Dedication, discipline, pointed feet, elaborate costumes, lights, and standing ovations are the words that graduating seniors Sammi Maciel and Nicky Shindler use to describe the last 15 years at InnerRhythms Dance Centre in Truckee.

After spending most of their lives dancing at InnerRhythms after school and on weekends, Maciel and Shindler will be leaving the dance studio this fall to attend college.

Maciel attributes her good time management skills to her years of dance. Some nights, dance class would go until 9 p.m., so she had to learn to balance dance and school work. Being part of InnerRhythms also kept Maciel grounded. No matter where she was or what she was doing, Maciel said she felt like she represented something bigger than herself, making her think twice before partaking in anything that she might later regret.


Maciel considers everyone involved in the studio as family.

“InnerRhythms alumni are all over the country, and I know people everywhere now,” she said. “I know I could go anywhere and be near family. It’s inspiring to see alumni who are now doing what they love.”
At this year’s dance centre showcase, Maciel performed her senior farewell dance which she choreographed herself. She danced a contempory piece to “The Fear” by Ben Howard.

Her last performance will be at InnerRhythm’s 11th annual Gala Performance at Truckee Regional Park on July 19. It’s bittersweet for Maciel to perform her last show with the dance studio that has served as her second family for so long. Last year’s gala, where she performed a dance about friendship to a Beatles melody, was her favorite performance.

In the fall, Maciel will attend Dominican University of California in San Rafael. Even though she will be pursuing a degree in political science with hopes of becoming pre-law, dance will still be part of her life. She will be taking dance classes at one of the many dance companies in the Bay Area.

Shindler knew dance was her passion at only 3 years old when she asked her mother to buy her pointe shoes. After many years of hard work, she eventually got her wish.

Dance has taught Shindler many valuable life lessons. “It has taught me lessons on how to deal with different personalities, and how to express and enjoy myself,” she said.

Shindler enjoyed choreographing her senior farewell piece, a contemporary dance to Yael Naim’s “New Soul,”  but she struggled with what looked good versus what felt good. What she learned in the process was how to find the balance between the two.

In the fall, Shindler will attend Arizona State University to study dance and kinesiology. She plans on pursuing a career in physical therapy and, of course, being a dance teacher as well.

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  • Karin Carrasco

    Karin Carrasco, Moonshine Ink’s office administrator, has lived in Truckee since 2003 after moving here from New Jersey. Carrasco studied speech communications and journalism at University of Nevada, Reno. Carrasco spends her free time enjoying her passion for dance at InnerRhythms and she also volunteers with the Truckee Donner Historical Society as well as Trails & Vistas.

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