A Leader On And Off The Floor

Story by Taylor Hodges, Sports Editor
Photo courtesy of Lily Ward

Sometimes things have a way of landing in our life. Whether these things were meant to happen or it was just pure luck is anyone’s guess, but one thing is for certain, we’re glad they found their way to us, because without them we wouldn’t be who we are today.

For Lily Ward, a junior at Aquinas College studying Biology, this rings forever true with dance. Ward started dancing at the age of four at a studio in her hometown. After that first session, the dance bug got her and she was hooked.

“I don’t think I ever actively decided to pursue dance, it was just always part of my life,” she said. “Not dancing was not an option.”

The people we encounter, the things we do have a tremendous impact on our life whether we know it or not. For Ward, she has experienced that impact with dance first-hand.

“Dance requires a severe discipline of both the body and the mind, and that really carries over to other parts of your life,” she said. “Dance really helped me find a confidence and self-worth that I know a lot of young girls struggle with. Dance has impacted my life hugely.”

After high school, Ward decided to take her talents to Aquinas College. She is currently in her third season and was named co-captain along with Madi Pazik.

“This was the first year since I’ve been on the team that captains have been appointed, and I was really excited to be chosen,” she said. “Madi and I really enjoy our leadership roles, because it’s such a great group of girls.”

During the journey, Ward has accumulated a lot of experiences and while some may have been difficult in the moment, looking back, she can’t help but crack a smile.

“I really loved when we were learning our competition routine,” she said. “We are a really goofy group and we love to laugh together. It made the 15 hours of dance that weekend bearable.”

After she graduates, Ward hopes to use her biology degree to get a field research position for a few years before deciding if she wants to pursue graduate school. Very fitting for a girl who cares immensely about the Earth.

With her love of dance, helping the Earth, and caring for the people close to her, it’s safe to say Ward is in a class of her own.

Whether finding dance was pure luck or something that was always meant to happen to Ward, it’s shaped her into who she is today, and she wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

About the writer… 

10301416_10155109711375080_5312500598063418902_nTaylor Hodges is a senior majoring in Sport Management/ Business Administration. He is the sports editor for The Saint and interns with the public relations department for the Grand Rapids Griffins. He hopes to one day break into the hockey business as a General Manager, but until then, encourages you to follow him on Twitter and download his mixtape.



Categories: Sports

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