ready, and then we go on the bus and normally our rides are between 30 minutes and 2 hours. Then we go to our competition. Typically it’s Jazz then Pom then Hip-Hop in that order and we do our dances, and sometimes awards don’t even start until 5pm so it’s very tiring and before awards we eat and then do them. I also want people to know that when it comes to our team there is little to no drama. Everyone is super sweet, everyone gets along well and it’s like building a family.

How do you overcome forgetting a part in a dance routine?

Just keep a smile on your face, once you have your smile you can just pick right back up on the dance routine.

Are you doing anything to help young dancers in the Woodhaven community? What basic skills do you teach them?

Yes, we hold dance clinics for younger kids from kindergarten to eighth graders and we teach them basic skills like Pom arms, because there are different sets of Pom arms like, low V and then there’s a high V and then the K and there’s the cheerios. We do them in our sideline dances and we teach the little ones how to be strong when you’re holding your arms. We also teach them basic skills like leaps, and pirouettes and basic technique within the leaps and pirouettes. 

Do you have any advice for any upcoming dancers?

I would say, don’t look at dance as a burden but instead look as something that you love to do and have a passion for it.

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