Written By: Michelle Garcia
Art is not limited to the constraints of society, instead it offers creative outlets through various types of illustrations, dance, music, and many more branches. Sophomore Aleks Copeland, has been able to find her confidence through her hobbies of Ballroom dancing and bullet journaling.
Copeland was first introduced to the extravagant hobbie when she was a seven year-old gymnast and found a business card for a local dance studio. Having a background in ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and tap she was pleasantly surprised when she discovered that Ballroom dancing was distinctly different from other forms of dance.
“Ballroom [dancing] is a partner sport. You have to be able to work and collaborate with other people or else it just will not work in your favor. I learned how to be both a leader and a follower through this sport.” Copeland said.
After years of experience, Copeland is proud to be a two time regional champion who will be competing in Nationals and hopes to continue onto Worlds in February. She has been able to go from a beginners level to a respectable contestant. Unlike other dance tournaments, she cannot prepare one specific dance for the competition. Preparation consists of training one to two times a week, where they follow an American and International syllabus that contains the standards of different moves.
“ Most of the dances are improvised. There are moves that we practice beforehand, but the sequencing is random. Whatever move my partner decides to do I have to follow it. We prepare by learning the different moves on the syllabus that have to fit into a sequence,” Copeland said.
Copeland will soon begin volunteering with her dance studio in teaching elementary students; the program hopes to bring awareness to the beautiful sport.
Juxtaposing her traditional sport is Copeland’s modern take on journaling. Helping her express her creative thought process Copeland has become extremely fond of bullet journaling.
“Bullet journaling can be anything you want it to be. As long as you have a pen and a notebook, you can create one. I use it as an agenda, a diary, a place to keep track of my mood, what books I have read, what movies I watch, my plans. I also use it to doodle and as a place to do art,” Copeland said.
Since seventh grade, her interest in this community has skyrocketed. She began journaling in hopes that creating alluring images would motivate her to study and learn.
“One day I found a video on Youtube on how to take pretty notes. So, I have come to the conclusion that if you are having fun whilst you are studying and being productive it makes things easier. I now like to take notes, doing my bullet journals and checking things off my list. It gives me something to look forward to I find [bullet journaling] very liberating because it doesn’t matter if I mess up because it is mine. It has become a part of my life,” Copeland said.
Recently, Copeland has begun a small business where she designs the layouts of the page spreads of the journal. She claims that it is nerve wracking to be producing such a personal product for other people. To ensure that her customers are pleased she asks them questions regarding the color scheme, theme, and page spreads.
“One of my friends told me I should start charging for it, since I was doing it for free for some of my friends. I hope that since people are contacting me to do their journals, that they like my designs. I let my creativity do the work for me. I trust that everything will turn out nicely” Copeland said.
As Copeland reflects on her time participating in both activities she notes that it has provided a sense of motivation for her, an avenue in which she can freely express her emotions and more importantly her originality.