Rachelle Payandeh began taking classes at Caulfield School of Dance in 2008, when she was 5 years old. Now she is graduating from high school into the next chapter of her life. It has been a privilege to be part of her journey from a quiet child into an artist who electrifies the stage.
When I asked Rachelle what she remembers from her years at Caulfield School of Dance she said: “Looking back upon my earliest experiences I remember how much I loved Ms Crystal’s ballet classes. Her passion and love for dance is what inspired mine. A memory that stands out for me from my childhood is when I broke my tooth during a ballet class. We were skipping. I went too fast, tripped and fell. Ms Crystal had to carry me out crying, and seemed just as scared as I was. To this day I still have my fake tooth. My favourite memory from all of my experiences at CSD was definitely competing in Synergy Duncan. This is where I was able to compete with my modern solo for which I was recognized as the Modern Dancer of the Year, as well as make many memories with the team. It was an amazing time… it truly bonded our family at Caulfield School of Dance together.
“Dance will always be a passion of mine. It’s a creative expression, a way of self-discovery and self-exploration. Dance has taught me more about myself than anything else ever could. With dance I have learned how to take care of my body, mind and soul, which is something I can apply throughout my entire life,” Rachelle said, but added “if I do decide to continue dancing it will be only for myself as a creative outlet.”
Rachelle’s ultimate career goal is to become a surgeon. She was offered admittance to all five universities she applied to: SFU, UBC, McGill, Queens, and University of Alberta. This fall, Rachelle will begin her studies at Simon Fraser University’s Faculty of Health Sciences. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, she will not find out until later in the year if she will receive the scholarships she applied for.
Rachelle also said: “My performing arts training taught me many useful things, for example, time management which was essential for my success in school. I had to learn quickly how to balance dance, school, and all the other aspects of my life. Dance has taught me that if you love something, there is a way to make time for it. Dance has been a huge part of my life that has shaped me into the person I am today.”
This summer Rachelle plans to work, continue to volunteer at BC Children’s Hospital, and to make the most of the little time she has left with her friends before their postsecondary pursuits take them to different provinces. Rachelle said, “Throughout high school I maintained a busy and somewhat overwhelming schedule, however, whenever I entered the studio, I could leave all my stress at the door, and simply dance.”
Rachelle your passion and artistry has inspired me. I love to think of you taking the creativity and dedication that made you so captivating onstage into the operating theatres of your future.
Your Caulfield School of Dance Family is so proud of you, and we will miss you.
On behalf of all of us and with our love always,