Dancing to success

Alina Draa commits to Cornell and continues to dance


Lorelei Barry, Staff Writer

Senior Alina Draa began dancing when she was two years old; immediately falling in love. Sixteen years later, Draa is still dancing. Joining the Poway Dance Project (PDP) her freshman year, Draa has spent the last four years performing at pep rallies, football games, and representing the school at Universal Dance Association (UDA) competitions. 

From Feb. 4-6, the PDP competed at the UDA Nationals in Orlando, FL, closing out the competition and taking second place in the nation. “Even though I’ve danced for many years, all of my favorite memories were from PDP. Just recently in Florida, the feeling of my team surpassing our goals and getting 2nd in the US is a feeling I’ll never forget,” Draa said. 

Following graduation, Draa will be attending Cornell University in the fall. Draa plans to major in anthropology or psychology, and continue on to graduate school.“I’m still shell shocked that I got into Cornell, it doesn’t feel real,” Draa said, “I’m most excited to visit the libraries on campus, specifically the Uris library, aptly nicknamed “Harry Potter Library.”

Continuing to challenge herself, Draa is taking higher level courses to help prepare her for her future studies, such as AP Biology.

“I had Alina this year in AP Bio. She always has a good attitude, is curious and inquisitive, and is willing to work hard and learn new things,” teacher Arno Chrispeels said. “The number one thing going forward into college is how hard you are willing to work to achieve what you want to achieve, and Alina is a very hard worker. She goes over and above in her work, is very thorough, and it is clear she enjoys learning.”

Senior Mackenna Nightingale has been friends with Draa since sixth grade, and is excited to watch her tackle this next chapter in her life. “Alina has worked really hard for so long, and it has made me really happy to see how it all paid off,” Nightingale said, “From the dance team to academics, she has stayed very committed and now many people around her look up to her.”

Draa continues to work hard as graduation approaches, taking a course load with four AP classes and spending her hours outside of school practicing with PDP.