Junior continues decade-long dancing

December 6, 2010 — by Aasim Naqvi

It’s Friday night, but Rachel Le can’t stay up too late. As it’s been for so many years, she has tap dancing classes an hour away first thing in the morning.

“I started when I was 3 because my parents randomly decided to sign me up to see if I’d like it,” Le said.

Le’s parents also signed her up for ballet. Le later decided that she preferred tap dancing.

“I didn’t like ballet so I stuck with tap and joined jazz later,” she said.

Since then, Le has attended tap dancing classes almost every Saturday morning. While Le lives close to the high school, she attends dance class in San Francisco. Despite having to make a long commute, Le doesn’t see herself choosing a closer studio anytime soon.

“I’ve been dancing with my classmates for so long,” she said. “It’s part of the reason why I didn’t want to find a more local studio. I basically became a family with my class and teacher and I didn’t want to replace them.”

The teacher at the dance studio started teaching Le along with 15 other students, Le said.
Le leaves her house at 8 a.m. on Saturday just to reach the 9 a.m. tap dancing class in time. Because she takes two classes, she spends a lot of time in San Francisco, as each one lasts an hour.

Besides just having class in San Francisco, the studio has recitals and shows a few times every year with all of the other classes who practice in the studio.

Le still enjoys tap dancing enough that she plans on continuing the activity until her senior year. But still, she acknowledges that there are some downsides to tap dancing.

“It’s a hassle sometimes because I have to drive to San Francisco a lot for class, pictures, rehearsals or performances,” she said. “I don’t get to sleep in on Saturdays after a long week of school.”

Even after more than a decade of tap dancing, Le isn’t ready to talk about her talents in any way other than modestly.

“I think I’m all right,” she said. “There are definitely a lot of people out there who are better than me.”