Sophomore does not tiptoe around abilities

Sophomore Connor Hammond is dancing his way through life.
Connor, a copy yeditor of the Mahiscan yearbook as well as a dancer at The Pacific School of Dance, has many goals for his future.

Last year, he was accepted to the Rock School of Dance summer intensive program on a full scholarship, and 25 percent of room and board was paid for. Also, he was accepted to the American Ballet Theater on a three-fourths scholarship, as well as the Boston Ballet Theater and San Francisco Ballet on full scholarship.

Christine Rader, a dance instructor at The Pacific School of Dance said she has been Connor’s teacher since he was around eight years old. According to Rader, his last trip to San Francisco was an outstanding opportunity.

“It’s a premiere company and is very hard to get into so that is a fabulous accomplishment,” Rader said.

According to Shelley Hammond, Connor’s mom, he started dancing when he was just four years old and has stuck with it since.

“He had some friends in dance, and he asked if he could do it also,” Shelley said.

Shelley said Connor is self-motivated and a perfectionist.

“The structure and discipline of dance fits well with his personality,” Shelley said.

Connor said he has high hopes for the future and is planning on becoming a professional dancer.

“My main goal is to dance with the San Francisco Ballet and also to become a principal dancer,” Connor said.

According to Rader, every year Connor grows as a dancer and gets stronger.

“I think he is extremely talented and could make it as a professional dancer,” Rader said.

Shelley said she has supported her son in all of his goals and dreams of being at the top.

“He’s an overachiever. He strives to do his best in everything he does,” Shelley said.

Shelley said she is proud of all the decisions Connor makes and said it has not been an easy path over the years.

“He’s doing something against the grain. Most boys do not dance, and he doesn’t give into peer pressure,” Shelley said. “Being a young man in the dance world isn’t always easy.”

According to Rader, his determination and strength outweighs the pressure to go with the norm.

“I think male dancers get teased an awful lot,” Rader said. “He’s not going to let peer pressure sway him.”

Shelley said Connor has accomplished honorable things and has stuck with it even though it was not easy for him to do so.

“It’s great that he’s stuck with it and accomplished all that he has,” Shelley said. “He’s proved himself to everybody.”

Sophomore Chloe Tompkins, a close friend of Connor’s, said he has a kind heart and a good sense of humor.

“He’s really passionate about his dancing,” Tompkins said. “I honestly think he’s going to go places.”

According to Tompkins, Connor has valuable confidence that makes him special.

“He knows all that matters is he loves what he’s doing and doesn’t care what others think about him,” Tompkins said. “Not a lot of guys can do that.”