Senior Shannon Towery Has Passion for Dance

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Inside Performing Arts Center, potential and talent blooms in many shapes and forms. The music turns on and the girls line move into a block. It is time to stretch and warm up for their dance class. Among the group of girls is Shannon Towery, a senior at FHN.

“I dance a lot,” Towery said. “I go to school, and I work. That’s basically my life.”

Towery, 17, has been dancing since she was about 4 years old. She was inspired to dance by her older sister, Tori, who also took dance lessons at PAC as well as danced on Knightline. Towery has dance classes on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and some Sundays.

“My older sister danced,” Towery said. “And so as a little kid, I always looked up to her. She danced here as well. She had all the same teachers.”

While she used to dance competitively on a team, Towery dances recreationally while engaging in ballet, pointe, jazz, hip-hop, leaps and turns and accelerated ballet. Though Towery does not like the competitive side of dance, she still participates in ballet exams, which determines her placement and what level classes she can take at the center. These exams take place during February.

“I competed on a dance team for a while, but I just like taking class,” Towery said.

For Towery, dancing provides an outlet for expression, entertainment and exercise. Her incentive to keep working hard is the pure satisfaction she receives when she accomplishes a daunting turn, leap or other type of movement.

“When you’re learning a new step or a new move, and you finally get it, and you nail it, it’s really motivating,” Towery said. “It just makes you feel really good.”

Towery is often praised for her hard work in the studio where she spends many hours a week practicing to better herself among side of her peers.

“She’s hard working,” Anita Borgmeyer, Towery’s dance teacher, said. “”Very hard working, very passionate about dance.”

Towery’s dedication and perseverance has made her grown and mature. She is also a role model for both her mother, Mary, and her father, James.

“The fact that she tries so hard means that if I don’t get something right the first time, then I need to go back and stay after it,” James said. “Be persistent. Don’t give up after the first one, or two, or 15 times you try it. Keep after it.”

Her mother and father support Towery through her decisions and keep encouraging her to do whatever makes her happy. Though Towery does not plan on continuing dance during college, she has plans to join the army and the ROTC. She is always welcomed back to the studio if she ever wanted to take classes again.

“I’m very proud,” Towery’s mother said. “She’s a very talented girl. She inspires me just in her tenacity to be disciplined in exercising and practicing.”

Towery advises those who may want to take dance classes to just go for it. It seemed scary at first for Towery, but after her break from dancing, she decided to jump right back in.

“It’s really fun,” Towery said. “One of my teachers said the other day that it teaches you discipline, and it does. And I see it. It’s just really fun to move around. It’s good exercise. It’s work. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.”


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