Ms. Owens Pirouettes into the Wilde Lake Dance Department

Ms. Owens practices full turns with her students. Freshman Sam Obregon describes Ms. Owens as hardworking, funny, and kind.”

Caroline Sorensen

Ms. Owens practices full turns with her students. Freshman Sam Obregon describes Ms. Owens as “hardworking, funny, and kind.”

Ms. Caitlyn Owens has been a dancer for most of her life. 

Starting at age five, she danced at a studio in New Jersey, and as she grew up her passion for dance grew as well. Now, for the 2022-2023 school year, she has started a new chapter in her life: teaching in Howard County.

Ms. Owens dances across the floor with students as they do a jazz combination. This choreography was showcased at the winter concert (Caroline Sorensen)

Ms. Owens has taught all age levels of dance. She started teaching in Baltimore County in 2019 and has since moved to Howard County, where she splits her time teaching dance between Wilde Lake High School and Marriotts Ridge High School. Ms. Owens is also a professional dancer for the NFL team, the Washington Commanders. 

She says dancing for the team has given her important perspective while teaching. “A lot of those professional experiences of preparing for real-world scenarios of auditions, who are in the current field, what are they looking for? So that experience that I have, I can definitely bring here,” said Ms. Owens.

Outside of dance, she says her students are taking what they learn in her class to other sports. Allorah Lewis, a freshman on the Wilde Lake cheer team, said she is “learning new stuff, which helps for cheers.”

Because of this, students have taken an appreciation to Ms. Owens, according to Ms. Holli Tucci, who runs the dance program. 

“We’re going to get to build the program together,” said Ms. Tucci. This excitement partially stems from the fact that she “didn’t have high school dance growing up.”

At the end of the 2020-2021 school year, Ms. Christine Estabrook retired, and Ms. Tucci was hired to run the dance program. This school year, Ms. Tucci hired Ms. Owens to help her run the program.

Ms. Owens has been dancing since age five and started teaching at age fifteen. (Graphic by Lauren Kelly)

Ms. Tucci says that she finds that having another person allows for “new and unique opportunities to collaborate and to bounce ideas off of somebody else.” 

“[Ms. Owens] has been great so far,” said Ms. Tucci. “She has fantastic energy. The students, I think, really enjoy her.”

Freshman Sam Obregon describes Ms. Owens as “hardworking, funny and kind.” 

Ms. Owens emphasizes the importance of self-expression in her classes. She says she makes it a point to allow students to dance how they want to. 

“I hope that they learn they are the creators and that nothing [in dance] they do is wrong,” said Ms. Owens. “Everything that they’re doing will have some type of impact. Whether it’s one person or a whole audience, but whatever they create, it’s theirs. They get to own that. And they should feel really proud of themselves.” 

Even though her time at Wilde Lake has just begun, students feel Ms. Owens’ drive and passion for their learning. “I feel more confident in dance class,” said freshman Anya Waldner. “Feel like I won’t get judged.”