Soon-to-be Franklin County High School graduates Hailey and Holly Hamilton will continue their dance team tradition into their college experience.
The 18-year-old twin sisters, daughters of Gerry and Sarah Hamilton, will sign with Eastern Kentucky University’s Dance Team on Tuesday afternoon at FCHS. Both are four-year members of the Flyer Dance Team and were captains this year.
Holly said that when the sisters began their college search, they were looking for a school where they could both be happy and stay in the state. Holly will be a pre-vet major and Hailey will study speech therapy in the fall at EKU.
Joining their college’s dance team wasn’t a priority at first, Hailey said, but when they decided on EKU, it became an option they both wanted to explore. Dance had become a big part of their lives through dance team and studio classes, so being able to continue that was something both sisters wanted to pursue.
The Hamilton sisters started taking dance lessons 13 years ago at Capital City Dance Studio, where their mother, Sarah, studied dance when she was their age. The sisters enjoy dance team because they feel that their work supports the spirit of different athletic teams.
“I like supporting other athletics through ours. I think that’s pretty cool to say that helps promote others to do their best,” Holly said.
The twins tried out for EKU’s dance team on the weekend of April 26 and made the cut. They have already been to one dance clinic with the team to get to know and practice with their new teammates. Holly said that the university’s dance team will begin summer practices in July. Hailey said the sisters will move into their dorms before the majority of EKU’s students to prepare for the upcoming football season. The biggest challenge in transitioning from a high school to college dance team will be longer and more frequent practices, Hailey said.
The sisters will receive a scholarship to cover textbooks and some other expenses for being dance team members, although they are not sure how much their scholarships will be worth. They said that EKU recently increased scholarships for dance team students as the team is known for its community service. The twins said that as part of the team, they will help with local dance teams and dance recitals, raise money for different causes and more. Charity work is something the sisters are used to doing as part of FCHS’ dance team.
FCHS coach Emily Goodwin said that she got to know the Hamilton sisters through teaching classes at Capital City Dance Studio and that years of hard work have definitely paid off for the twins. Goodwin herself was an FCHS graduate who joined EKU’s dance team. She said that to her knowledge, the twins will be the first FCHS graduates on EKU’s dance team since 2014.
“They are the sweetest and most kind-hearted girls you’ll ever find,” Goodwin said of the twins. “Their passion and love for dance only grows and pushes them to be better every time they do a routine or try something new … . They are exemplary role models, extraordinary dancers, great students and wonderful members of this community.”
The sisters thanked their parents, coaches and mentors for their past few years. The twins also wished FCHS’ dance team good luck next season and plan to come home for some of its performances. Both are interested in helping coach and choreograph for dance teams in the future.