The pointe of dancing

Alanna Lair '20 opens up about dancing and charity work

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The pointe of dancing

Lair standing with her parents after a dance competition.

Lair standing with her parents after a dance competition.

Ellen Hundt

Lair standing with her parents after a dance competition.

Ellen Hundt

Ellen Hundt

Lair standing with her parents after a dance competition.

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After an career-ending ankle injury, Alanna Lair ’20 stopped ice skating and began dancing. As of today, she’s been dancing for 10 years. Now, she focuses on dancing and charity work.

Lair said, “ I started dancing [because] I love how I can do whatever I want to and feel free from stress.” On Mondays through Thursdays, she dances for three hours at the National Dance Academy and practices ballet, lyrical dance, hip hop and other dances. After completing high school, she said she may pursue dance as a career. Lair said that although she believes she is good at dancing, she has not joined the West High school dance team, the West High Poms. Her friend, her teammate on her dance team and her mother said she loves dancing. Her friend Sasha Merkel said that she was fun to watch and her teammate Lillian said that she’s “a very good dancer.”

Lair said that much of her inspiration to dance stems from her dance teachers and her mother, saying “she’s a total dance mom and she does all my hair and all my makeup and comes to all my performances and auditions.”

“I started dancing [because] I love how I can … feel free from stress”

Her mother encouraged Lair to dance because, according to Lair, her mother didn’t have the opportunity to dance as a child. Her mother “wants to see her dreams in me,” Lair said. She also said that her dance teachers encourage her to continue improving at dance and are a big influence in her life. Although her mother said that now she doesn’t want to learn how to dance, she enjoys watching Alanna. “[Watching Lair dance] is amazing and one of my favorite things to see.”

Lair wishes to open her own dance studio and help teach children, especially minority and disadvantaged children. Merkel told me that Lair having her own dance studio will happen if Lair puts lots of hard work into it.

On weekends, Lair said that she volunteers and does community for at least an hour. Inspiration for doing charity work for children comes from seeing children at school not receive resources when they needed them, according to her. She said charity work is rewarding, and missions trips in particular are very emotional due to seeing people less fortunate than her. “It was really emotional for me to go on mission trips and see people in a bad state,” Lair said.

From dancing to charity work, Alanna Lair does it all.

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The pointe of dancing