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Senior Spotlight: Nina Pappas


Current Favorite Song: “All Too Well” by Taylor Swift


Favorite Dance Scene: Moses Supposes from Singin’ In The Rain (she learned the dance break herself!)


Nina Pappas is graduating from West End Secondary School this spring, and will be attending University of Southern California as a sociology major with a Pre-Dental track, as she plans to attend dental school and become a pediatric orthodontist!  Before she heads across the country, Nina is taking in the last moments of her time in New York City with her friends and family.  She will miss the opportunities and excitement New York has to offer, as well as SHUFFLES, “the dance studio [she] was lucky to call home.”


Nina has been a SHUFFLES student for 12 years!  During her time with us, she remembers two special performances.  The first was this past winter during Peter Pantomime’s glorious return to the stage.  Nina was a part of the TapCracker finale, and said “it was such a reward to dance in the Kaye Playhouse again!”  The second was her musical theater number “Someone In The Crowd” from 2018’s Meet Me at the Plaza.  In her own words, Nina told us that “it reminders me of a scene from a Broadway musical!  I was able to put a lot of personality into this number…it was a turning point in my dance career because I realized how strong my passion for dancing is.”  Nina really enjoys performing at the Kaye, fondly remembering the excitement and little bit of nerves of being called from the dressing room every year to line up along the sides of the staircase at the Kaye before heading on stage.


At SHUFFLES, lots of lessons are learned, but for Nina, the most important lesson was to never give up.  As she explains: “Although it is cliché, it couldn’t be any more true.  I have heard this saying from my parents, teachers, and friends, but my SHUFFLES teachers telling me this has stayed with me forever.  Throughout my 12 years at SHUFFLES, many difficult tap steps have come my way; however, that message I once learned as a 5 year old stays in my mind forever, and has gotten me through difficult steps and long rehearsals.  I am thankful that this lesson is applicable to other areas in my life.”  We’re so glad this lesson stuck with you Nina!


As she heads out into the world, Nina will miss the community at SHUFFLES that she has “been so lucky to be a part of.  I will miss seeing that community every week and coming back after summer break like no time has passed.”  When not at SHUFFLES, Nina is playing tennis, running with friends, or working on her high school’s first yearbook as the Editor-in-Chief.  Finally, her biggest inspiration is her mom, whom she says “has taught her all that [she] knows and has always been [her] number one fan.”


Congratulations, Nina!  We’re going to miss you!

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