Are these the good old days? As crazy as the last year has been I think most of us will look back on it with a certain amount of nostalgia and pride. We will make it through and probably be better for it. I am sure that will be the case for Gladwin High School senior Emma Schwan. She has the kind of infectious positive attitude that people like to have around. Emma is also this weeks featured dancer.
She has been dancing most of her life. Her mom, Amanda Breault, got her started when she was about three or four years old. Dancing runs in the family, her mom also danced for Gail Wildfong when she was younger. This year, Emma is doing a tap solo, lyrical duet with Mikayla Petherbridge and a lyrical group dance.
For her tap solo she dances to “Good Old Days” by Macklemore and Kesha. The dance integrates the theme of the song, which is remembering all of the good days. In this case all of the good days of dance that will soon be behind her and how she is moving on to the next phase of her life. “Dance isn’t going to be as big a part of my life as it is now,” she said. “Adrienne has me moving across the stage remembering all of the dances that I did, then she brings me back to where I started. It’s definitely crazy thinking that it is all coming to an end. I have been at the studio three to four days a week most of my life.”
Most of the seniors at the studio also participate in the group lyrical dance. They dance to a version of the song “Unwritten.” In it they use a prop, a piece of paper, which represents the idea that they are all writing their own story, but that story is a part of a larger book. Now that they are all seniors that book is coming to an end and they will all be writing a new one going forward.
Schwan is the daughter of Amanda Breault and David Schwan. Her future stepfather is Jeremy Fetteroff and her father’s girlfriend Tammy Mawhorter. She has younger brother Nathan Schwan who plays soccer and two-step siblings Kaden and Kasee Fetterolf. Kaden wrestles and Kasee runs track and cross country.
It is hard to imagine how Emma is able to fit all of her activities into a 24-hour day. School, dance, sports and 4H along with multiple clubs, it seems almost impossible, but she pulls it off. She is the vice president of the Key Club and also a member of the National Honor Society and Varsity Club. The Key Club is a service organization that helps out in the community. Food distribution, making blankets for hospitalized children and dog toys for the animal shelter are all activities that the Key Club has been involved in.
Her favorite activity was “Fleece and Thank You” which involved making blankets for kids in the hospital. “We got to send them videos of us making them and we usually get videos and pictures back of the kids receiving the blankets,” she said.
Sports have also been a big part of her life, Emma played volleyball and softball in high school. She has played softball almost as long as she has been dancing getting her start in Tball at the age of five. As if that wasn’t enough she also helps keeps the books for the freshman and junior varsity boys’ basketball teams.
Along with participating on the teams Schwan helps out in the Athletic Office serving as an assistant to athletic director Lauren Haines for the last two years. This allowed her to do things like prepping the football field for games, making participation certificates, putting schedules online and anything else Haines needed help with.
“I have been really fortunate to get to work with Emma during the school day. She is a go-getter working on many different projects within the Athletic department,” said Haines. “Emma always brings a positive attitude to school and everyone enjoys being in the athletic office a little but more when Emma is around. Emma’s work ethic and creativity will really be missed next year but I wish her nothing but the best at SVSU.”
Which brings us to the “Unwritten” story, life after high school. Emma finished fifth in her graduating class and will be attending Saginaw Valley State University next fall where she will study Elementary Education. There are several elementary teachers in her extended family, but her love for working with young kids was kindled during her freshman year when she participated in a program that allowed her to help out at the elementary school. “Ever since I did that I knew I wanted to be a teacher.”
The good old days may be coming to an end, but better days are definitely in store. It will be interesting to see what kind of story she writes in the future.