At the back of her dance studio, a young Myranda Lu ’23 watched as her instructor positioned the favored students in front of Lu. Though dancing was not always fun for Lu, nine years of dance taught her to love her craft and reach the front of the room.
“When I started dancing, I was kind of just doing it to get it over with. I remember watching old videos of myself—you could see I had a fake smile on throughout the whole dance. I started to grow when Miranda, my new instructor, put people who she liked or the better dancers in the front. I used to be in the back, [but] I learned over time to not be afraid to dance and not worry about people judging me. I don’t want to be in the back all the time—that pushed me to get out of my comfort zone,” said Lu.
While Lu retains a wide dance repertoire, including jazz and hip hop, she considers her favorite style of dance to be contemporary because of its freedom and independence in the movements. As an active member of both Andover Dance Group (A.D.G.) and Blue Strut, Lu finds that she is able to articulate her emotions through her dance moves in contemporary expression.
“I feel like I’m one with the music. I just fall deep into it; it’s not like I’m thinking about anything. And also I didn’t really speak that much when I was younger. Through contemporary, you can express yourself, and you don’t have to say anything, which is really nice,” said Lu.
Lu’s grace is not only confined to the studio. Some of her peers have noted her ability to translate her dance talent to other fields of interest. Madison Yuan ’23 and Abby Heppelmann ’23, both fellow dancers of Lu’s, admire Lu’s dexterity and agility.
“[Lu] is really athletic; it’s insane… Any sport comes easy to her. I think that kind of translates to dance… She carries herself with so much grace. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her flop or fall down uncontrollably, which is pretty incredible,” said Heppelmann.
“[Lu is] very powerful, and she’s definitely really good at turning and jumps. She has very bold, powerful movements,” added Yuan.
While Lu may be recognized by others to have a natural gift of grace, she also attributes much of her success to the inspiration and motivation that her fellow dancers provide.
“I believe everyone in my class is an amazing dancer, and just being with them encourages me to get better. When I watch them, I think, ‘Oh, I want to be like that.’ They really encourage me to keep going in somewhat of a competitive way, but at the same time, I also look up to them,” says Lu.