There are many ways to be involved on campus. There are many sports and clubs available to students depending on their interests. Breanna Pollock (12) has spent all of her high school years dedicated to her favorite hobbies.
Dancing has always caught the attention of Pollock; she started dancing at the young age of eight.
“I had originally been involved in Gymnastics,” Pollock said. “But I had a lot of friends who danced. There happened to be a dance studio near my gym and so I asked my mom if I could try dance for a little bit and I was hooked ever since. I love it so much and it truly is my passion”
There are many forms and styles of dancing. Each dancer has their own preference on what type of dancing suits them the best.
“My favorite style of dance is lyrical or contemporary,” Pollock said. “This style of dance uses some jazz technique but is more about feeling and telling a story and portraying emotion and a message through your movements and through the dance as a whole.”
As a dancer learns more about this art form, they can learn more about how to express themselves through their movements.
“Everyone goes through different things in their life,” Pollock said. “Everyone knows that there are days when you are going through something and you don’t even want to talk about it or you have no idea how to talk about it. Whenever I felt like this, dance was what got me through it. There would be times where I would listen to a song and I would really connect with it and I would stop everything I was doing to just move and get all of what I am feeling out. There are times when I hear songs and I just close my eyes and imagine an entire dance in my head so dance really is just always there. It is a part of me that just seems natural.”
Pollock has been on danceline ever since her freshman year, and was even named captain for her senior year.
“I was excited but I was also nervous [when I found out I was captain],” Pollock said. “I felt a lot of responsibility because I am such a people pleaser, but overall I just felt that I wanted to help the team and help all the girls be able to do the best they possibly could.”
Many of the girls feel as though they are a family and keep in touch even after they graduate.
“I was so blessed to be a part of a team that included [Breanna],” Savannah Marchbanks (Alumni) said.
After completing her fourth and final season, Pollock was able to look back on each season both separately and as a whole.
“Seasons are hard to compare because every danceline season is drastically different,” Pollock said. “Junior year is a special year for me because I felt like that was when we had built a reputation for ourselves and that people started to look at us differently. I was and still am extremely proud to be on danceline and I felt like people finally appreciated who we were and what we did.“
Taking on the role of captain was a change for Pollock, but throughout the season she was able to rise to the challenge.
“As captain I would be a messenger for our coach to the team, telling the girls when we would have to be places, what we wore, and what we had to do,” Pollock said. “Also at times at practice when it was just our team at practice and our leaders would have to be leading whole band practice I would have to lead the team and help us to function independently.”
Another role a captain takes on is that of a role model, even if they are not aware of it when they accept the title.
“As captain I also tried to motivate the team as much as I could and keep them focused on becoming better,” Pollock said. “Something I hoped to pass down to the rest of my team is to just stay positive, be yourself, and work for the things you want to achieve.”
Along with Danceline, Pollock has joined the new Trojan Elite competitive dance team. The team started during the 2018-2019 school year, and Pollock got to be on the team the very first year. The first year of the team was more of a “practice run” for the members and coaches to get a feel for the new sport.
“Trojan Elite is a competitive dance team so it is considered a sport,” Pollock said. “It is a smaller team so I feel like it is easier for us to stay close and focused. The competitions are also special because everyone there is just there for dance and that is what they love compared to when on danceline you are there as a full band, which is equally as special, they are just very different feelings. Trojan Elite in my opinion is much more challenging and a lot more competitive than danceline is.”
With a new environment to dance in, Pollock has a new set of expectations.
“I am looking forward to the atmosphere that Trojan Elite holds, with a smaller team and dance competitions that are dedicated to dance alone,” Pollock said.
The girls on the Trojan Elite dance team support and encourage each other to be better.
“Being on a team helps her to make herself better for her teammates and not just for herself,” Sarah Jane Houston (10) said.
Another thing that Pollock is passionate about is her faith.
“I have grown up in church and my dad is a pastor so I have been around Christianity and religion my entire life,” Pollock said. “I think growing up the way I did and also getting to see a different point of view from others because of seeing things my dad went through, it taught me that Christianity is not people and is not about a church. Recently I have just really started to think about how I want to live and who I want to be, and I feel like I have learned that Christianity is not about caring what others think or being the ‘perfect Christian.’”
Often, it is hard for a high school student to live a life of faith, but Pollock makes sure to put time aside to work on that part of her life.
“I live my life just trying my hardest to have a relationship with Jesus and love others like Jesus would,” Pollock said. “I have accepted that I cannot be perfect and that no one else is perfect but it is just a constant journey and walk in faith”
Pollock has recently put herself out there and started her own YouTube channel.
“When I was little I was constantly being silly and making videos with my friends talking about posting them even though I never did,” Pollock said “Part of the reason was because of 2020. When the new year started, I told myself that I was going to do things for myself and not care what others think about me, as long as I was having fun and enjoying it then I wanted to do it. I thought it would be fun and get to show people parts of my personality that they might not ever see otherwise.”
A lot of work goes into a YouTube video: planning, filming, editing, and more. This process has helped Pollock learn more about herself.
“I think my favorite thing about filming and editings is just becoming more confident in myself,” Pollock said. “I have to watch each video a countless amount of times when editing to make it just the way I want it and I think it helps me to love and appreciate myself more having to see myself in every video.”
Although YouTube can lead to a career, Pollock is just using it to have fun and express herself.
“I really just hope to have fun and let other people want to have fun and enjoy life,” Pollock said. “Maybe if someone sees something that I do or just sees me with a smile on my face, it will make them want to do that to and want to find the thing that makes them happy. I am not doing YouTube to become famous, of course that would be cool but that is not my main goal. I just really wanna have fun and do something for myself and others.”
It takes courage to display oneself on the internet. While it is a great way to connect with others, it can lead to negative comments. Pollock has had a positive experience at the beginning of her online journey.
“All of the response I have had from people has been incredibly positive and I have even had people who normally would not talk to me come up to me and talk to me and tell me what they thought about my channel,” Pollock said. “These moments make me happy because one thing I want people to know from my YouTube is that I am extremely open and I love talking to people and making friends so I am glad my channel is helping me start conversations with new people.”
After graduation, Pollock plans to attend Kennesaw State University and major in dance.
“I have auditions in February and April so hopefully they go well,” Pollock said. “What helped me decide has been seeing the leaders and teachers in my life and thinking about what I want in the future. I have such a passion for dance and I always knew I wanted to do something that would keep me in dance for as long as I could.”
Getting to the point she is at now would be impossible without people by her side.
“My biggest supporters are my family and friends,” Pollock said. “My mom and dad have always given me whatever I need to pursue what I love and they have always reassured me in times when I have doubted myself. The people closest to me in my life always try so hard to stop me from doubting myself and to help me see myself the way they see me.”
Pollock is a familiar face around campus, and many people know who she is. While it is hard to know why, Pollock has an idea of how she is recognized.
“I think most people know me for what I am involved in at school,” Pollock said. “I get attention for being on danceline because of being seen at events like pep rallies and football games. Even if people do not know my name they will see me and be like ‘oh she’s on danceline.’ I also think people notice my style and the types of clothes that I wear to school.”
Though she can be hard to track down because of all of her activities, Pollock enjoys making connections with new people. She is always welcoming to new friends, and likes to be there for them.
“I want people to know that they can talk to me if they need to,” Pollock said. “I think people get too caught up in what group of people they are associated with and they won’t talk to people outside of their group or can feel judged or intimidated by people in big friend groups so I hope people know that I really do not care about groups I am always open to talking and interacting with other people.”