A friendship on and off stage

Student dance duet forms a strong bond


Junior La’Quera Williams (right) and senior Molly Maynard (left) win nationals on April 9. They recieved gold medals and showcase star at the competition. Photo Contributed by Jessi Walpole

Standing in the middle of the floor with all eyes on them, junior La’Quera Williams and senior Molly Maynard wait for their music to begin. As it starts, they realize they had made it. They had made it to nationals, and they won.
The dance duo started their duet partnership last year when they approached Jessi Walpole, SHS dance team coach, with the idea of being in a hip-hop duet with one another. Walpole says that she originally was scared and nervous about the idea when the girls approached her.
“Duets in dance typically aren’t hip-hop, they are usually lyrical or jazz and usually you have dancers who have been technically trained since the age of 3 or so,” Walpole said. “It was a little nerve wracking because I’ve not seen that really do exceptionally well, but once they did it the first time and it went super well, I knew I was wrong.”
Walpole also said that although they were friends before they decided to do the duet, this experience made them grow much closer and helped strengthen their friendship.
Both Williams and Maynard described their friendship with one another as being compatible with each other on and off the dance floor.
“…She’s the opposite of me so I feel like we work really well together… we bounce off each other with our ideas,” Williams said.
Maynard said that if given the chance to go back and choose a new duet partner, she would keep Williams as her partner. She said that they are each other’s only duet partner.
“Our energies are just the same, we understand each other well, we go back and back every single idea… it just wouldn’t be the same with anyone else.” Maynard said.
The friendship that the duo has developed on and off stage helped tremendously in preparation for nationals according to the girls.
Being able to work with one another well made coming up with dances, mixing music and the whole process of preparing for nationals so much easier.
“We kept each other on track. So if we felt like we weren’t practicing enough, we realized we needed to get together and even if it’s just 30 minutes,” Maynard said. “We need to work on it and think of ways to improve from the last competition each time.”
The duo had a tremendous amount of support from the dance team, their coach, their families and their friends. Williams said that the support they received is what made the duets special.
“They believed in us, so we believed in ourselves, and we just went out there and gave it all we got and in the end, we won,” Williams said.
Walpole says that there weren’t any words to describe how proud she was of Williams and Maynard for what they accomplished over their years of being on the dance team.
The duo worked hard to prepare for nationals and ultimately came out on top.
“I think so far, and maybe for even the rest of my duration as a coach, they will probably be the two most successful dancers this program has seen,” Walpole said. “Proud isn’t a good enough word. I’m just happy they let me be a little chapter in their story.”