Buffalo plans to attend dance school


Elly Green, Print Production Manager

Senior Tabitha Buffalo has been dancing since she was eight years old, spending ten years at Newton Performing Arts Center (NPAC). Being dedicated to her craft since 2012, Tabitha plans to attend University of Kansas City Missouri (UMKC) to major in dance and continue her dancing career. 

Tabitha started dancing by taking classes at NPAC, the next year she started competing for the same team. Her mother, Courney Buffalo, was the primary reason she became interested in dance.

“Dance was something new we were trying in a new community,” Courney said. “After the first year Tabitha wanted to do more and so she joined the competitive team. It didn’t take long after that for her to fall completely in love with performing.”

Since then, Tabitha has participated in competitive dance team for ten years and the Railiner dance team for three years. In February, Tabitha auditioned for UMKC’s dance program after difficulty deciding whether or not she wanted to go to college. 

“Tabitha just wanted to graduate high school and start performing somewhere, anywhere,” Courtney said. “But without knowing where she wanted to go or exactly what she wanted to do I was able to talk her into going to college as a way for her to continue to dance. And while she is attending college in Kansas City she can also be researching where she wants to go and what she wants to do.” 

At UMKC, Tabitha will attend one academic class in the mornings, which is then followed by ballet and modern dance classes. She then gets to choose one more dance course followed by another couple academic classes in the afternoon. Dance rehearsals are scheduled in the evenings as needed. Tabitha also auditioned for the school’s dance team and made it along with 12 other girls. 

“By going to UMKC she gets to dance all the time and make the connections she’ll need to continue her passion as a career after college,” Courtney said.

The audition process included demonstrations of dances from current students, several dance classes and more. The auditioning dancers were given numbers to help staff tell them apart, the dancers were taught by current teachers.

We had a full ballet and modern class, each an hour and a half,” Tabitha said. “They had a few current students attend class as well. We got to work with a lot of amazing teachers and they had live music for class.”

Courtney, Tabitha’s mother, has assisted Tabitha in her dance dream by helping her accomplish all that she can do, going to every single performance and seeking out additional opportunities for Tabitha to perform. Courtney also assists by working as the overseer at NPAC. However, Courtney claims Tabitha’s passion for dance is completely Tabitha’s own doing.

“Her love of dance and performing pretty much does it for her, her passion really drives herself to always be better than her last performance,” Courtney said. 

Tabitha’s dance accomplishments include; first place for solos in regional competitions such as Platinum Dance Competition and Starpower Talent Competition, being awarded the part of Sugar Plum Fairy in Newton Dance Connections production of the Nutcracker, being hired as a dance instructor for the summer of 2022 through National Dance Alliance (NDA) and being awarded Miss Starpower at the 2022 regional Starpower Competition, among other things. Tabitha has dedicated her entire life to dancing, even after college Tabitha hopes to continue performing and if not that at least spend the rest of her career teaching dance. 

The dance studio has always been my happy place,” Tabitha said. “Whenever I am having a rough time in life I always know that I have one thing to look forward to.”