Karly Svachula: A Dancer in the Best of Both Worlds


Alyssa Pagan

Karly Svachula getting ready to perform with the Niles West Poms team.

By JoJo Beiza, Video Editor

Impatiently watching the clock, junior Karly Svachula waits to hear those familiar 3 dings. Running to her locker, she grabs her black duffel bag, and quickly changes into practice clothes; she’s ready for her favorite part of the day, dance practice. Continuing to dance almost every day for the past twelve years, Svachula is a part of Orchesis and the varsity Poms team here at West.

Svachula, a varsity Poms member as a freshman, has had her eye on this sport for a while.

“Ever since I was younger, I’d come to football games. I would always see the dancers, and I have been dancing since I was three, so I really grew up knowing that I wanted to dance here at Niles West,” Svachula said.

Knowing about Poms for a while, it was a no-brainer for Svachula to attend the tryouts at the end of her eighth-grade year. Walking into a dance studio filled with upperclassmen is a scary feeling for many kids. This wasn’t the case for Svachula. By her side for the multiple days of tryouts was her lifelong best friend, junior Gianna Pauly.

“When Karly and I first tried out for poms we didn’t know which one of us would make it or if we would both make it, so it was kind of nerve-racking at first, then Karly got the call and then she called me and then my phone started ringing so we instantly started screaming,” Pauly said.

Although the two were together for poms, they weren’t both on Orchesis freshman year. Pauly wanted to have her focus be on poms for the year. Svachula wanted to do both.

“I think the last two years I learned a lot of organization skills from both because I’m usually getting home around 6:15 pm-6:30 pm after practice every day,” Svachula said. “That taught me how to manage school along with dancing, and then managing time with my family and friends also.”

Along with learning time management skills, Svachula is also learning new dance skills from former varsity Poms head coach, Alex Bedoya. Once a student at Niles West and a former pommer herself, Bedoya knows a thing or two about dance.

“She is very reliable. I can recall from tryouts knowing she had dance experience and it was very apparent in her audition, and that is something that I still plate into now,” Bedoya said. “That is something that I think is very important for a team that is trying to be more competitive these days. Having a player like Karly who is dependable in that sense because of her dance background is very valuable and I look forward to working with her for another two years- hopefully, if  she decides to go through the program again.”

Alongside learning new things every day, Svachula makes sure to stick to her roots.

“I think dance exposes me to many different things,” Svachula said. “Being able to perform helps me gain experience of dancing in front of big crowds, and as I said, it helps me with the organization. Overall it just makes me want to be a good dancer and to be a better me because it trains me.”

Wanting to continue her dance career in high school, Svachula attended tryouts for the 2019-2020 poms season this past week. Now having a JV and varsity team, where for the past two years the sport only had a varsity team, Svachula once again made the varsity team.