Frenship grad to try out for dance show

A 2012 Frenship High School graduate will cross an item off her bucket list when she auditions for “So You Think You Can Dance?” this weekend.

Just being there is a huge honor, Callie Teegardin said of her upcoming audition in Austin.

“I’m expecting to walk in that room and hope and hope that they clap,” she said. “I’m really just looking forward to being with those people and watching and learning and kind of soaking it all in.”

Teegardin was quiet as a child, and her mother was worried that she was going to be shy, Teegardin said. Her mother signed up Teegardin for dance classes at the age of three. “Now I come home and I can’t quit talking.”

She didn’t instantly fall in love with dance, Teegardin said. She didn’t like getting blisters, and said she was six or seven before she began to love dance.

But she remembers every single dance teacher she ever had and how they influenced her life. Now she plans to teach dance and wants to motivate students and teach them how to love dance.

One dance instructor, Jennifer Smith, had Teegardin in classes for four years at FHS.

“Callie is probably one of the most dedicated dancers that I’ve worked with. She pretty much eats, sleeps and breathes dance,” Smith said. “It’s part of the fabric of who she is.”

Not only did Teegardin dance on the Frenship pom squad for three years, she was the choreographer for several FHS musicals, including last month’s “White Christmas,” which she came back to Frenship to work on.

Teegardin has faced a few injuries over the years as a dancer. Her first injury was as a freshman at FHS on the basketball team. She tore her ACL and meniscus, and decided to quit playing basketball.

After one healthy year, she re-tore her meniscus and had to miss track season in her sophomore year. Weeks before her senior year began, she had to go back to the doctor for more knee surgery.

But although she gave up basketball and track, she never gave up dance.

She was asked a few times, “When are you going to be done?”

“I never had to sit down and debate whether I was going to quit dancing,” she said. “I knew dancing and teaching, I want that to be my career.”

She said she probably won’t ski again.

“I’m okay with that. I can keep dancing,” she said.

Smith said that in Teegardin’s last year, she was cleared to dance on the day of pom squad tryouts.

“She was totally determined to try out. She did all her skills on her other leg, which is really difficult,” Smith said. “She’s got a lot of perseverance. She is simply an athlete when it comes to dance.”

Teegardin’s audition on Saturday will be a tap piece, her favorite form of dance, but she said it has a lot of jazz elements in it as well.

“It was a challenge to learn,” Teegardin said, adding that she just learned it recently. “I like the fast pace of learning something and having to perform it.”

You must be logged in to post a comment.