Olivia Renee Henderson
Senior, Drill Team (four years)
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED IN DANCE? I was involved in Corning lions cheer starting at age 12, but I didn’t actually start dancing until I made drill team my freshman year of high school.
DO YOU DANCE FOR ANY OTHER ORGANIZATIONS? I don’t currently dance for any other organizations, but last year I was fortunate enough to take classes at Hype dance studio in Chico, and eventually dance for their competition team called Fusion.
WHY ARE YOU TAKING DANCE? I’m taking dance simply because I love it. It has given me so many opportunities to meet new people, become involved and challenge myself everyday
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TYPE OF MUSIC TO DANCE TO? Even though I think contemporary dances are beautiful and impactful. I am, and probably always will be, a hip hop girl. I love that I can incorporate my own style to it. Something about that fast pace music just gets me going.
HOW DOES DANCE MAKE YOU FEEL? I don’t think there’s any one simple way to truly describe how dance makes me feel. I love the feeling of working and working to get a routine down and when it finally clicks and you’re able to dance freely and develop more style and sass. I get the best butterfly feeling before every performance and then when I start dancing it’s literally like you’re on top of the world. Nobody can take that feeling away from you for as long as you’re on that court, or on that stage. I’m able to forget everything that may be bothering me and just focus on me and what I love for those short moments.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF WITH DANCE IN FIVE YEARS? In five years I don’t know that I will still be dancing. Unfortunately, because I’m involved in other sports, I wasn’t able to continue to dance for Fusion so I’m no longer able to be challenged at that higher level of dance that could’ve potentially helped me keep going in college. If there are opportunities for me to dance in college that would work with my schedule I will surely take them, even if that means teaching dance because I love working with younger kids too.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE DANCER THAT YOU PREFER TO WATCH? I watch a lot of dancers on Instagram and aspire to be able to dance like them. One of my favorites is Kaycee Rice.
DO YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW A SPECIFIC DIET AND OR GO TO THE GYM? I don’t follow any sort of specific diet. I’m constantly drinking a lot of water, and I do take weight training during the week and go to the gym on my off season between the two sports I play.
WHAT ARE YOUR DANCE STRENGTHS? My dance strengths are definitely when I’m performing hip hop. I don’t usually find it hard to be myself when I’m performing and I tend to use a lot of facials to keep the crowd entertained.
WHAT ARE YOUR DANCE WEAKNESSES? My biggest dance weakness is probably jazz or lyrical. Those styles are very ballet based and I don’t have that technical experience to excel at them.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT IN DANCE? My proudest dance experience was probably last year when I got asked to move from the teen competition team to the elite senior team for Fusion. My teacher thought I had what it took to keep up with those girls which was a huge confidence boost for me, but also very unexpected considering the lack of experience and dance knowledge I had compared to those girls who had danced all their lives.
HAVE YOUR PARENTS ALWAYS BEEN SUPPORTIVE OF DANCE? My family has always been very supportive of my dancing. They encouraged me to try out for the competition team last year and have always believed in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE OR ENCOURAGEMENT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE WITH THE YOUNGER GENERATION? My advice for younger kids is to always be yourself. It can be very intimidating dancing next to kids who have a lot of experience and talent, and there absolutely will be people out there who are better than you. But you can’t let that stop you from doing what you love and enjoying it. Push yourself, work hard, but most importantly have confidence that you can accomplish whatever it is you’re working toward. Ultimately, it’s your positive mindset and work ethic that are going to lead to your success.