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Story and photo by Zakiya Austin

Dutch Fork is home to many extraordinary scholars, athletes, and leaders. Among them is senior Rachel Crockett. Rachel is captain of the schools Dazzlers dance team and apart of the Dance V Honors program here at Dutch Fork High School.

“My role of being captain required me to be a leader to the team. Being captain I wanted to be there for the girls not only inside the dance room but outside of the dance. I was there to push them when they needed it and encourage them to always do their best,” Rachel said.

She is recognized by those around her as a phenomenal leader.

“Rachel is strong, determined, and a great leader. She is super passionate about everything she does. She always is willing to help anyone and everyone with whatever they may need,” sophomore Emily Dale said.

She is also a highly awarded dancer and choreographer, having been named an all american dancer by the Universal Dance Association as well as being inducted into the National Honors Society of Dance Arts.

“To be accepted into NHSDA you have to have completed so many hours, dance credits, and different projects. After being involved in dance 1-4 I auditioned for dance 5 honors my senior year. Being in dance 5 honors we had many different choreography projects and different obstacles to get through to earn the acceptance into NHSDA,” Rachel said.

Rachel’s experience ranges from classical training at The Dance Department to master classes from choreographers such as Matt Steffanina.

“I started dancing in a studio at the age of 8 and decided to fully devote myself to dance team my sophomore year,” Rachel said.

She is revered as a dancer and a leader by her cohorts on the dance team as well as those who just see her in the hallways.

“Rachel makes everyone feel included, is super outgoing, and has a positive attitude,” senior Sydney Greene said.

Rachel is one to always want what’s best for those around her. She pushes them to be better and lets that be her motivation to better herself.
“Rachel is someone who will always be straight up with you  and honest about what you need to work on and what you can do to better yourself. She’s always got your back and will never let you down,” Emily said.

Rachel’s friends and family have been a great support system for her throughout her life.

“After it’s all said and done, I will miss the bonds I have made with every person on the team. I will miss being surrounded by such inspiring people. I have created memories and friendships to last me a lifetime and I will truly take those with me for the rest of my life,” Rachel said.

What makes Rachel a leader–as opposed to just someone who is in charge– is her willingness to put those around her before herself.

“Rachel is hardworking, full of integrity, and doesn’t let others bring her down,” Sydney said.

Freshman Nia Brown can’t put her thoughts towards Rachel into words, stating that Rachel is an indescribable girl.

“I love Rachel and I’m glad I got to spend time with her this year,” Nia said.

Rachel has high hopes for herself as well as the generations of dancers to come after her.

“As for the future team, I wish you the best of luck and I wish you embrace every single moment. The memories you are about to make and the bonds you will have forever, will make all the hard work worth it. Don’t ever give up and continue to want to better yourself!” Rachel said.

Rachel will be continuing to lead and bring joy next year at the College of Charleston as one of the illustrious Cougarette dancers. The message she has on her heart for her team is clear.

“As for the 2016-2017 Dazzlers, thank you for letting me be your captain. Thank you for letting me be apart of your life and share such a special bond individually with all of you. You have made my senior year and I would do it all the same again if I could. Thank you for pushing me just as much as I would push you. Thank you for all the laughs, tears, and hard work we put in together,”Rach said. “You all are so special.  I love each of you more than words and I hope every single one of you continues to work hard and follow your dreams.”