This week we Take Five with Lily Englander, a seventh grader at Macopin who is part of the junior dance team. She has plenty of other interests and she's dedicated to her family. Be sure to go to our Web site, westmilfordmessenger.com, for our bonus five with Lily.
1) How did you get involved with dance team?
I have been dancing since I was 2 years old. At the end of the school year when I was in fourth grade, approaching fifth, I registered and tried out for the team. I made it that year and have been dancing and competing on the team since my fifth grade year.
2) What would most people be surprised to know about the dance team?
Many people would think the West Milford Junior Dance Team is only about winning competitions and practicing all the time. But really, our team is not like any other team. I don't consider the other people on the team as team members, but as my second family. Though we try our best and practice hard, our practices also consist of many laughs. Even if we don't win first place every competition, our team will always stand together. Every person on the team has an overwhelming amount of dedication, which is one reason we all stand together.
3) Who is your favorite teacher of all time and why?
My favorite teacher is Mrs. Duffy. She was my fifth grade teacher in Marshall Hill Elementary School. She was a huge inspiration on my learning experience. I learned many things each day in her class, but also had tons of fun. Mrs. Duffy had a different perspective of teaching than any other teacher of mine.
4) What do you do with your time when you are not doing dancing?
When not dancing, I enjoy spending time with family and friends. In winter, my friends and I ski at Mountain Creek. But, I also know school is extremely important to my future. Therefore, I study often and try to achieve the best grades that I can, even if it means doing three hours of homework.
5) What is your favorite movie/book/character and why?
My favorite movie is Forrest Gump. The lessons hidden inside the humorous movie are very practical and intriguing. Even the opening line, "My mama always said life is like a box of chocolate, you never know what you're going to get" is useful and very much true.
Forrest's mom was a wise woman. And you should keep dancing and stay focused, Lily.
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Bonus Five 6) Who is your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration has to be my family. My mom, dad, and brother, Spencer, guide me through everything, even if the situation is a struggle. They are all right beside me assisting me in making good choices and have a huge impact on my life. I would not look up to anyone more than I do to my family.
7) Name three things you would bring with you if you were on a deserted island.
If I were stuck on a deserted island, I would bring necessities like food and water. I would definitely bring my family as well. My parents are incredibly intelligent as is my brother, Spencer. I know with all the lessons they have taught me and the love we have for each other, we would find a way to escape and return home safely.
8) Share a favorite moment with your team.
My team has many great memories together. The best has to be last year's State Championship competition when we brought home first place! All of our hard work had paid off!
9) What does being a Highlander mean to you?
To me, being a Highlander means to emblematize my hometown. It means being strong and determined like many highlanders are. Being a Highlander means showing your black and gold spirit! When it comes to Highlander sports, I can always enjoy a great victory, but also show respect to winning teams.
10) Share something no one knows about you.
No one, or very few people, know that outside of dance, I am very intelligent and a little bit of a perfectionist, especially when it comes to school. School is the most important thing to me, mostly because I want a successful future. I try my hardest in and out of school. I know everything is improvable and that's why I will work on something until it's the best I can personally make or get it. I am also active with the town. I volunteer at the West Milford Animal Shelter weekly. I'd do anything to keep innocent animals alive and happy!