By Maya Shade

I think that Lake Lure Classical Academy (LLCA) has helped me in many ways. Before I came to this school, I was very shy and had a lot of difficult times in school. At my old school, I never really connected with any of my teachers. I always felt that they were against me. Eventually, my family and I decided that we had enough of the chaos and we decided to come to LLCA.

I became a student at LLCA in sixth grade. On my first day, I instantly felt very welcomed and appreciated by everyone. I had eight classes that year and I loved each and every class. I had an amazing homeroom with so many nice kids. Overall, the first year at the school went really well. Also, in my first year at LLCA, my grades drastically improved.

Then seventh grade came around. I still had great classes and my new teachers were very nice. That year, I wanted to be involved in more activities, but I was struggling to figure out what I wanted to do. By the beginning of spring, I still had not figured out what I wanted to do. I eventually heard about a spring musical that was going to happen. I thought to myself, “This might be a good thing to do.”

I decided to go ask my homeroom teacher at the time, Mrs.Long, about joining the musical. She explained to me that she was the director for the musicals. After asking about the musical having a choreographer, she told me she was the choreographer, but she could use some help. I told her I had been dancing since I was three-years-old and she told me she would be happy if I joined.

I ended up helping Mrs. Long choreograph some dances for the show. I also had three different parts in the musical, which was “Shrek the Musical”.

The next year, in eighth grade, I started to have a little more confidence in myself, so I asked to help with choreography in “Seussical the Musical”. I was given four different parts in the ensemble that year. Also that year, I choreographed two whole dances in the musical by myself.

The following year, I started high school. When I was scheduling my classes, I picked high school intermediate theatre as my fourth period class. That was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. The class was small, but it was so much fun. That year, we actually had a small play that we did. In that play, Mrs. Long cast me as one of the main characters with thirty lines. That was my first time having any lines ever. At first, I was a little intimidated. At the end, I finally did it and performed in front of the whole school.

That spring, I participated in the musical “Into the Woods”. I received a main role that year as Cinderella’s stepmother. Eventually, this school year came around and it is my sophomore year. In first semester, I was in a high school theatre class again at a proficient theatre level. Last semester, we went to the North Carolina theatre competition and competed with our piece “Chairs”.

Now I have more confidence than ever and I have come to love theatre so much, that I am going to pursue a career in the performing arts.


Maya Shade is a sophomore at Lake Lure Classical Academy.