Meet The BlazerDancers: Caroline
By sarahhecht Posted in: blazerdancers
A Portland native, Caroline is the epitome of perseverance. After years of classes, practice and auditions and disappointment she has realized her dream of becoming a BlazerDancer.
Unlike many of the talented women on the team this year, Caroline didn’t start as a dancer, she started as a gymnast. She tumbled and twirled from the age of three all the way to high school and it was at Lincoln High School where dancing won her heart.
After four years and four State Championships with Lincoln Dance she headed south to Eugene and joined the University of Oregon Dance Team. Two years later, deep into her journalism and communications major and still dancing with the Ducks, Caroline decided she was ready to change things up and auditioned for her first professional dance job for the Portland Lumberjax.
Caroline’s final two years in college were spent completing her degree and building her portfolio dancing with the Jax. After graduation she returned north and danced for the Portland Winterhawks Rosebuds for three seasons.
Each of her years as a pro Caroline was striving for one goal, to become a BlazerDancer—this is where her dedication and perseverance come into play. Caroline has been a finalist in the BlazerDancer auditions three times and this year, her fifth total audition for the team, she finally earned a spot.
Caroline credits her success this season to a change in her mindset, a new focus and not letting herself get overwhelmed—a skill she takes from a recent skydiving experience she says was the scariest experience she’s ever had, but was thrilled to complete. “Right before I would go on stage I would think about that and tell myself to chill out. It was my calm myself down tactic.
“This year I went into auditions with a way different mindset than I ever have. I tried to only focus on myself and what I could do and not watch other girls and get caught up in the process,” Caroline said. “In previous years I would get kinda psyched out watching other people or worry about how many spots, and this year I went into it clear headed like I’m just going to do my best and not worry about anyone else. And it actually was amazing, it calmed me down the whole process and I felt more confident than I ever have through the whole thing.”
As the 16th dancer announced on the night the team was named, Caroline was incredibly nervous and the shock and excitement at earning the title of BlazerDancer was clear on her face when her solo routine was shown on the jumbotron. Even now, weeks later she’s still in awe. “I don’t know if I’ll actually feel like a BlazerDancer until I’m actually on the court dancing. It’s a surreal feeling,” she said. “I keep looking back and seeing my face on the website and thinking, yeah, it’s true. It’s something I’ve wanted so much. I feel really lucky. I know what it’s like to be on the other side and not make it so many times and to finally make it is exciting.”
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