By Angela Powers
One of the first pieces of advice we all get about college upon entering is to get involved in as much as you can on campus. King sophomore and two-sport athlete Haley Maloney exemplifies student involvement with her participation on both the Tornado dance and tennis teams.
At first, one might question how a student, with class, homework, and a social life handles being on two collegiate teams, and indeed, Maloney's schedule is loaded.
"For dance, we have practices on Sunday nights, and then we have them on Wednesday nights," said Maloney of her busy schedule. "It just varies, because with our girls, we have a limited number right now, so basically we just communicate with each other and meet when we can for a couple of hours and go over a dance over and over, so that's basically it.
"(For tennis), we have morning conditions from 6:45 a.m. till 7:30 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and then we have afternoon practice every day at 3 p.m."
Maloney said that the full plate makes striking a balance difficult, but persistence helps her keep up with all her activities.
"It definitely is hard to balance," she said, "because all of us want to go and do things with friends and such, and it's hard to focus on schoolwork, and I'll procrastinate sometimes, because I have all this stuff going on.
"But then when you get down time, you have to make yourself do the schoolwork. You just have to make yourself do it."
According to Maloney, striking this balance is worth it, because tennis and dance enhance her life as a student in such different, but positive ways.
"Since I have the dance team and the tennis team, it is hard, but I enjoy it, because I get to do both. It'd be awful if I couldn't do both."
Among the differences Maloney noted between the two sports is the competitive side of tennis juxtaposed with the creative side of dance, both contributing to a well-balanced student experience.
"With dance it's a lot more fun for me to just relax and have a good time with my friends," she said.
"With tennis, I try to really focus on what I need to improve on, because with dance I know my technique and everything, even though I'm still growing as a dancer and practicing everyday - it's just not as competitive as tennis is. It's a relaxed and fun sport.
"I get a lot out of both," she added.
Maloney and her teammates on dance are experiencing a coaching transition, as Nora Beth Moran was named head coach of the Tornado squad in July of 2013.
The sophomore said that her team is progressing and benefiting with the change.
"She's really nice and helpful, so it's good," said Maloney of Moran.
Maloney is looking forward to tennis gearing up as well.
"Our tennis team is making it and we look good. It's been fun," she said.
"Tennis is in the spring, but we do a few tournaments and matches in the fall, so we actually do a lot in the fall as well, and I'm excited about competing this year."
Among Maloney's favorite aspects of dance is getting to know and become close with the small group of girls.
"(My favorite part of dance) is just getting to know all the girls," she said. "Since we have a limited number, it's kind of like having our own small group.
"That and performing are fun, even though a lot of us get nervous. It's a lot of fun for me, because I've always enjoyed it."
Maloney has danced since she was three, taking time off between age 15 and her start as a member of the Tornado dance team.
Drawing from her creative side, Maloney said another one of her favorite parts of dance right now is getting to choreograph for a potential spring competition.
"We're supposed to go to a competition in the spring, so we're choreographing some stuff. I'm actually choreographing one now," Maloney said.
"It's been fun so far. I think that's my favorite part is getting to choreograph something, because I've always wanted to make my own dance, and now I have people to do it with me, which is fun."
Maloney would like to have even more girls to dance with and choreograph for this year, and urges those interested in dance to consider joining the Tornado dance team.
"Let's get some more girls on the dance team. We need more girls, and it's a lot of fun," she said.
"If anyone enjoys dancing, they should join. It's not a lot of pressure; you get to just focus and work on things you want to improve on in dance.
"If anyone's even interested in dance, they should consider joining."