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Highland Rambler

Dancing to Success with her Sisters

Billie Martinez
Claire Raybould

Claire Raybould, a senior at Highland, spreads sunshine with every smile she shares and to every place she goes, especially on the stage. Every time she performs with DCO (Dance Company) she connects with each girl on the team and shares her joyful spirit with each dance move from a little ripple to an explosion.  

Raybould has been dancing ever since she could walk. It continues to bring her child-like joy whenever the music turns on. Her favorite part is being able to express her own story with each separate piece of choreography that she is in.  

“Claire always loved dressing up and being on stage,” Liz Raybould (Raybould’s mother) said, “and then it became her favorite craft to hone her talents and express her feelings.” 

Raybould went through a lot of different challenges when it came to dance that included time management, learning different techniques, and Covid ballet classes.  

When her dance classes had moved onto zoom and dining room chairs became a ballet bar, she was forced to work on her technique on her own and had little time to make connections with the other girls in the class.  

It became such a relief when Raybould was able to go back in person and then made DCO her sophomore year. That year she was able to dance and work with her older sister Kate Raybould.  

That year the two sisters worked together and worked on several types of dances and choreography. One of Raybould’s favorite moments of her Highland DCO experience was when she and her older sister choreographed a dance together and performed it on stage.  

This dance was titled Dreamland and ended with the two siblings embracing each other as the lights faded out. This moment became a key part of Raybould’s motivation to push herself harder to be like her older sister.  

She was later able to return the favor to a younger dancer named Georgia Hathaway. Raybould was able to dance and act as if she was Hathaway’s older sister. This experience filled her with joy as she reciprocated the service her older sister gave her.  

“Having my older sister on the team was magical and made me want to be sisters with everyone on the team,” Raybould said.  

As Raybould continued to push herself, she found she was more willing to sacrifice her time to dance. She found it an outlook to connect with others and discovered more of herself through her experiences. She learned new ways to choreograph and what makes a good leader.  

She discovered that dance had become an art for her that she wanted to work with and develop her talents in. She was able to develop her sense of musicality from playing the violin in elementary and middle school. Learning how to count music and developing style helped her insert that in the way she danced.  

As she searched for her own style in choreography, she learned to tamper with dance moves that correlate with the beats and lyrics of the songs she picked. Playing with the timing and space helped prepare her for a two-minute dance that she created to submit for sterling scholar.  

She made this dance with her mom and sister practicing every day and devoting herself to her dance. It was a contemporary piece and as she recorded it in a studio with tall glass windows, it began to snow outside leaving her with a wonderful backdrop to the story she was telling with her choreographed movements.  

“My Mom and sister just inspired me so much because we all dance but especially my little sister because she is so dedicated and amazing,” Raybould said,” We practice together in our dance room and do everything together.” 

Raybould has worked hard each year and has been inspired by her family to continue to work hard. She has dedicated her time to dance and effort towards getting better and it has paid off as she now gets to carry the title of Dance Sterling Scholar.   

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