Pauley commits to Iowa Western for Dance

AHSTW Senior Makenzie Pauley will be joining the dance team at Iowa Western CC following the conclusion of her high school days.

“I'm pretty excited to be joining this team,” Pauley said. “You can tell they put in so much work and dedication to the team, and I'm ready to be a part of it. I am also nervous as well. It's going to be a lot of work and I really have to push myself to do my best at the college level. I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to be on such a great team.”

The love for dance started at an early age for Pauley courtesy of her mom enrolling her in a class.

“I started dancing when I was around the age of four,” she said. “My mom put me in dance and ever since It's always been in my life. When I was younger I would always love to watch the older girls dance and wanted to be just as good as them. One of them being my childhood babysitter. She would come over and help me with my dance moves and tricks. For the majority of my dance career I grew up in a small studio in Neola. I was there for 12 years, with also being on the competitive team for five years. Once I got into highschool I was on AHSTW varsity dance team all four years.”

Like most students, Pauley had options in front of her, and talked about what led her to choosing Iowa Western.

“Iowa Western Community College has a really great nursing program,” she added. “I have some friends and family that already go there that are in IWCC nursing programs. When I went on a tour of the campus a couple weeks ago, I got a tour of the nursing part of the campus. I was shocked at how many scenarios can be played out and all of the hospital rooms set up for lab practicals. Once I entered my junior year of high school, I wanted to be a part of their dance team. They have won national championships with their routines. I want to keep dancing as long as I can before moving on to the next big part of my life. IWCC is also close to home, I can go back on weekends or breaks and won't have to worry about a long drive there and back.”

Pauley gave credit to her family for the support they’ve given her.

“My Family has always been a big supporter,” she said. “It would be stressful and challenging to pick up new moves in a class with girls older than me. Being one the youngest in some classes I knew I would need to put work outside of the studio. My mom was with me throughout my competitive days and these long days get tiring but she was there and pushed me to be my best even when I was tired. My dad and brothers would come watch every dance recital I performed at even though they were hours long.”

With her high schools days nearing an end, Pauley has already a chance to meet the head dance coach for Iowa Western, Michaela Patterson, and is looking forward to learning from her/working with her.

“Meeting and talking to Michaela again was a great experience,” Pauley said. “She talked through what being on the dance team would be like and how much work is needed to be put in. I am very excited to be able to have her as my college dance coach.”

Like any sport, athletes learn lessons along the way, and regardless of how her college dance career plays out, Pauley will take some of the lessons she learned dancing in high school to her college dance team.

“I always offer help and motivation if needed,” Pauley added. “It may be challenging at first but the more you practice the better you will get. Also teamwork is another thing. Without teamwork there really can't be a team. In high school we always found time to bond with one another. Helping each other out with moves or counts.”



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