Estefani is a junior and second-year reporter. In addition to being a staff member for The Wolfpack, she is also part of the Tracks yearbook staff. She enjoys learning and writing about peoples' stories and passions. After she graduates, she hopes to attend the University of Texas Austin and major in either journalism or social work. Some facts about her include; her love for elephants, pasta, the color yellow and musicians Ashe and Lauv. She is still prone to falling down stairs, tripping over her own feet and laughing at puns.
Owning the Stage
Celebrities Captain Shares her Dance Journey, Struggles, Proudest Moments
May 30, 2019
Five honor societies. Six dance shows. Seven a.m. practice. Eight leadership awards.
With lights and eyes on the football field, the routine begins. In a white uniform with green and silver glitter embellishments, white boots and hat, senior and Celebrities dance captain, Caiti Dodge, struts on to the field followed by her fellow line officers and Celebrities.
Dodge began her dance journey at the age of two. She said that although she felt burnt out at times in dance and tried other sports like soccer and basketball, she did not feel the same passion for other sports as she felt for dance.
“I think [dance] is just something that could always be a constant because I did a whole bunch of other sports along with it, and they just didn’t stick as dance did,” Dodge said. “And so [dance] was definitely something that I could enjoy and that I could make a lot of friends with, and I just kind of clicked with.”
Through her four years, from Emerald to Celebrity, Dodge has experienced what the dance program has to offer. Last year, Dodge was granted the opportunity to become a line officer. She said that having that leadership role helped her adjust to becoming captain this year.
“I’m definitely thankful to be a line officer before being captain,” Dodge said. “I learned a lot and it helped me transition between roles. That being said though, it was definitely a big jump, but I had the best officer line and directors that helped me.”
With the passing of Stacy Danielson, their former dance director and coach of 17 years, last July from colon cancer, the feeling of the new year as a team for the Celebrities was different. Although some might feel immense pressure from taking on the captain position, Dodge said this was not the case for her due to the support from her team.
“I didn’t feel too much pressure because the girls were always there for me,” Dodge said. “They knew that this year was going to be hard and they showed me nothing but love and grace the whole way.”
Dodge said that her time in the dance program and as a Celebrity has taught her work ethic as well.
“Celebrities is one of those things that if you’re not committed and not ready to work, then it’s not for you,” Dodge said. “You have to wake up [early] every morning, you have to stay late and have a whole bunch of practices. You do stuff for not a lot of reward, [because] you’re not doing it for yourself, you’re doing it for the team. Celebrities has taught me what it means to do stuff and to do stuff because I love to do it, not because I want the award for it.”
Without the physical presence of Danielson to help put together their spring show, “Legacy,” Dodge took charge as captain alongside their new director, Nikki Evans, and assistant director, Alaina Flores. Apart from preparations for the dance show, Dodge also led the choreography for the theatre’s “Legally Blonde” musical as the dance captain for the department. Dodge describes her proudest moment this year occurring during the closing nights for both shows.
“I just kind of realized that I think I’ve left my mark on my team and we succeeded as a team, I was proud to be their captain,” Dodge said. “And the same with ‘Legally Blonde’ closing night, I felt really proud of my cast and [felt proud] that I’ve helped a huge group of people accomplish their goals together.”
As graduation approaches, Dodge said her feeling are mixed. She is ready for big, better things, but said that she will miss the football games and the small community environment of Cedar Park.
“My friends and I realized recently that our time is almost over,” Dodge said. “I’m not going to be able to see them every day if I want to and so that’s been a challenge. [I am] trying to make the most of every moment, but then knowing that it is coming to an end and trying to find the bright side of that, while also feeling the difficult side that we’re about to leave each other.”
During her journey at Cedar Park, which Dodge said helped make her more sure of herself, she credits her growth to the positivity that surrounded her. Additionally, she said she accomplished one of her main goals: making the most of every moment. This fall, Dodge will continue her education at Texas A&M where she will pursue a physical therapy degree.
“I’ve tried a little bit of everything at Cedar Park,” Dodge said. “Just always wanting to make sure that I’ve tried everything and that I’ve gotten the most out of my high school years before I started to become an adult and more serious.”