Erin’s got dem killa limbs!

Whether you’re looking at the stage or in the classroom, you’ll find Ames High senior Erin Bagnall hard at work. Involved in everything from National Honor Society to pep band, Bagnall knows how to stay busy. Taking up much of her time are two of her favorite pastimes, writing and dance. Bagnall hasn’t always been involved in writing, though. It wasn’t until eighth grade that she realized how much she really wanted to pursue it. “In eighth grade I had Mrs. Bates, and she inspired me to continue writing. She nominated me for BSI camp (Blank Summer Institute) and that got me going.” This, along with the support from many of her other high school teachers has kept her spirit and mind in writing (she sites Mr. Webb as one of the biggest influences of high school). As for what she most enjoys writing, Bagnall says that poetry is her favorite. “It kind of comes naturally because that’s kind of how my brain works.” Her poetry often reflects the imagery and emotions she finds in every day images, and has been published in a few poetry books through and is also in a Noblehouse Publishing poetry book. Another activity Bagnall is active in is dance. Dancing with Robert Thomas Dance Center since she was four, she has dedicated countless hours to the dance. Ballet/point, jazz, lyrical, and tap (Bagnall’s personal favorite); she has taken classes in each. She is also on the competition team, which practices for six hours on Sundays, four hours on Wednesdays, and requires all members to participate in at least two ballet classes each week (each class lasting about two hours). The team also attends six competitions in the spring semester, about one every other weekend. “Last year we did really well in most dances,” Bagnall said. “We placed fourth at Nationals for a small group dance out of seventy or eighty teams.” Bagnall does not only attend dance classes but also teaches a few, and is co-choreographing a Terpsichore dance at Ames High this year. But what first got her involved in dance and what keeps her so dedicated? “I just started dance to have something to do and kept going because I really liked dancing. Then when I was younger, I really wanted to be in Nutcracker, and that kept me going,” Bagnall said. “When I was in Nutcracker, I was in competition and that’s kept me in it.” With all of these commitments and experiences, it’s no wonder that she claims dance as one of favorite involvements. “No matter what kind of day I had or who said what, I kind of always go in happy. It’s been one of the best things for me throughout high school.” Not only involved in off-campus activities, Bagnall can list off roles like band Vice-President, senior mentor, and band manager. She can also call herself a member of Homecoming Court, Scratch Pad, and flute choir. On top of all of this, Bagnall is also an extremely dedicated student, who has enjoyed many classes over the past four years. Honors American Literature with Mr. Webb, Honors English 10 with Mrs. Horner, and Sociology wit Mr. Zmolek have been her favorite classes so far, Honors American Literature her top choice. “I feel like I learned a lot, and there wasn’t a lot of busy work. I enjoy reading and it gave insight into the books we read, as opposed to other classes that focus on homework,” Bagnall said, adding that the great people and Mr. Webb’s teaching helped to make the class her favorite. Bagnall doesn’t plan to slow down after high school, either. Her post high school plans are just as ambitious as her current schedule. “I’m hoping to go to Northwestern University in Illinois to major in English and minor in dance,” Bagnall said, adding that she hasn’t quite decided on a specific career yet, but has ideas. “Maybe I’ll be an editor for books.” Ever inspired and involved, Bagnall continues to stay active both inside and outside of the classroom to reach her goals.