Johnson Finds A ‘Breakthrough’

Highland+Dance+Company+Performs+at+their+fall+concert%2C+%22Breakthrough.%22
Highland Dance Company Performs at their fall concert,

Highland Dance Company Performs at their fall concert, "Breakthrough."

Madison Anderson

Madison Anderson

Highland Dance Company Performs at their fall concert, "Breakthrough."

Ana Toronto, Staff Writer

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When Sydney Johnson was four years old, her parents signed her up to play soccer. As they sat there and watched, they began to notice that she wasn’t like the other players. Johnson was off in the corner of the grassy field dancing and singing. When the ball did come to her, she quickly leapt over it instead of kicking it.

After one season of soccer, they agreed to put her into dance. They didn’t know that putting her in dance classes eventually led to where she is now.

Not only does Johnson love to dance but she has always had a passion for musical theater. Just like dancing, her parents immersed her in musical theater when she was young, putting her in a program called “Up With Kids.” There, she took dance, voice and acting classes. This is where she fell in love with performing and has been involved with many musicals since.

Her plan is to attend Brigham Young University where she plans to major in music, dance and theater. It is unique to participate in all of the fine arts. Johnson likes all the performing arts so BYU offers the perfect blend of all three. There are so many careers she could pursue, but teaching is what interests her the most.

Theater gives Johnson a sense of individuality and helps her express herself. Every time she steps out onto stage, whether it is for dancing, singing it still excites her. She wants to be able to share that feeling by teaching. The performing arts give her an identity and she isn’t scared to share it with people and that shows when she performs.

“I think her greatest strength is her identity,” her mother Teresa Johnson said. “She has her unique identity and doesn’t have to be like other people. She is confident in herself.”

Johnson started performing when she was four years old. When she was younger, people would always comment on how sassy and smiley. She continues to stand out from the other performers. Her individuality and her passion is shown through her confidence on stage.

“I really love sassy hip hop,” Johnson said. “It pushes you to pull out a different side of yourself. You have to find this persona that you have to put on, which is really fun. Most times in your life, you don’t get the opportunity to show that.”

She danced at the School of Dance until she was 12 years old and then switched to Silhouette dance studio. Now she just dances at Highland. Some of her greatest accomplishments are all the performances the dance company puts on every year. For her, every year they keep getting better and better. Not only did she she enjoy the performances but she loved when she got to compete in middle school and the beginning of high school. She competed for Silhouette and won 1st place overall for her solo at the American Dance Competition. She also placed 1st in the Advanced Pro overall at the Aspire Dance Competition.

Ever since she made it onto the company her freshman year, she has strived to be the President. She enjoyed the sisterhood so much that she wanted to carry out the legacy. Johnson is very determined and passionate about dance and that is seen in her performance. During her freshmen year she sprained her ankle right before try outs. Her ankle was bruised and swollen but she pushed through the tryout and was determined to make the company. Even though her ankle restricted her from doing half of the audition, she still made it. She has been dancing for the company for four years and it still excites her to perform in front of the school.

“I enjoy is performing whether it is singing, dancing or acting,” Johnson said. “I love being on the stage and being able to portray something that people can relate to. I think that is so special because you can have one person connecting to thousands of people. You walk off stage and know that everyone there can take away something from the performance. They get to walk away with something you gave them.”

The new 2017-18 Highland Dance Company presidency consists of Johnson as President, Hannah Henderson as Vice President and Ivey Paulsen as Secretary. All of these girls have worked together to make this year one of the best. This year the company took 12 new girls and has 26 members in total. Johnson wanted to focus on unity and has changed how she wanted to run the company. In past years, the President did everything but this year is very different. It’s not just the President, it’s the vice president and secretary. The presidency has focused on unity and will delegate everything evenly.

“The DCO presidency just all works together so we do everything between the three of us,” Paulsen said. “It’s so fun. We work really well together and like it’s super easy to make decisions and choreograph because we both contribute ideas and want things to be good for everyone.”

“Breakthrough” was the dance company’s fall concert. The concert started 40 minutes late because of technical difficulties that weren’t in the company’s control. But once the show started the performances went really well. The audience pushes everyone to work harder and to perform better. At the end of the concert the finale music wouldn’t stop but they made the best out of the situation. Johnson had a very positive attitude about the difficulties they had putting on this concert. She and the company can’t wait to start preparing for their next concert in the spring.

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