Hunter excels as dancer, singer and entrepreneur



Lauren Hunter (11) (far left) along with her team members dress up in matching costumes for the last game of the season. This was the White Station vs Houston game on October 28th.

Lauren Hunter (11) stands in the ensemble as they get ready to perform at the Cannon Center. The group performed at the West Tennessee Vocal Music Educators Association’s senior All Southwest Honors choir. (LAUREN HUNTER//USED WITH PERMISSION)

There are many students who take on the challenge of participating in numerous extracurriculars on top of their academic studies and Lauren Hunter (11) is one of them. From Advanced Placement classes to dancing and singing, she does it all. She is able to balance both her school and social life thanks to her organization and time management skills. Hunter is involved in majorettes, color guard, choir and is starting up a photography business.

On her path to creating a successful business, she participated in a program that helped her get down the basics, which led to her developing better habits. Hunter uses a calendar to help keep her schedule organized and open. 

I get stressed out a lot when there’s a lot of stuff coming up … so I always like to make a short list of the events that are coming up to visualize what’s next,” Hunter said. “It really helps me calm down, because I can see that … it’s not too much. [I]t feels like it’s too much because there’s a lot to do.” 

Although all of her activities mean a lot to her, Hunter’s priorities lie in her academics and main long-lasting interests: The Young Actors Guild, which she has been participating in  for around 10 years, and choir, one of her school classes. Participating in these various activities has helped her develop a set of skills that will greatly benefit her in the future. 

“I view everything as a stepping stone to greatness, so I just do as much as I can,” Hunter said. “If I see something that I want, I get it. I always think to myself, ‘You miss every shot that you don’t take,’ so I take as many as I can.”

Hunter is the dance captain of the color guard team and has been a part of it since her freshman year. She was first introduced to color guard while attending a football game in support of her brother who was a member of the marching band. Seeing the team dancing and twirling flags in their sparkly uniforms is what inspired her to join the group. Although Hunter is currently in the position of dance captain, she does plan on becoming team captain next year. 

“My favorite part about color guard … [is the] flexibility, but also the sense of community that we have,” Hunter said. “We’re kind of like a big old family, no matter the size.”

Color guard coach Andrea Vancil first started teaching color guard about nine years ago but eventually became White Station’s coach when she realized the position was open and stepped in. Vancil attended White Station in high school, and during her four years here, she always wanted to help make the team better, so along with her love for the sport, the decision was clear.

“I think she is somebody that I feel like I can rely on as a coach, and I think that her teammates can rely on her as well,” Vancil said. “It’s also been a relief to me to be able to kind of [count] on her to lead dances or teach dances … that’s why she ended up with the role [of dance captain].”

Hunter has consistently made a great impact on the team due to her determined nature, recognized by the coach. Originally, there was no official position for a dance captain, but she contributed to the team so much that the position was created​​ for her, rewarding Hunter for all her effort and dedication to the team.

“I think everyone would describe her as really a positive part of our group here, really upbeat [and] talented,” Vancil said. “[She] tries her hardest and helps others when she has a chance to.” 

As her most persistent interest, Hunter sang casually throughout her childhood. She began pursuing choir seriously in middle school due to her desire to join a singing group which she did not make, but that only pushed her to work harder.

“Choir has taught me that it’s okay if you’re not perfect,” Hunter said. “ [It’s] taught me that learning is ok, because I used to think that I had to be perfect … but honestly, art cannot be perfect.”

One of Hunter’s favorite parts about choir is how much her vocal ability has grown and her bond with everyone. In addition to choir, she is a part of Key of She: a contemporary acapella group that performs at various events and opportunities. 

We’re independent in our own way [in Key of She],” Hunter said. “Recently for our Valentine’s grams, we have to write our own music for the song, [and] it actually takes a lot of time and dedication to get into all of that.”

Faith Gbeneneh (10) is a choir member who has been in the program for around four years now.  Gbeneneh enjoys being part of an ensemble where her voice is heard and has found a sense of belonging in the choir which Hunter previously referenced.

“[Lauren has] inspired a lot of people like me,” Gbeneneh said. “Because I’m able to know that I can do all these things, and it won’t distract me from my [academics].”