Interview by Shayna Fink Article & Images Submitted by Jake Simon Nomination by Cheryl Simon
The Nomination: “Jake has a passion for hip hop and trains up to 16 hours per week during competition season while maintaining high honors in school. He also teachers a younger student who competes and just won first place at nationals. Jake is a remarkable young man who is always recognized for being so kind and respectful.”
How did you become interested in dancing? How old were you when you started? When I was 4 years old I would imitate Michael Jackson daily. My mom found a theater arts camp with dance which led to hip hop classes around 6 years old. At 10 years old, I found an awesome hip hop teacher at Elements Dance Factory, Ski Sevitski who also trained with I AM PRHESH. I still train with Ski and officially joined I AM PHRESH at 13 years old. We compete regionally in comps such as World of Dance. I also compete as a soloist I received multiple titles and accolades including the title "Funky Fresh Award". That name stuck and now I'm known by my friends as JakesFresh. That's also my Instagram :).
Is it difficult to balance dance and school along with other activities? Yes! I train up to 16 hours per week during comp season which is school season. That doesn't include training a younger student who competes, rapping and creating my own choreo. I've become very disciplined and do school work from the moment I get home, including in the car, until I get to dance. It’s worth the high honors in school and winning team competitions. Watching my first student win 1st place in his national comp made my year!
Have you ever had problems accomplishing your goals? Yes! There are many areas hip hop that you need to learn and it's tough to be good at all of them. I’m best at hip hop dance. When I do reach milestones, I realize all the hard work was worth it and I just want to keep practicing.
How do you overcome your fears/conflicts? When I'm about to get on stage there's always a bit of nervousness but once I get on stage, I feel like a different person and that fear just goes away. I always look to my mentors such as Ski Sevitski, Smart Mark and Shaniqua Boston as well as choreographers I look up to such as Ian Eastwood, Les Twins and Nick Demoura. They all inspire me and motivate me to keep working harder every day.
What do you plan on doing after high school? Will you be a dance instructor? I'm looking forward to college. I'd love to find a great academic school where I can major in business and minor in dance. I'd love to be a hip hop choreographer, with a studio so I can help encourage young hip hop dancers.
My name is Jillian Cardinal and I want to grow up to be an orthodontist.
My mom and I went to the orthodontist so that we could talk about the date and time when I would get my braces on. During our consultation, the dental assistant had a little model of teeth on her desk with all the materials that were needed to put braces on. I was so bored because I didn’t really care about what they were talking about and I started playing with the model of the teeth instead. By the time they were done talking, I had finished putting all the materials on the model where I thought they went. Then the dental assistant started to look at what I did, and she told my mom that I had placed everything on perfectly! I was so happy because I thought it was fun putting it on and I didn’t even know what I was doing. This was the point when I realized that I found something that was fun, different and, most importantly, something that came easily to me.
Before all of this happened, I decided that I wanted to go to Ohio State for college, which turned out to be a great idea because my Aunt Bridget went to school there to be a dental hygienist. Now she works at Ohio State teaching in the dental building, which is where I would learn to become an orthodontist. The great thing about it is, I can stay at her house when I am on break, and if I ever need any help with my studies, I can ask my aunt because she definitely knows what she’s talking about. So does NASA, did you know they developed the nickel titanium wire used in braces today? And I promise you braces will not set off metal detectors nor are they magnetic, and they don’t even make you more likely to be struck by lightning. So far, this seems to be a great idea and I am really looking forward to my future. I hope you can find something that suits you and will bring greatness to your future, just like I have.
By Jillian Cardinal Images by Inspiring Teens taken at Pigadilly's in Buckingham, PA
How to make money
- Get a job doing something that you love. - Do chores around the house - Set up a lemonade stand with lemonade and iced tea - Set up a crafts stand - Babysit - Sell some old clothes
How to save money Save at least half and then can use the other half to spend on something special. Have your parents help set up a savings account. By creating a savings account, the bank will give you some extra money (also known as interest) for keeping your money safe at their bank.
Saving the money you make is very important and will come in handy later on in your life. And when you are making and saving money don’t forget to set goals for yourself to make the journey a whole lot more enjoyable. You could save up to get a sweet treat with friends or even get those summer sunglasses you’ve been eyeing!! What would your goal be?
Jillian Cardinal with the owner of Pigadilly's himself!
By Madison Westermann With images of 2018 seniors: Madison Westermann, Rayza Parlow, Hannah Diamond, Kimberly Wang, Sarah Smith, Joe Galante, Cyrena Spafford, Alexa Plachuto, and Sara Gingras by Inspiring Teens Style Studio
Your senior year is all about making decisions that will impact the rest of your life, finding who you are, and saying goodbye to a part of yourself before opening up to adulthood. It sounds scary, but through it all preserving memories and being with your friends is most important.
I think one of the greatest ways to remember your senior year is a photo shoot outside of the norm of the high school cap and gown. Your photos should capture exactly who you are and what your passionate about. Below are some ways to help create your photo shoot.
1. Find a date where you are available for a majority of the day. You don't want to be rushed through any part of the process - including your own time packing and getting ready.
2. Figure out if you want friends and/or family involved. It can make the day a lot more fun!
Hannah Diamond & Madison Westermann
3. Find a place that well represents your personality and what you are passionate about. For example, a friend and I went down to South Street in Philadelphia to Fabric Row because of our love for the fashion industry.
4. Pick out clothes that represent your style well. Every one has more than one style, and side to their personalities and ambitions, so try to mix things up.
5. Decide if props and accessories are necessary. A well styled outfit always needs a good purse and sunglasses to go with in my mind. If your hobby or profession involves props, or you play sports that include a unique piece or a musical instrument - definitely bring them!
While these are only a few tips, make sure that your photo shoot best represents you and who you are. Looking back at these photos, you will remember the places you spent your time and who you were with and you want it to capture your senior year to the best of your abilities.
Your senior pictures should most definitely say everything about who you are at this stage in your life. Don't be ordinary - let your true shelf shine!
Extra bonus tip - we have to do our cap and gowns the summer before our senior year, but make sure you include YOUR cap and gown, with your tassel, diploma, cords and anything else at the end of the year for a little bonus shoot. It's finally time to really celebrate your accomplishments!