Dalton High graduate plans to continue his career in ballet
June 2 — While Paige Manahan was sorry to learn that the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program camp would not be offered last summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she remains grateful for the lessons she learned at the during the application process.
“I was very, very disappointed, (that) I didn’t have this to hope for,” said the recent Dalton High School graduate. Manahan had joined other finalists in a group message, and “we were talking all the time, (so) we were delighted to meet in person.”
“It was really tough at first, but it was great” to go through the application process, which included live and video dancing, an in-person interview and a written essay, she said. “It was kind of like (applying) to college, (so) it was a good experience overall, and it really helped.”
Manahan, who will attend Ballet Magnificat !, a Christian ballet company in the Mississippi capital Jackson, reportedly made dancing a priority at summer camp, perhaps an obvious choice for someone who has been dancing since the 3 years old.
“I don’t remember not having danced and I don’t want to have a moment when I don’t dance,” she said. ” I really like. “
In dance, “you can always grow up, and I love to play,” she said. “It’s easy to be hard on yourself, but you always grow up dancing, and it grows with you.”
Dalton High School’s drama program regularly called on her dance knowledge and skills, said Wes Phinney, head of the school’s drama department. She has choreographed numerous acts for the actors of several shows and was recognized as an “All-Star Performer” in the one-act competition for the 2019 production of “The Duchess Mislaid: A Commedia”.
“I think her exceptional training and dance skills have served her well in taking on the challenges of such a physical game, the best example of“ who was the mute servant Pedrolino in that act, ”said Phinney. “Paige was called to communicate only through movement, and being such an exceptional dancer, she had no problems.”
She’s dedicated to improving herself, and that’s part of the reason she was excited about the Governor’s Honors Program camp last summer, which usually takes place at Berry College.
“I still want to work on my technique,” and friends who attended camp told her that dancers “can work a lot on art and how to get emotional,” she said. Being denied this opportunity “was really disheartening for me.”
Manahan “loves and lives dance,” said Berrien Long, owner / director of the Dance Theater of Dalton. “I hate that she missed the experience (Governor’s Honors Camp), but knowing Paige, she will find ‘other ways to grow and thrive’ as an exceptional human being and dancer.”
Manahan managed to get into a dance camp in Mississippi last summer she had previously been to to fill some of the void left by the Governor’s Honors Program’s demise, she said. “I was really lucky.”
Manahan, who was celebrated at a Dalton Education Council meeting on September 14, 2020 for being a finalist in the Governor’s Honors Program, “stood out in drama class as a young actress exceptional, which she demonstrated in two performances of exceptional winter plays, 2019 “The Crucible” “then” Shakespeare in Love “the following year, Phinney said. “The main thing that comes to my mind about Paige is that she is open to suggestions and directions – although they are rare – and ready to do whatever it takes to improve her performance, not just to herself, but for the good of the show and everyone involved. “
In “Shakespeare in Love,” for example, “she was asked to do a lot of physical theater,” including rock climbing, running and fighting, like Viola De Lesseps, “but she never hesitated and finally rose to the challenge of giving an outstanding performance, ”said Phinney.“ Paige is one of the best young girls I have ever had the pleasure of teaching, always positive in her attitude, very well behaved and friendly, everything simply pleasant to be around. “
Manahan loves ballet more than any other style, because “it is the basis of everything” from contemporary to jazz, she said. Plus, “it’s so pretty.”
And the Dance Theater of Dalton turned out to be a perfect home for Manahan.
“I love all the girls in the studio and we’ve been together since we were little,” she said. “We do ‘The Nutcracker’ every year, and it’s one of my favorites.”
Manahan “is an intelligent, talented and strong dancer who always strives to be the best she can be while being kind and helpful to everyone else in the studio, (and) her sweet personality shines on the stage where she dances exquisitely. really comes to life, ”Long said. “Keep an eye on her, (for) she will do great things in life.”