DURAND HIGH SCHOOL seniors Rylie Hankins and Emme Wykes, both longtime students at Kathy’s School of Dance in Durand, will be continuing their competitive dancing careers at the collegiate level. Emma has committed to Oakland University, where she will dance with the Oakland Dance Team, and Rylie has committed to Cleary University, where she will be a member of the Cleary University Dance Team.
Both girls began high school in Byron before transferring to Durand High School, and both have been dancing at Kathy’s, under the direction of owner Becki Zvonek-Love, since they were three years old. Rylie and Emma readily agree that “Miss Becki” has had the biggest impact on their development as dancers.
“We definitely learned the most from Miss Becki,” shares Rylie. “She is the reason we are where we are. She shaped us. We both started dancing at Kathy’s when we where three, and since then we have probably spent more time there than at home. We’ve made a lot of memories.”
The girls are nearing the end of their dancing careers at Kathy’s, and they were looking forward to their final dance recital, on Saturday, May 18, and competing in nationals in Tennessee this July. Emma will compete in eight dances at nationals, while Rylie will compete in seven.
Clearly University is in Howell, so Rylie will be able to live at home and commute in the fall, which will allow her to continue at Kathy’s as an instructor. Emma will stay on the Oakland campus, but would welcome the opportunity to teach at Kathy’s again in the future.
Emma, who has a 4.05 GPA, will study pre-pharmacy at Oakland University. After completing the pre-pharmacy program, Emma will need to complete pharmacy school to become a pharmacist. Rylie, who has a 3.9 GPA, will study business management at Cleary University, with the goal of becoming an accountant. Additionally, Rylie has been awarded a partial athletic scholarship.
(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)