Dancing the world over


Ryan McCarthy, Sports Editor

At Branham, there are people who can sing, people who can play sports, people who can speak and people who can dance.

Then there’s people who can flat-out dance.

With a third-place national ranking in Latin ballroom dancing, a fifth- place national ranking in standard ballroom dancing and gold medals in both at the Junior Olympics, freshman Kennedy Eaton excels in an art that has been overlooked by many.

Kennedy had a late start in dancing, starting when she was eight years old, which is part of why it astonishes some people that she’s done so well.

“The fact that [Kennedy] has done so well, even starting at such a late time in life, is very impressive,” said Tania Eaton, her mother and social science teacher. “She’s a great example that people can start things later in life and still do really well if you work really hard.”

With this success comes a difficult practice schedule, as well as trying to balance dance and school.

“Right now I’m training six days a week, so I have to squeeze in homework and academics, but I find a way to balance everything,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy is training at two different facilities: Dance Vita in San Mateo, and DanceSport in San Francisco. The extensive and intense training sessions have led her to compete on the national stage for both styles of dance, traveling to Baltimore, Utah, and New York for competitions. She has placed in these competitions, as she finished third at Utah nationals in Latin ballroom as well as fifth in the same competition for standard ballroom, both additions to her gold medals at the Junior Olympics.

Kennedy hopes she can go to world competitions in Paris in the near future, but her ultimate goal is to turn her passion into a professional career.

“I’m hoping to become professional and make a career out of it just because it’s what I love to do and it’s my passion.”

As talented and accomplished as Kennedy already is, her passion for dancing and her drive to constantly improve just might carry her to that point.