Student Spotlight: Hallie Wilde

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Hallie in the dance studio.

Gen Bolton

Hallie in the dance studio.

Senior Hallie Wilde has been dancing since she was three, and now she is passing on her passion for dance to children with special needs here in Madison.

“I love that dance is an art that you can never perfect, so you are always striving to better yourself in every class,” Hallie says. “I love dance and I love working with kids, so when you put the two together you get teaching.”

Each Monday, Hallie takes her love of dance and teaches special needs kids at the Madison Elks Lodge. The kids are just as enthusiastic about learning as Hallie is about teaching. “I love how excited these girls get when they are able to remember an entire dance all by themselves, or when they finally master a new step. They also always come into the studio excited and ready to dance, and their enthusiasm always rubs off on me.”

As many people know, children with special needs have fewer opportunities to do seemingly regular activities, like taking a dance class and performing onstage. Through this weekly class, the children get to make new friends with the same interests and form a supportive community.

“I realized that working with special needs kids would actually be more fulfilling than teaching a regular dance class,” says Hallie. “I have definitely developed a lot more patience as it is not always easy communicating with special needs kids. But through this experience I have been able to learn what it is like to be a dance teacher, something that I aspire to be in the future, as well as what goes into being a teacher for special needs children.”

Hallie believes that community service is a vital experience for all teens because it has had such an effect on her through teaching this class. “Community service affects so many more people than just yourself. This dance class has touched these girls so much because it has given them a solid group of friends and they are able to be active and have fun. Seeing the joy it brings them is why I volunteer, and it is something that everybody should do at least once so that they can see how truly grateful people are of community service.”