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Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

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Nonnewaug junior Jakob Reynolds is known for his many mechanical skills, skills hes refined in some of his course units like engineering.
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Playmakers Podcast: Scott Viveros (Episode 5)
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R.J. Barksdale '25, Ben Roden '24, and Brian Mohl '24 February 16, 2024
This is the spread patrons see when entering Aylas, filled with cool lighting accents, rustic coffee bags, and lots to order. The whole place flows perfectly with the dining area, coffee bar, and ordering counter.
New-Look Ayla’s Makes It a Morning Must (PHOTOS)
Carter Casbarro ’25, Reporter • February 16, 2024
The NHS librarys Sora database was introduced last school year and allows students to access a wide variety of digital materials related to literature.
Students Find Success with Online Reading Site Sora (VIDEO)
Mallory Sciaraffa '24, Reporter • February 16, 2024
T.J. Butkus loads his wood furnace to try to keep warm during the winter. (contributed)
Blue Collars Brave the Cold
T.J. Butkus '24 and Noah Zupan '26 February 16, 2024
The junior class cheers after the announcement that they were the winners of Nonnewaug’s winter pep rally Feb. 2.
More Scenes from Juniors' Red-Out Pep Rally Win (PHOTOS)
Brynn Clampett '26, Reporter • February 16, 2024
Nonnewaug staff members each have their own stories about why their rooms are decorated in unique ways.
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Gianna Lodice '24 and Layla Coppola '24 February 15, 2024

Crocker: Dance Deserves More

Main Street Ballet dancers Anna Crocker, right, and Anna Walkup talk to each other at dress rehearsal Dec. 15. They have been dancing together since 2018. (Courtesy of Main Street Ballet)

WOODBURY — Many little girls dream of being a ballerina, but with only 3% of dancers making it to the big stage, their dream is rarely achieved.

Several Chiefs have spent over half their life — and almost all of their free time — trying to become part of that 3%.

“Dance takes top priority,” says freshman Morgan Willis, who started dancing when she was 2 years old, “and it’s very difficult to do anything else because of our busy schedules. Managing my time is very hard because most nights I have so much homework to do, so I’m up for so long. Dance is kinda screwing me up.”

Even though dance is “screwing” Willis up, she has stuck with it for the past 12 years, and learned to find the good even in the bad.

“I think I’ve stuck with dance for so long because I’ve been doing it since I was a little kid, and I’m just committed,” says Willis. “The girls that I dance with are like a second family, and I feel like if I were to quit dancing, I would also be quitting my family and everything I’ve worked so hard for since I was a kid. I feel like if I were to quit, there would be so many things that I would miss, so even though there are downs, there are also ups, and when you look at the big picture, the good things outweigh the bad. I grew up in that dance studio, so I feel like it’s my second home and I cannot leave.”

For dancers at local ballet studio Main Street Ballet, classes don’t end until 9 p.m. on most nights, leaving little time for homework.

For Main Street Ballet dancer Katie Savulak, finding time to complete schoolwork is difficult.

“I don’t manage time. It’s impossible,” says Savulak, a sophomore. “I have to pick and choose what I do and what’s most important to do that night, so it’s like dance then schoolwork. I don’t really have time to do anything fun.”

Like Savulak, Nonnewaug junior Sophie Solury, who dances at Woodbury Ballet, also struggles with managing her busy schedule.

“It’s always hard to keep up with school and dance, and I also work at the same time,” says Solury. “I really don’t [manage time]; I just go with the flow and I kinda have to rush through things sometimes, but I get everything done.”

“Because dance takes top priority, it leaves a bunch of other things left to do,” adds Savulak. “There’s so many times that people ask me, ‘Oh hey, do you want to hang out?’ and I always have to say, ‘Sorry, I have dance.’ It definitely affects the way I socialize with other people.”

Main Street Ballet dancers talk and warm up with each other before The Nutcracker dress rehearsal. (Courtesy of Main Street Ballet)

Many dancers are currently taking Advanced Placement classes at Nonnewaug, causing them to be up late into the evenings with work, taking up sleeping hours.

“I get five hours of sleep every night because of the long hours of dance and all the homework because I take APs and all honors classes,” Savulak said. “I don’t have any time to fit in all the stuff I do, so I have to cut into my sleep, which causes me to always be tired, and I feel like I’m not really performing my best at school because of it.”

With busy dance schedules and hours of homework, dancers at Nonnewaug tend to miss out on football games and other school events.

“This year there were a bunch of football games on Thursdays, and the younger-level [dancers were] able to go because they had class before the game,” says Savulak, “but my class started at the time of the games so I missed a lot of them, which was sad.”

Football games aren’t the only thing that dancers have missed out on. For important dance days, some even leave school early.

“Usually every dress rehearsal I leave school early because of dance so that I have enough time to get ready and do whatever I need to do,” says Willis. “We miss out on a lot of things that are part of a normal high school experience sometimes because it takes up so much of our time.”

Since school events are commonly missed, Main Street Ballet dancers find themselves creating lifelong friendships with each other. 

“I found my best friend through dance and I’ve known her my whole life,” Willis said. “She knows so much about me, and if I didn’t dance, I wouldn’t have met her or any of my dance friends.”

This is the opinion of Chief Advocate junior editor Anna Crocker.

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About the Contributor
Anna Crocker '26, Junior Editor
Anna Crocker is a sophomore at Nonnewaug who writes for the Chief Advocate as a junior editor. She is from Woodbury, and this is her second year as a Chief Advocate writer. Anna plays field hockey for the school team. She enjoys writing about sports and the community.
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