Art Student of the Issue – Tamia Strickland

Senior Tamia Strickland has been a key member of the school’s dance program for the last 4 years, and she aims to take her talents to the next level as she graduates this spring.

At the age of 6, Strickland began her dancing career. “My friend took me to one of her hip hop classes. At first I was nervous, but after class, I had such a fun time, so I ended up signing up for more dance classes the following year,” Strickland adds. Since then, she has been dancing for the last 12 years.

When looking back on her accomplishments, Strickland has much to choose from. Her top accomplishment comes from being called back for an audition for the revival of Cats, the world famous Broadway musical. “We had to roll around on the floor, groom ourselves, or pretend we were playing with a ball of yarn or with other cats,” Strickland describes.

Although the audition itself was uncomfortable, Strickland knew that she had to put her uneasiness aside. “I knew that as a dancer, I would have to perform weird or strange roles in the future,” Strickland added. Even though she was called back, she was not able to continue on because she was not 18, but she found the experience itself to be  rewarding.

With dance being a major part of her life, Strickland’s schedule is very busy at times. She has dance studio practice on Mondays from 4:00 pm to 7:30 pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm and Saturdays from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm.

When it is competition time, more practices are added. Because of this schedule, Strickland has had to miss out on opportunities to hang out with friends. “One year I wasn’t able to go to homecoming because I had an audition that day,” Strickland says. However, she expresses that to her, each sacrifice she has made has been worth it.

Looking into the future, Strickland plans to continue dancing. One of her top goals is to be a dancer in a Broadway musical. “I love performing onstage and ever since I saw a Broadway musical, I knew that that was what I wanted to do,” says Strickland. Not only is Broadway in her sights, but she also hopes to become a Rockette and teach in a dance studio at some point.

Although a life without dance seems impossible, if she was not dancing, photography is what Strickland believes she would have focused on. Photography is something that has always interested her, and the free time in her schedule would have allowed her to pursue it. “I could travel around Maryland finding cool places to photograph,” adds Strickland.