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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Harris twins find passion in dance together

Sophomore Nina Harris looked around the quad at all of her friends and classmates cheering for her during the sophomore Homecoming Quad Day on Oct. 2.  She suddenly felt a little nervous. Taking a deep breath, she looked to her left, and her twin sister Sonia Harris gave her a reassuring smile.  
The song “Little Party Never Killed Nobody” began to play, and the two girls, as well as sophomores Chloe Koon and Amanda Rhee, began to dance.  Nina started with some complicated turns on the Falcon mosaic and Sonia followed with fan kicks and a leap.
 This is nothing new to the twins, who have been dancing since age 2. When they finished the routine, the audience burst into applause, confirming the success of the first dance they’ve choreographed.
“We’d never choreographed for something that big, and never something that’s been performed. It was a little hard working with people who had no dance background and no training [for the all girls dance],” Nina said. “But it was a really fun and interesting experience.”
The Harris twins, as they are known around school, are identical and dance competitively at Dance Academy USA in Cupertino, the studio they’ve attended since age 7. There, they learn and perform many styles of dance including hip hop, jazz, contemporary, ballet and lyrical.
“Every little kid seems to takes dance classes as a way to meet people and socialize at the age of two,” Nina said. “And I just fell in love with it and have been dancing ever since.”
The twins are not on the Falcon dance team because their competitive team at Dance Academy USA takes so much of their time.
“[We practice for about] 10 hours a week, but most weekends as well, so it ends up being like 20 hours a week,” Nina said.
Although they do participate in dance competitions, these all take place during the summer or on the weekends and do not interfere with school. 
Sonia said that the twins usually are at the studio the same time. Because they spend so much time there, they are able to hang out with their friends as well as bond with each other.
“We get to share a lot of amazing experiences and have a lot of the same really close friends at the studio,” Sonia said. “[Nina] pushes me to dance differently and act differently from her so we aren’t considered the same person.”
The twins’ close friend, Koon, who danced in the Homecoming dance with the twins, said Nina and Sonia have developed different strengths and weaknesses, and their relationship has grown even stronger.
“There’s competition, but Nina and Sonia are different and both have their own talents,” Koon said. “ [For example,] Sonia has the style, and Nina has the turns.”
Both twins agreed that having a sister with the same passion sometimes can give dance an edge, but that most of the time, the criticism they give each other is positive.
“We really encourage each other to try our best,” Sonia said. “It’s a really competitive atmosphere, [because] even though these girls are all my friends, each person is trying to do better, [and Nina] always pushes me to put in the extra effort.”
Both Nina and Sonia said that although dancing is something they both love, a career in dance would be difficult and impractical, but they want to do it as long as they can.
“I want to go to a college that has a really good dance program so I can still keep taking classes,” Sonia said. “Wherever I end up going, I want to be able to dance.”
“I love it,” Nina added. “I don’t ever think [dance is] something I can give up.”
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