Senior Shauna Sloms is known as an excellent student, as well as an outstanding athlete. Starting dance at only three years old, Shauna Sloms has been dancing practically her whole life. She started off with ballet, tap, jazz, and hip-hop. “I’ve tried other sports,” she said, “but I didn’t like any of them as much as I love ballet.”
The first dance studio Sloms attended was Kelly Richards, located about five minutes away from her house. She danced at that studio to be with some friends and at the time didn’t take dancing as a serious sport.
Around the age of eight, Sloms changed studios, so that she could compete at a more serious level. Budzynski Studio of Ballet in Doylestown, PA, became her new studio.
Sloms said that she never has done a dance competition; she has strictly stuck to ballets and conventions. She also explained that ballet requires more technique and is much harder than competition dance.
Soon she began to perform in ballets, such as the Nutcrakcer, Coppelia, and Sleeping Beauty. Sloms said, “These ballets were the best. It was really cool to move from conventions to actually acting and dancing, while telling a story.”
As time progressed, Sloms continued to advance and decided to change studios again to meet her skill set. She switched to the competitive The School of Pennsylvania Ballet located in Philadelphia, which required Sloms to take the train into the city and dance from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm every weekday.
Sloms explained, “Leaving from school was hard because in the morning, I would rush around to get food for before dance and get all of my clothes together.”
According to Sloms, a typical practice would start with stretching and then the rest of the practice would depend on the ballet they were working on.
Sloms said that she had to make a lot of sacrifices in order to train and has not attended a football game in at least a year because of ballet practices.
“I don’t really have the time to do normal teenager things,” Sloms said. “But when I was younger, in middle school and as a sophomore, I had the time to do those things, so at least I didn’t miss out on the experiences.”
Sloms explained that she realized that the sacrifices were important because they would “help her career in the long run.”
Sloms had hit a crossroad in her sophomore year when she had to decide between ballet and basketball because ballet became too time consuming. She said, “It was a really hard decision and it took me awhile to figure out.”
After much consideration, Sloms decided to tryout for CB South’s girls’ basketball, and she ended up making the Junior Varsity team. In exchange for this, Sloms had to stop ballet because there would be too many conflicts.
However, after a little over a month without ballet, she realized how much she missed it. “I quit dance for a year my sophomore year and played junior varsity basketball for South,” Sloms said, “and it made me realize how much I love dance and can’t really go without it.”
After those short weeks without dance, Sloms started back at The School of Pennsylvania Ballet, and although she wasn’t quite as flexible as before, Sloms said with a few practices, she was back to normal.
“I only stopped dance for a few weeks, and I was already behind all the other girls,” Sloms said. “It took some time to get my flexibility back, but other than that, my technique didn’t fade.”
Sloms continues to dance for The School of Pennsylvania Ballet and is still performing in many ballets.
Sloms plans on attending USC next year for dance. She said she knows that she wants to dance as a career when she is older. “I think it would be cool to be a dancer when I’m out of college and as a career. I like school, but I would rather dance as a career than do anything else. Performing in any famous ballets would be a dream come true,” she said. “Of course, if something goes wrong with dancing, I always have back up academically.”
Dancing may be a major commitment, but Sloms loves to dance and plans on building her future around it.