Glendale senior Bailey Clark is no stranger to the world of competitive dancing.
“I just love performing and getting out on stage and being in front of everyone,” she said.
She’s been dancing competitively since the third grade, and helped Glendale walk away with two first place team trophies at the Sugar Bear Invitational over the weekend – and also took home an individual first place trophy. This comes after she took third individually last year.
“I was so excited and I didn’t see [taking first place] coming,” Clark said. “Some of the competitors from last year who beat me were there. I wanted to make sure I did my best and try to improve.”
Clark has built up the strength, flexibility, and overall athleticism the sport demands through constant practicing. In addition to competing with Glendale’s Crimson Girls, she also dances with Red Door Dance Studio. Shanna Fishel has been her coach for more than seven years.
“She’s easy to work with, she’s good with corrections, and she’s just a really good technician,” Fishel said.
As it turns out she comes from a family of performers. Her older brother, Brice, was an actor and runs an entertainment company, and her dad, Brian, was a singer.
“It helped to have us who were performing and just being around each other whether it was her dancing or us doing karaoke night,” her brother said.
Family and dance are two important pillars in Bailey’s life, but one of them is going away. Tuesday was senior night at Glendale. Bailey and her parents walked to center court knowing that she’s likely leaving competitive dance behind as the becomes the third generation of the Clark family to enlist in the Air National Guard.
“It means a lot [that she’s continuing that tradition],” Brian Clark says. “It’s a good opportunity for her to learn a trade and to be able to go out and experience life on her own. I think that’s important for kids.”
It can also be a little scary. But she’s ready for it because of her time dancing.
“I’ll always have dance with me because it’s given me confidence to be in front of people,” Bailey said. “Going to the military it gave me a confidence boost to be able to commit to something and stick to something.”
If all the world’s a stage, she’ll be just fine. Glendale’s Bailey Clark is the Arby’s High School Athlete of the Week.