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St. Joseph salutatorian dances her way through school to NYU

By KBell
May 26, 2011 at 12:26 a.m.
Updated May 27, 2011 at 12:27 a.m.

Aimee Fries attends ballet practice May 19 at Busby Dancenter. Fries was named the 2011 St. Joseph High School salutatorian. "It's hard, but I've had to learn time management," Fries said of balancing dance and school.

AIMEE FRIESPARENTS: Gary and Susan Fries

GPA: 98.69

PLANS: Attend New York University in the fall to study dance

Aimee Fries has been dancing since the second grade, and the skills she's learned in Victoria will soon lead her to New York City.

While she prepares for the move to the Big Apple, the 18-year-old senior reflected on how dancing and her hometown school contributed to her successes and ultimately led her to become St. Joseph High School's salutatorian.

"I think the teachers all really care about us, and they all really want to see us succeed," Fries said of her high school. "The students can tell they really care, so students can see that and want to try."

Dance practices and performances with the Victoria Ballet Theatre took up most of the graduate's time, but they also taught her how to best manage the few free hours she had.

"There were some late nights staying up studying, but it was manageable," she said.

Fries said between maintaining her grades and honing her dancing skills, she was still able to foster close relationships with her classmates, most of whom grew up together their whole lives. The No. 1 pointer she'd give to incoming freshmen would be to learn to balance work and play.

"Yes, you have to study and you have to manage your time well, but just enjoy your time while you're in school."

Fries took her own advice. Along the way, she discovered that getting good grades was part of what brought her that satisfaction at St. Joseph.

"I enjoyed school, and I enjoyed doing well in school," she said. "Seeing myself do well motivated me to do even better."

Fries said she's looking forward to the new experiences that await her outside of Victoria, and she's hoping to explore her talents and desires while continuing to, of course, dance.

Fries was accepted into the dance program at New York University, where she plans to do just that.

"I would like to dance for as long as I can, but I know there are physical limitations," she said. "I would like to double major and have a minor, so I can have something else."

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