With plans to make a life out of her craft, sophomore Katie Piwowarczyk devotes four days a week to practicing dance

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With plans to make a life out of her craft, sophomore Katie Piwowarczyk devotes four days a week to practicing dance

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“Something clicked and suddenly that’s all I wanted to be.”

Every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, sophomore Katie Piwowarczyk practices her most recent routines at Fenton Dance Academy, set to be performed at her studio’s next convention. Piwowarczyk has been dancing for 13 years, has won several awards for her routines and plans on continuing to follow her dream into the future.

 

“I looked up to a lot of the girls at our dance studio,” Piwowarczyk said. “Many of them graduated last year and I watched them go through dance. I have the most amazing dance studio, teachers, friends, and family who all encourage me to keep going.”

 
Piwowarczyk travels around Michigan with her studio going to different competitions such as Starquest, Starpower and Encore. She participates in all types of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, modern and pointe.

 
“I’ve been going to conventions through my studio and now I’m at the state of trying to branch out and get noticed,” Piwowarczyk said. “If [dance] wasn’t in my life, I don’t know where I would be. I feel like I take it for granted because if I didn’t have it, I don’t know what I would do.”

 
Fenton Dance Academy has won many awards, including first overall at the Encore convention as well as several choreography awards. For her solo this year, Piwowarczyk won platinums at the Starquest and Encore conventions and a special Musicality Award, also at Encore.

 

“Personally, I consider the highest award I’ve ever won to be when my studio recognized me as the Performer of the Year,” Piwowarczyk said. “The studio director’s husband passed away and the year after, the award was dedicated in his name. It was a scholarship that gave us money for tuition and that meant a lot to me because of how close we are to that family. It was something so small, but it meant a lot.”

 

This does not mean Piwowarczyk has always been as dedicated as she is now. When she was little, she hated to dance. It took her mother stepping up and making sure she powered through it to get past that stage.

 
“I would cry and cry and cry,” Piwowarczyk said. “My mom would have to physically shove me into the dance room. My dance teacher saw something in me and she really wanted to make sure it wasn’t lost. After that, something clicked and suddenly that’s all I wanted to be. I watched the Rockettes and I was like ‘I want to be a Rockette. I want to dance.’ ‘So You Think You Can Dance ‘got popular and I watched that. I wanted to be on stage. I wanted to perform.”

 
Piwowarczyk’s final goal is to end up on Broadway. She is looking at colleges known for dance programs, but until then she is focusing on the opportunities in front of her.
“I received a scholarship last summer at our nationals competition in Chicago,” Piwowarczyk said. “I get to go back to Chicago to dance with a group this summer. I also received another scholarship at my first competition this year; it allows me to go to L.A. and dance with another group. These scholarships give me the experience of working with a bunch of different people that are already in the industry.”

 
According to Piwowarczyk, getting this far has been filled with a lot of hard work and not giving up. While her future is most likely going to include much more of this, she is willing to take it all the way.

 

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