All-State honors: Dance duo

May 2015 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, People, Sports
Silverton High School seniors Jena Hendrix and Nicole Finch

Silverton High School seniors Jena Hendrix and Nicole Finch

By Brenna Wiegand

Silverton High School seniors Nicole Finch and Jena Hendrix were named to the All-State dance team at the OSAA tournament in March.

Coached by Paula Magee, the SHS team placed second in its division.

“The final day the all-state team performed; that was an honor,” Jena said. “We also helped out at the junior state championships and performed there.”

Jena was the only 5A dancer to receive the $800 scholarship and next fall she’ll attend Dean College in Franklin, Mass., on a dance scholarship.

“They have a really good program with all kinds of dance,” she said.

When she was 4 she began taking classes from Magee at Silverton Ballet & Performing Arts Co. and is part of Portland Youth Ballet’s performing troupe. As a senior project she conducted a four-day dance camp for sixth through eighth graders.

“Right now my plan is to go to college and get a degree then I want to dance while I still can,” she said, “and in the future open my own studio and teach.”

She and Nicole are close friends.

“Jena worked really hard to get where she is,” Nicole said. “She was one of the first people to introduce me and make me feel at home at the studio.”

Nicole grew up dancing at her mother Ann Finch’s Woodburn studio DanceDanceDance prior to moving to Silverton in eighth grade.

“That dancing was similar to tumbling,” she said. “My mom’s studio gave me the ability and movement of dance to get to where I am, but I really didn’t have any technique until I came to Silverton. I started taking a bunch of classes, working my hardest and never giving up.”

…with a little help from her friend.

When she was made an alternate on the team her freshman year Nicole began to doubt her ability. “Jena told me ‘No, you can’t quit; you’ve got to keep moving forward.’”

Nicole will attend Chemeketa Community College in the fall. She plans to become a medical or dental assistant and perhaps one day open her own dance studio. Meanwhile she’ll keep dancing.

“If you take a break from dance you’re going to lose all your flexibility and technique,” Nicole said. “Your brain might remember it but your body and your muscles won’t remember anything.”

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