Dancing, Leading, Learning

Rachel Harrington

PHOTO | Tara Espinoza

Rachel Harrington is a senior majoring in elementary education and the captain of the Golden Girls dance team.

She never enrolled in classes or had a studio, but she has always loved dancing, watching dancers, and dance shows.

“The lack of classes never stopped me. I worked hard and learned from my older sister, who was a dancer. I watched videos, got more flexible, worked on my high kicks, and made the team in junior high,” Harrington said.

When looking for a college, Harrington knew she wanted to continue her dance career.

“Many people do not realize that Tech has a dance team and when I looked up the team, I watched a video of the Golden Girls and instantly fell in love,” she said.

Harrington loved the energy and style of dance. She also enjoyed the jazz, hip hop, and pom routines; the Golden Girls did and wanted to be a part of that history.

This is Harrington’s fourth year on the team and her second year as captain.

“Being a captain means being a leader and serving my team. I don’t believe it makes me higher or more superior. I’m here to ensure we have our priorities straight, my team members’ mental health is okay, and be that person that people can go to when they need somebody,” Harrington said.

Finding the time between an athlete and a student has not been easy; however, Harrington notes that having a balance is the key.

“It is not easy. I am in my internship, taking classes, and going to practice. The dance team puts in about 12 hours a week, not including volleyball games, basketball games, events, appearances, tailgates, and football games. We are students before we are athletes, so finding a balance is significant,” she said.

One of Harrington’s role models is a previous coach who always pushed her to be the best she could be in all aspects of life. Her sisters are also role models in her life who remind her to be humble, work hard, and be a good person.

Since dance has always been a part of Harrington’s life, she has learned many lessons like time management, making progress, and working with others.  She has also learned some more profound lessons.

“ It is important to be your cheerleader in life. Not everyone will have the same passion or love you hold, but don’t let that change you. It is important you keep your circle close,” she said.

When Harrington is not dancing, she enjoys hanging out with her friends and boyfriend, being active outside, or trying spicy food.

As of now, Harrington’s plans after graduation are “up to God,” as she said. In the meantime, she will keep dancing for Tech as a Golden Girl.