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The Chariot

Student Pursues Career in Dance

Junior Olivia Bonich practices six days a week and dances competitively.

Bonich+does+the+splits+in+Times+Square.
Bonich does the splits in Times Square.

Bonich does the splits in Times Square.

PHOTO COURTESY OF OLIVIA BONICH

PHOTO COURTESY OF OLIVIA BONICH

Bonich does the splits in Times Square.

Patti Kubota and Priya Bandstra

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Junior Olivia Bonich knows the struggle of late night dance practices and sore wake-ups all too well. Being a competitive dancer can be demanding, especially when schoolwork and family are added into an already crowded schedule. She dances both in her basement and at her studio, Spotlight Dance Works, in order to achieve her ultimate dream of becoming a choreographer or a professional dancer.

Bonich’s dancing career first started when she was 6 years old. Since then, she has been dedicated to the sport. Bonich has practice six days a week for five or more hours. They consist of training in many different styles, including her favorites, hip-hop and contemporary. Although Bonich is passionate about dance, the extensive amount of time that she spends in the studio causes her trouble when trying to have a normal teenage life.

“I have no social life and my grades are not as well as they could be if I wasn’t at dance; however, I do try to make time for schoolwork,” Bonich said.

Bonich follows a strict diet in order to stay in shape.
“I have carbs but not cookies or cakes,” Bonich said. “It’s kind of hard because when I’m with friends they eat whatever they want. I have to say no to them whenever they offer it. Once in awhile I can eat something like that, but mostly I try to keep a healthy, maintained diet.”

Unlike most, Bonich doesn’t get overly nervous before going onstage. She has fun and enjoys the spotlight.

“I feel like I’m in another world when I’m dancing. I am both happy and focused,” Bonich said. “The feeling of being on stage is electrifying and gives me so much adrenaline.”

Bonich has a strong support system through her family, friends and dance instructors.

“I like all the friends that I meet,” Bonich said. “Dancers have a special quality to them. They’re very accepting. I also love the teachers. They support me in every way possible. If I have to miss dance for school or anything, really, they’re very considerate about that.”

Bonich finds inspiration from conventions where she takes classes from many different choreographers.
“Learning all of these different moves from them made me create my own moves,” Bonich said. “I’d just go downstairs in my basement and make up my own.”

Liz Schmidt has been instructing Bonich for about three years and is one of Bonich’s biggest supporters.

“Choreographers have to be willing and excited about sharing ideas and pushing boundaries,” Schmidt said. “She should explore and share her ideas whenever given the chance. I think Olivia is smart and I can’t wait to see her really step into her own and move with her own unique style.”

Emily Noel, a junior from Anchor Bay High School, is one of Bonich’s best dance friends. Noel and Bonich have danced together for two years.

“She brings a positive attitude which rubs off as a positive environment. She is very outgoing and hard-working,” Noel said.

Bonich has high hopes for the future and will continue training every day and practicing her technique.

“I picture myself becoming a famous choreographer for concerts and companies and colleges or maybe even on Broadway,” she said.

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Student Pursues Career in Dance