Junior Kelsey Carnes Returns to Knightline


Credit to Alexis Wade

Junior Kelsey Carnes dances with Studline during the 2018 Homecoming Halftime. Carnes was on Knightline her Freshman year and then returned her junior year, after a break her sophomore year.

The final school bell rings and junior Kelsey Carnes heads downstairs for her two hour Knightline dance practice. She pushes through the practice, sweat showing through her pores. As practice comes to an end, she heads out the door and into her car to go to her dance studio for a night full of dance classes.

“It keeps me in shape, like, it keeps my body healthy, but not in a way that you think, it’s just something I like to do and it keeps you healthy,” Carnes said.

Carnes has been dancing since she was three-years-old. Her mom owns a dance studio, Dance Plus, so she spends most of her time at the studio. Carnes takes about 28 classes a week. Along with that, she is on the competition team at her studio, Pride. In total, Carnes dances about 28 hours at the studio each week.

“Dance is all I do,” Carnes said. “It’s dance and school and then I go to sleep. I don’t really have time to do anything else, sometimes I have to take time away from school.”

As Carnes was heading into high school, she heard about the Knightline dance team at FHN. She decided to tryout because she wanted to be involved in high school and thought this would be a great way to be involved from the start. At the end of tryouts, she found out she made the varsity team. She was the only freshman who made varsity at this time. As her first year on Knightline progressed, Carnes found that she really enjoyed being a part of this team. But, since she was the only freshman on varsity, she realized it was difficult to become close with all the girls.

Dance is all I do. It’s dance and school and then I go to sleep. I don’t really have time to do anything else, sometimes I have to take time away from school.”

— Kelsey Carnes

“It was fun,” Carnes said. “But since everyone in the team already had friends, they were all really close so I was kind of by myself.”        

Throughout her first year on the team, Carnes started to notice that she had even less time on her hands than she had before. She was finding it hard to manage school, dance team practice, studio classes, studio competition team and still find time to hang out with her friends. At the end of her freshman year, Carnes decided to not return to Knightline for her sophomore year and give herself some time to figure things out.

“I had to take a break to figure out school stuff and it [dance team practice] was taking a lot of time away from my studio dance,” Carnes said.

After a year of not being on Knightline and having time to figure things out, Carnes decided to come back to Knightline. But, she did not come to the first tryouts Knightline held, she came to the second round of tryouts.

“I am definitely excited she is back, because she had been a part of the team before and she is a very talented dancer, so that is exciting and she is a positive team member,” Head Varsity Coach Tammy Rokita said. “Besides just strength in her ability as a dancer, she brings a groundness and she is so down to Earth. She brings a lot of focus.”

The girls on the team were also very excited that Carnes is back. They all enjoy her positive energy and her spirit she brings to the team. Carnes plans to tryout again and continue Knightline through her senior year.

“I really like Kelsey,” teammate Emma Quinn said. “She is really nice and I think she is a really good addition. She was quiet at first, but she has warmed up.”