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STEM — Growing up, Macy Lowery dreamed of being a professional dancer.
Lowery will take a big step toward her dream this fall when she takes center stage with the North Carolina State University Dance Team.
Lowery, who graduated from Granville Central High School earlier this month, started dancing at the age of 3. She bounced back and forth between gymnastics, cheer and dance until she was 7 years old.
Lowery then had to make a decision: What sport would she stick with?
She chose dance.
At 7, Lowery began dancing competitively, something she excelled at.
“It was just right for me and what I was best at,” she said. “I really got into dancing and have just never slowed down.”
The next step
She’s now at another crossroad in her dancing career. To become a professional dancer, young dancers usually either join a dance company or a dance team after high school, Lowery explained.
A dance company often leads to a job as a dancer — but work with a dance team can also lead to a career through the NFL or NBA, she said. She chose to join a dance team.
Lowery said dancers can broadly be grouped into two categories that have a lot of the same disciplines, but are physically very different. Ballet dancers take on slower dances, while athletic dancers are more commonly associated with dance teams.
“I always knew I want to be on a dance team, but I was not sure about which college,” Lowery said. “Once I received my acceptance notification from NCSU, I knew that was the dance team for me.”
Best foot forward
Usually dance team tryouts are a two-day, in-person process. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, tryouts were more difficult this year, Lowery said.
The team required applicants to learn three dance combinations and record a video performing them. The combinations included an across-the-floor technique with turns in the center and several other moves.
“They tried to keep it as normal as possible,” Lowery said. “I basically had to recreate the video. ... I made the first cut and then had to participate in a virtual interview with the coaches and thankfully I made the team.”
Lowery said the NCSU dance team normally participates in the National Dance Association competition where the team competes against other teams from around the country. Because of the coronavirus, she isn’t sure if they will get that chance this season.
The NCSU Dance Team performs at many athletic events including football, men’s and women’s basketball games.
Lowery encourages kids to give dance a try.
“Some of dance comes natural and other parts of dance are learned,” Lowery said. “You don’t have to be super flexible, but you do have to be willing to try. Everyone has their own style and having that unique style gives you a little advantage in competitions.”
Dancing for others
In order to get younger kids involved in dance, Lowery put on a camp at First Baptist Academy last summer.
“We choreographed a couple of routines for them to learn and it was fun to work with the children,” she said.
Lowery said she would not be where she is today without the love and support from her parents. “The have been to every single competition,” she said. “They have been there through the long days and they have been super supportive.”
Lowery said her parents could have told her it was just too much to try to be involved in dance, but they have done everything possible to encourage and support her dream.
Lowery will major in business entrepreneurship in the fall, but she also is interested in pre-law and may minor in political science or maybe double major.
She would like to stay involved in dance and possibly one day own her studio where she could help fulfill another child’s dream to dance.