Dancing through life


Amelia Southern

When Paris dances there is a philosophy, “if you cant speak about what you are dancing then the audience won’t read what you dance”, so they get asked questions so they have to think about what lines mean and make it their own so they are connected to the music and the dance.”

Sofia Calderon, Podcaster and Photographer

As a young girl, Paris Wood participated in beauty pageants but eventually realized that the beauty aspect did not interest her: only the talent part did, which was dancing. Today, Paris is one of the best dancers here at FHS and in the nation. She is part of the school varsity dance team as well as the United States dance team and has been growing in the dance community by being a member of the Dance Makers tour – a dance group that tours around the country and performs.

Penny Pemberton, her friend, mentor, and dance teacher, started dancing with Paris before she became her instructor. Not only did Penny teach Paris how to become a better dancer, but she also taught her that dance is not all about perfect technique and winning. It is also about years of soul searching to find out who you are, and turning that into a message that you are comfortable with and showing it in a dance. When she dances, Paris emphasized the emotion in her dance in order to move the audience and get them to understand the feeling she is demonstrating.

Even though she is naturally talented in the art of dance, she has very intense training and practices to improve her techniques and dancing overall. While training she says, “it’s very different than what most studios do” and “it is more strenuous on the body and mind”. She trains every day except for Fridays and she may be called in at any time for practicing.

Paris decided to send in a video for the U.S. dance team, and when she was accepted onto the team she felt scared, the moment felt surreal, and overall it was one crazy experience. While on the team, she had to go to Little Rock one a month for three days and had to dance for 12 to 14 hours a day. It was a very rigorous experience. Paris also traveled to Poland with the U.S. dance team for a competition and placed second for adult modern formation, fifth for adult jazz formation, and 22nd for her own modern solo dance.

What does the future hold? Paris she has always dreamed of auditioning for “So You think you can dance?”, going to a dance school such as the University of Southern California, and joining Dance Makers. Paris plans on attending the University of Arkansas but also has her sights set on transferring to a dance school such as USC in the future.

Paris’s amazing talent, hard work ethic, and great determination will lead to her doing amazing things in the future, and maybe one day the world will see her as a world-renowned dancer for her mesmerizing performances.