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Senior Spotlight: Arwen Dema-ala

Current Favorite Song: “21” by Gracie Abrams

Favorite Dance Scenes: Can’t Stop The Beat from Hairspray, the High School Musical franchise, and Human Nature & Smooth Criminal from MJ The Musical.

Arwen Dema-ala will be graduating from Loyola School this spring.  She will be attending Northeastern University with a combined major of Media and Screen Studies and Theater!  Arwen plans to be a dancer, director, and choreographer for her career, and she will certainly continue to hone her skills up at Northeastern!  As she heads up to Boston, she says she will miss “the chaos and craziness of New York City.  You never feel alone.  [She] will miss being surrounded by music, art, theater, and culture.”

Arwen has been a SHUFFLES student for 3 years!  Her favorite performance was The Cinderella Medley from this year’s Studio Showcase!  She will miss the special SHUFFLES bond with her friends who have a shared passion for performing.  From this bond, Arwen learned the importance of being her own cheerleader, saying she learned how to not be too critical of herself and not rely on others for validation.  An important lesson for any young artist to learn!

Her favorite SHUFFLES memory is very special to her, as it helped validate her desire to pursue a career as a performer.  Arwen explained this memory, saying, “During the pandemic, our teachers had become quite creative to continue to develop our skills as performers while confined to our New York City apartments. They took the opportunity to teach us how to record a self tape of a monologue. I had never recorded my acting before. It was a nerve wracking experience watching everyone's monologues and viewing my own. However, it was the feedback and validation that I received that day that solidified my passion as an actor, and my desire to pursue performing as a professional career.”

Finally, when not at SHUFFLES, Arwen is basically always dancing!  She choreographs her school musical, runs dance team practices, and also co-hosts her school’s podcast!  Her biggest inspirations are Kenny Ortega, Derek Hough, and Ariana DeBose, and hopes to impact audiences in the same way these artists have.  Arwen also said that “some of the best inspiration came from performing alongside some of the most dedicated, driven, and talented performers at SHUFFLES.  Their genuine love and talent has been some the best motivation.”  We couldn’t agree more, Arwen!

Congratulations, Arwen!  We are so proud of you!


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