Following the satisfying ring of the school bell signaling one school day closer to graduation, most high schoolers hurry home only to plop down on the couch and browse the internet. Senior Elisa Glauber, however, hops into her Ford C-Max and drives one and a half hours to dance rehearsal without skipping a beat.
Glauber said that her interest in dance started with ice skating. At the age of four, she joined a serious skating club in Boston, which attracted Olympic hopefuls and harsh competitors. She said that the overwhelmingly intense commitment and intimidating coaches polluted her love for the sport. As a result, at the age of 10 she made the transition to dance.
“My first dance class was a ballet class,” Glauber said. “It all seemed like a foreign language.”
Glauber said she soon caught up to the rest of the class, and after her move to California at age 13, she pursued her love of the art form. She found a home at the Bay Area Dance School, its small size and serious atmosphere drawing her in.
Today, Glauber is part of a 15 person dance team at her studio, while also working on several solo and small group projects on the side.
She cringed comically after being reminded of the dance reality show, “Dance Moms.” She said her team is not competitive; they feel that art cannot be accurately judged and compared.
“Those reality shows don’t accurately represent the dance community,” she said.
To advance her dance technique, Glauber said she also partakes in demanding summer dance programs. This past summer, she participated in programs in Chicago and San Francisco, rehearsing up to seven hours each day and performing in recitals. Glauber said that these programs drew dancers from across the nation, and that she was required to audition.
“The process is similar to applying to colleges,” Glauber said.
Glauber said her dance style is contemporary with a side of ballet and jazz. She related her style to the reality show “So You Think You Can Dance,” only to quickly reassure that she was not that talented and lacked tap and hip-hop skills.
“She has always been extremely humble even though she is really, really talented,” said senior Olivia Tefft, one of her close friends.
After years of dance, Glauber said that she is used to her almost daily commute to the Bay Area Dance School in Palo Alto. She is simply thankful that she has found her passion at such an early age.
“It’s really easy being so busy to feel like you just want a break, but in the end it’s worth it,” Glauber said.
Luckily, Glauber said that her studio owner and artistic director, Leyla Boissonnade, is incredibly understanding of academic stress and encourages academics as a priority, even helping with college applications. Because she hopes to pursue an academic career, she finds her teacher’s leniency to be vital, Glauber said.
“It’s incredible to watch how she’s able to succeed in school even when she has something else in her life that takes up so much time,” said senior Rebecca Glick, another one of Glauber’s close friends.
Glauber danced 48 weeks out of 52 last year. However, Glick said that she remains modest despite being incredibly talented.
“Just because I dance a lot doesn’t mean I’m the best, I just really like to do it,” Glauber said. “I’m definitely still a dance student and I’m just gonna keep learning.”