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The Purple Tide

The student news site of Chantilly High School (Chantilly, VA)

The Purple Tide

The student news site of Chantilly High School (Chantilly, VA)

The Purple Tide

Student Spotlight: Gwyneth Moon paints life through dance

Freshman+Gwyneth+Moon+practices+pointe+at+The+Russell+School+of+Ballet+on+Oct.+1.+
Camila Rodriguez-Marrero
Freshman Gwyneth Moon practices pointe at The Russell School of Ballet on Oct. 1.

As freshman Gwyneth Moon arrives at The Russell School of Ballet, she slides her pointe shoes on and prepares for first position at the barre. Beginning her dance journey at the age of three, Moon has been dancing on pointe since she was 12 years old.

Ballet is a form of dance that originated in the 15th century in Italy. Its formal technique distinguished by gestures and delicate movements sets it apart from other dance styles. Experienced ballet dancers are tasked with pointe shoes which require the dancer to stand on the box at the end where you have to balance on top of the toes. According to Lemelson Center, ballet is incredibly demanding both physically and mentally. This is due to the hours spent on pointe.

“Dance has affected my life in many ways — like the way I see myself physically, the way I solve problems, how I talk to teachers and peers and the way I use creativity in and out of school,” Moon said. 

Moon dances on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays after school, for an average of five to six hours a day. On top of ballet, Moon practices other dance styles including jazz, modern and ballet variation. Ballet variation is classified as a ballet performance in which the dancer performs a solo dance or a classical grandpas de deux.

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“My favorite style is ballet because of its beautiful look,” Moon said. “I think it’s a very graceful and technical type of dance and I enjoy it because of the hard work I get to put in.”

After 11 years of dancing, Moon says she has learned to maintain a healthy balance between mental and physical health. According to The National Library of Medicine ballet is categorized as a high-intensity, entertainment for an exercise that involves high levels of power output.

 “One downside of dancing is that since it is so technical and unique, it’s hard for me to excel in any other physical activity,” Moon said. “It can also be very tiring and limit time for things like school work and overall downtime.”

Freshman Melody Namvar has been dancing with Moon since they met at The Russell School of Ballet at a very young age. Since then, Namvar has become one of Moon’s biggest supporters and has felt inspired by their growing friendship.

“Gwyneth is a great dancer because she strives for perfection when she dances and always tries to understand ballet whenever she performs a piece,” Namvar said.

 Moon said that dance has helped strengthen her mentally; starting from learning from mistakes to standing back up when ballet becomes mentally straining. David Arce, Moon’s longtime ballet teacher, admires her work as a student.

 “Gwyneth is a very hard worker and she showed great determanation when learning new exercises’’ Arce said. “She makes sure to always ask questions to fully understand the movement before attempting anything.”

Moon has decided not to participate in the annual “Nutcracker” this year, making the spring show her next big performance. 

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About the Contributor
Camila Rodriguez-Marrero, Staff Writer
Camila Rodriguez is a freshman in her first year with The Purple Tide. She is interested in joining the French club. Outside of school, she dances and runs.
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