Senior captain reflects on history in dance

Kaley Carr balances theatre and Talonettes responsibilities


Riley McConnell

In line with her teammates, senior Talonette captain Kaley Carr holds her poms in her hands. Carr has been on the Talonettes since she was a freshman. “Something I would tell my freshman self is to not stress because you can’t control every little thing,” Carr said. “Talonettes has helped me realize that I don’t have to worry about that stuff. I can really put my trust in others.”

This article was originally published in the October issue of Eagle Nation Times.

The curtains rise. The stage lights turn on. Young, toddler-age dancers crowd to the front in leotards and tutus. Kaley Carr stands among them as “Apple in the Tree” begins to play. Years later, Carr has continued her career in dancing, most recently becoming the 2022-2023 captain of the Talonettes.

Now, a senior, she said her time continues to involve a life that’s in and out of recitals and studios – and onto the field or auditorium stage. 

“Performing has always been in my blood since I was a child,” Carr said. “My family grew up, focusing on a lot of entertainment stuff. My mom was very involved in the fine arts. Her love of singing and dancing rubbed off on me. I grew up being in choir and dancing at studios because it was a part of me. It’s something I felt like I needed to do.”

Dancing plays a major part in Carr’s life. She started on her first drill team for her studio in sixth grade. Later, she joined the Talonettes as a freshman.

“I started in one of those little combo classes of tap, ballet, and a little bit of jazz,” Carr said. “I’ve been in a studio my whole life. I was on performing company teams, growing up, and then in about sixth grade, I discovered drill. I really liked that aspect because it focuses on a lot of tricks and big movements, and it branches out from just focusing on the space around you.”

Carr has been in Prosper since first grade. During the time she’s spent here, Carr has been able to see them grow from a small group to a large nationally recognized team. 

“I have seen the Talonettes grow tremendously over the years,” Carr said. “It creates an environment for girls to express their love for dance. I wanted to be a part of that. I wanted to show others my love of dance and to spread it. too.”

Carr set two main goals for the team this year: unity and progression. 

Hand in hand with her cast mates, seniors Kaley Carr, Mikayla Sexton, and Dylan Korsah are pictured with juniors Kalila Beak and Pierce Polomsky as they take their final bow during ‘Godspell,’ the spring 2022 musical. Carr choreographed the final dance number of the show. She was also one of the choreographers for the fall 2021 show, ‘The Lion King Jr.’ “I have learned from Kaley that talent means nothing without perseverance and hard work,” junior Kalila Beak said. “She has helped me learn to stick to my morals and goals and to not let people tell me I can’t do something.” (Photo courtesy of Kalila Beak)

“Unity – being making sure we’re family for all – and including everyone’s voices,” Carr said. “We’ve already improved on this so much. We do compete, and we do perform a lot, and we do have to be serious. But, we’re also a family, and we have to support each other through all of that. For progression, it’s also good to have goals, and we can all progress through high school together – even though we’re at different stages in high school. We’re still able to grow as one.” 

Ashley Sharp has been the Talonette coach for two years, and she said Kaley has dance – and leadership – in store for her future.

“I see Kaley continuing to dance and being a leader in all aspects of her life,” Sharp said. “She will be a force in the dance world, and I can definitely see her on Broadway shining bright on the stage.”

Working as captain, Carr has already learned countless lessons. According to Carr, one of the most important jobs of a captain is working with the director and the other officers. She has to support the director’s decisions while also guiding the team in the right direction. 

Through being captain, I have learned that I’m not alone. It seems like something where you feel like you’d be alone. But you have so many people that have your back and want you to succeed, and you want them to succeed, as well. It’s a whole interconnecting process, where you have a family, and you can rely on them.

— Kaley Carr

“My favorite aspect of Talonettes is working toward one goal,” Carr said. “I like it when a bunch of people come together, and we’re able to recognize something that we all want. Even if it’s really hard, like, say we want to win nationals, we work really hard together, and even though some moves can get really difficult throughout practice, we still recognize that we got on the team for a reason. And that was to not only have friends and have family, but also we get to perform and compete to get those championships.”

Carr has also been a part of the theatre department all four years of high school. Last year, she was in the department’s production of The Lion King Jr. and Godspell. She also competed at nationals in Indiana this June, advancing from state in November with her group IE with the song ‘Welcome to the Renaissance.’ 

Kaley is extremely driven, motivated, and is such a hard worker. She always puts her best foot forward and cares so much for fellow teammates. She always wants what is best for others. These qualities and many more are what makes Kaley a great leader.

— Ashley Sharp

“Leading up to Nationals, I was honestly really worried about it, but it’s one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had,” Carr said. “My group and I did a group musical. We worked really hard to achieve ‘Superior’ and even though a lot of moments were challenging, we really pushed through to get those fine details, and we were able to have fun in the end and be able to enjoy our experiences together.”

Her dance experience has helped her to excel in theatre. She uses her dance training through her choreography, especially in the varsity musical theatre class. 

“I’m someone whose dancing is stronger than my singing,” Carr said. “For people whose singing is stronger than their dancing, I could help them out. They get to improve, and then they will help me out graciously, so we’re all getting better as one – as I could help them with my talents, so they can help with theirs.” 

Last year Carr worked as the junior lieutenant captain for the team. With four years of experience on the team and seven years of drill, she has learned several small lessons as well as one big takeaway.  

“My biggest takeaway over the past four years is that there’s always a place for you,” Carr said. “It’s like no matter what you do, like whether I was an officer or a line member, I’m still part of that family, and I still grew to know people and to see people like, experienced the team and graduate and go on and see how it has changed them. And, I see how it has changed me as well in being more involved – like with helping others and serving others. I wouldn’t trade this opportunity for anything.”