Take a step into the life of a Dancer: Emily Rayfield

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Beth Rayfield

Reporter, Riley Rosi, features PHS’s own ballerina, Emily Rayfield.

Riley Rosi, Reporter

The Nutcracker is probably one the most well known ballets in the world. Almost everyone has seen it or at least heard of it, but not many of us can say that we have performed in it.  Emily Rayfield, who made her pointe debut as a ballerina doll in the Nutcracker in the winter of 2015, is a senior at Peninsula High School and has been involved with ballet for almost five years.

Now eighteen, Rayfield has been dancing for several years, starting ballet when she was fourteen years old.  She thought that it would be a great way to express herself and a good extracurricular activity. However, Ballet is not a just a graceful sport; it takes a lot of time and effort. Rayfield dedicates many hours of practice not only to ballet, but to other styles of dance as well. These dance styles include Jazz, Lyrical and Tap. Along with regular practice, Rayfield also performs in four recitals a year.

You have to be willing to put in effort and be in pain all the time”, said Rayfield.

Emily’s parents have been her main supporters throughout her dance career, taking her to every single practice and to so many recitals that they have lost count. Emily’s mom, Beth, has loved watching how graceful Rayfield is when she is dancing, and how dancing has helped her daughter grow. When Rayfield was little, she used to watch dance videos and mimic the routine of the dancers on the television. While Rayfield loved dance, she gave it up for a few years to play soccer, but Rayfield’s mom wasn’t surprised when she came back to pursue dancing again- because she was so passionate about it.

“Dancing is something that she is very good at, and dance has helped Emily to become more outgoing and independent. It also helped her become more confident,” said Beth.

Rayfield’s instructor, Ami Watters has been teaching dance for 22 years. One of the dance studios that she teaches at (and the one that Rayfield attends) is 5678 Dance Studio, which is located in the Gateway Plaza near the toll booths in Gig Harbor. Watters also instructs at a variety of other studios located in Port Orchard, Tacoma, Fircrest and Puyallup.

“Emily has proven many times that she is an artist by going above and beyond to learn about her art of dance, and by not just wanting to mimic the newest, trendiest choreography,” said Watters.

Watters not only describes Rayfield as a dedicated, positive, hardworking student, but also as a role model to the younger students, one who lends a helping hand whenever she can. She has shown immense improvement in her flexibility and dance technique, constantly showing commitment to learning and testing the many levels of the internationally recognized Cecchetti Ballet Syllabus.

“I have learned leadership with the little kids, seeing that they look up to us as older kids, and I have learned how to work with people and how to be on a team, not accusing people if they do something wrong,” said Rayfield.
After high school, Rayfield plans to attend college in Boston, where she is keeping her options open for studies either a history major or as an athletic trainer. Though Rayfield has a passion for dancing, she plans to continue it just for fun and hopefully return to dancing after college. Beth Rayfield thinks that her daughter will dance forever.