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Paris Waite, Student & Competitive Ballroom Dancer

By August 31, 2018September 4th, 2018Student Spotlight

At iSucceed Virtual High School, we have dedicated students who work hard to get their diplomas. That’s why we decided to start a Student Spotlight series, so we can shine the light on a few of our awesome students.

This month, we’re sharing the story of one student who’s been a dancer about most of her life. Check out her story below.

The Story of Paris Waite

Paris has been dancing since she was a toddler.

“I started dancing when I was three years old,” said Paris. “I started with ballet, but when I entered elementary school, the peer pressure of sports kicked in. I forgot all about dance until 4th grade. My two closest friends at the time always came to school talking about ‘ballroom.’ Having my two best friends involved made me feel as if I should also be apart of this organization. I was still very invested in soccer and softball, but I decided to try it the following year.”

And that’s when Paris decided to start ballroom dancing. She spent 7th and 8th grade involved with dancing, while still participating in Cross Country and track. It wasn’t until freshman year that she discovered ballroom dancing was her true passion.

“In 8th grade, I decided that I wanted to become a full-time ballroom dancer,” said Paris. “I took private lessons and trained harder than ever to improve. Going into my freshman year, I went to a competitive company called ‘Extreme Ballroom.'”

While Paris’s main focus is ballroom dancing, she also does ballet to help with her extensions, flexibility and spins.

Ballroom dancing is certainly no easy sport. For Paris, it means hours of training and exercising.

“Lots of people don’t understand how difficult, demanding and competitive ballroom really is,” said Paris. “As a ballroom dancer, you really need to be fit. Our medleys (dances we do as a team) can last up to four minutes of high-intensity dancing. That’s the equivalent of running for four minutes as hard as you can, wearing a dress and a smile. So on the side, I exercise frequently to make sure I keep in shape for competitions.”

Paris travels around the world to compete ranging from Provo, Utah to Disneyland to New York City to China.

Although a formidable dancer, Paris still loves the outdoors like any true Idahoan.

“I have to say, I love nature. I love to hike, swim and fish. My grandpa is a nature man, and I’ve followed right along. Other than competing, my favorite place to be is in the forest. For ballroom, I have to dress in sleek and rhinestone dresses that catch the eye. With bright nails, spray tan for looks, and extreme makeup to emphasize my eyes and lips. I absolutely love it! Yet, I love to go four-wheeling up in the mountains with mud splashing on my pants, plants all around me and dirt in my fingernails.”

Paris came to iSucceed for more flexibility in her schedule. Although it was a transition for her as she learned to set her own schedule and stay disciplined, Paris enjoys online school for the teacher support.

“I realized how disciplined I needed to be so I wouldn’t fall behind,” said Paris. “I also realized how nice it is to work at my own pace. I love the teachers here! They all really seem to be working to our benefit, instead of their own. So many of my teachers through iSucceed have been helpful, kind and productive.”

After high school, Paris plans to attend Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah. She also hopes to serve a mission for her church.

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