Not just cheer: Anaya Avinger
Anaya Avinger, 15, is one of the lovely cheerleaders at L.D. Bell High School. Bringing spirit and sass to the community, Avinger is serious about cheer.
“It feels great to be involved in such a fun school activity,” she says. Being one of the people to lead the “Blue Raider” chants excites her and she enjoys doing it.
Being in all advanced classes comes with rigorous course work. She says there are a lot of pressures with juggling cheer, like the course load and being the only African American on the squad, but girls like her are always up to any challenge you can throw at them.
For Avinger, currently a sophomore, cheer is life. “Without cheer, my life is just not as exciting,” Avinger has said. “Cheer adds variety to [my] life.”
Avinger is very driven to bring school spirit to everyone in the building. You can see her “doing her thing” at the next pep rally.
Realistic style: Chandler Anders
Chandler Anders is an 11th grade student highly influenced by the arts, mainly the art of fashion and music.
From the outside, his style seems just edgy and simply with his distressed jeans—that he does by himself, by the way—and dark colors, but it’s all more to him.
Anders has a certain way he goes about when picking his outfits.
“I use basic minimalistic colors that are more artistic and somewhat like nature,” some of which can reflect his personality, said.
Anders is a realist, seeing things how they really are, so his outfits reflect more negative, darker colors based off how he sees the world, how it really is.
And then we have the art of music.
Anders’ taste varies but its meaning is all the same.
“I’m heavily influenced by jazz and all forms of rap, and I love 70’s rock,” he said.
The poeticism about it draws him in. He says music means everything to him and that it’s his life.
He is unsure if he will pursue some kind of career in the arts but it will surely always be his thing.
Life on stage: Dawson Graham
“Walking on stage to your spot is just… the best feeling,” says Graham. “You take a breath and all the adrenaline is going everywhere. It’s just… when it happens.”
Dawson Graham, a junior at L.D. Bell, is well acquainted with the stage. Although he didn’t start acting until later on in his life, Dawson has been part of numerous shows and musicals not only here at the school, but at the community theatre here in Hurst.
After we talked about the productions that he’s been part of and what kind of things he learned from them, I asked Graham to narrow down his favorite show, Lost in Yonkers by Neil Simon.
“Lost in Yonkers was the first production I ever did,” Graham said.
The director of the show, Stephen Lindsey, who was “the best director” Graham had ever worked with, brought a certain magic to the show, as well as his quirkiness.
“He always brought us eggs to rehearsals cause he lived on a farm and had like chickens and goats,” Graham said. “It was great.”
Surprisingly though, Graham wasn’t even aware of auditions until that very day.
“I was taking an acting class at Artisan and my parents were late picking me up and the stage managers were having auditions in the same building for the upcoming show,” he said.
One of them, according to Graham, approached him and started questioning him about auditions and whether or not he would be there.
“I told her I’d only been in the class for a week but she told me it didn’t matter,” he said. “She kept pushing and I was like, ‘No, no, please just leave me alone,’ and I seriously thought about running out of the building and never coming back. But then I was like, eh, why not?”
Graham went into the audition room completely unprepared and nervous, but he got through it, even managing to make the director laugh.
Although Graham thought that it was the worst audition of his life, he got a callback the very next day. He went but still wasn’t counting on getting the part, considering the fact that he was new and there were several professional actors there who were “extremely intimidating.”
However, the next day Graham received a call from Stephen.
“He called me when I was with my family and I told everyone to shut up and I ran out of the room,” he said. “Then he told me that he wanted me to be the part!”
From then on out Graham has grown as an actor and as a person. Theatre has challenged him in ways he would never expect and helped him build skills in all kinds of areas. Graham even hopes to one-day star on Broadway. We may have a future Jack Kelly here.
Striving to be the best: Shawna Glick
Shawna Glick is an 11th grader at L.D. Bell. She was born in Elko, Nevada, to two wonderful parents and is a sister to three other girls.
Her favorite hobbies are playing volleyball and hanging out with her friends.
Glick is very smart and would like to be an anesthesiologist when she grows up.
Her biggest accomplishment in her 16 years would be having the opportunity to go play at the Girls National Junior Olympics for volleyball.
Glick is on one of the best teams in the nation. Ranked higher than most, she is one talented player. She also has played on the varsity volleyball team for two years now and is a starter as well as one of the team captains as a junior.
Glick has played at the Tejas Volleyball Club since she was 11. Going on her sixth year there, she has continuously been on the first or second team. She started playing when she was younger and has “loved it ever since,” she said.
Glick is a right side for school but a setter in club volleyball, which makes some things difficult but somehow she makes it all work and excels in both positions.
At a young age of 16, she is very responsible and optimistic about almost everything. Her friends think very highly of her off and on the court. When it comes to needing a friend at any moment, “she is always there.”
Friend, sister, teammate, daughter, or role model, Glick is the very best at everything she does.