Students perform professionally

Amanda Weston

     Cedar Park High School is known for its diverse student body; from band, athletics and cheer, to theatre, choir and dance. But some students interests extend outside the school. They enjoy performing professionally, or as amateurs, for various audiences as dancers, singers, actors or athletes.

     Alisa Guardiola, senior, is not only captain of the Celebrities dance team, but also a member of the senior division of Rise Dance Company at The Dance Spot studio under the direction of Quinton Weathers. Girls between the ages of eight and eighteen must go through an audition process to be placed in the junior, teen or senior divisions of the company. Dancers perform around Austin and attend competitions and conventions all across Texas. This year they will travel to conventions including the New York City Dance Alliance, West Coast Dance Explosion, Starbound National Talent Competition and Star Systems National Talent Competition.

     Guardiola practices four hours a day Monday through Thursday and up to eight hours a day on the weekend. Guardiola must also balance schoolwork with her dancing.

     “School is a full-time job, and dance is another job to prepare for the future. You go out into the world as a dancer and live two lives at once,” Guardiola said.

     In the future, Guardiola hopes to attend college in California and become a professional choreographer.

     Not only are there professional dancers at CPHS, but singers as well. Meg Groves, freshman, performs as Disney star Hannah Montana for tribute concerts, birthday parties and charity events. At shows she performs Hannah Montana songs, gives out autographs and CDs and holds trivia contests.

     “I got started at Austin Models and Talent and got my first gig at a country club,” Groves said. “I love [performing for] five-year-olds. They actually believe I’m Hannah Montana, and I love making kids happy and their birthday parties special; its fun to be someone else for a day.”

     The Austin Models and Talent agency includes not only actors and models, but also photographers, voice over artists, singers, animal talent and other celebrity impersonators.

     Many theatre students act outside of the school’s program. Zach Hawks, freshman, participated in the school musical, White Christmas and performs weekly plays for children at his church as well. Writers at the church incorporate Bible stories into skits for children that teach them life lessons such as honesty and hard work. Hawks began acting in the skits at the age of six when a small boy was needed for a role. He has been acting in them ever since.

     “I love to act, and it’s cool to help the kids and be an icon. I love acting every week and getting to know the kids. The work is sometimes overwhelming, but I love everything about it,” Hawks said. Lindsay Solomans, junior, performs outside of school as a figure skater at Chaparral Ice on I-35. She works with her private coach four times a week and participates in competitions three to four times a year.

     “The routines take a long time to get ready, and it’s difficult to remember the program.” Salomans said. “Sometimes it’s hard to get up at 4 AM, but it’s good because it gives me something to look forward to.”

     Solomans performs not only as a solo skater, but on part of a synchronized skating team as well. The Austintatious Stars figure skating team practices every Wednesday and is a four time national champion that participates in competitions all across the country. The team won the 2003 Ice Skating Institute National Championship and holds the title as the 2004-2009 ISI World Champion. They are the only adult team in Texas to have won consecutive ISI World Championships and plan on attending the Texas Hill Country Independence Open in June and ISI World Team Championships in July.

     “It’s fun to work with eleven other people; it’s exhilarating. I want to become a good skater and a coach eventually,” Salomans said.

     These students are just a few of many performers at Cedar Park High. You may be walking the halls and pass a singer, dancer, athlete or even actor of tomorrow without knowing. These individuals contribute to Cedar Park’s diversity and have high hopes for their future as professional performers.