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Junior does it all

Lani+Daniels+marches+during+the+halftime+show+after+cheering.
Lani Daniels marches during the halftime show after cheering.

Lani Daniels marches during the halftime show after cheering.

Lani Daniels marches during the halftime show after cheering.

Erika Cook, Writer

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Being flexible has more than one meaning to junior Lani Daniels. While many high school students tend to focus on just one or two extracurricular activities, Daniels has learned to exceed these expectations.

Daniels has spent the last few years juggling cheer, band, and dance along with other personal responsibilities and has grown to be respected in her activities as an officer in band, a varsity cheerleader, and a teacher at a local dance studio.

“I have a lot of respect but mostly because I give respect to the younger ones and underclassmen,” Daniels said. “I try to just make friends with everybody and if there’s somebody that I don’t get along with, then I still respect who they are as a person but I hope that as an officer or an upperclassmen they just understand I’m trying to get things done.”

When she was younger, Daniels said she always admired cheerleaders at football games and saw it in her sights to be one. A few years ago, she had the opportunity be a Little Cypress Junior High cheerleader and said the positive impact she had on the crowd made her love it even more. According to Daniels, being able to put smiles on people’s faces gave her a reason to strive to do her best.

“I like the energy and when we are at the games,” Daniels said. “(I also like) the positive attitudes and getting to be right there to watch the game.”

Daniels has grown up with a love for dance and a sense of rhythm that she’s grown accustomed to. She has been in dance since the age of 2 and has gone from student, to example, to teacher. She takes classes and teaches at Thayer Dance Academy, a dance studio that is very special to her.

“Dance is just my stress reliever,” Daniels said. “It’s what keeps me going whenever I’m really struggling and it’s just a way outside of what people understand.”

Dance is just my stress reliever.”

— Lani Daniels

Not only does Daniels have several current goals with dance, but she plans her future around it as well. She has found that the skills she learns in one activity actually help with her other activities.

“I just hope to better myself as I go into college,” she said. “Sometimes I think I want to try out for So You Think You Can Dance when I graduate. Dance helps band a lot, especially with the visuals. It’s easy for me to march just because of the dancing aspect. And it helps with a lot of the dances in cheer.”

Though her day is already busy with school work, Daniels spends many hours after school every day practicing with the band. Daniels started playing the trombone in 6th grade and has continued to play it through out high school. As she has grown in her musical abilities, her love for her instrument and band has as well.

“I enjoy everything about band,” Daniels said. “I like marching the most, but (the) trombone is a really cool instrument so it has always kept me interested.”

I enjoy everything about band.”

— Lani Daniels

What Daniels loves the most about band is the people. She said she can have a tough day but once she gets to band, her whole mood can change. She loves the fact that there are no cliques and that students can be who they are and be comfortable by showing others that they are different.

“The people here just keep me happy and make life better,” Daniels said. “They’re all weird but they’re all good people.”

With all the activities she is involved in, Daniels has had to learn how to manage her time. This has taken many years to perfect, but so far she has been successful in being able to do the things she loves.

“It’s very time consuming with everything that I do,” Daniels said. “When it comes to school work though, it always comes first, so sometimes I do have to miss dance just to focus on school work.”

Even with her busy schedule, Daniels said she has no regrets of being so involved. She does everything because it is what she loves and she tries get better every day because of it.

“I just had to take a second and take a step back a lot of the times and realize what I do each thing for and realize that this is what I want to do,” Daniels said.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Junior does it all”

  1. Tammy Rountree on October 21st, 2016 10:28 pm

    She stands out in the band along with the football player ! I enjoy watching these multitask!

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