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Athlete Profile:

Lifelong dancer leads ETSU team

Published: Sunday, November 10, 2013

Updated: Sunday, November 10, 2013 23:11

Blakely Bays has never known a life without dancing. At 21-years-old, she has been dancing for 17 years.

A junior here at ETSU majoring in communications studies with a minor in dance, Bays is originally from Piney Flats.Bays also never wanted to go to any other school but right here.

“My entire family has gone to ETSU,” she said. “Blue and gold runs through my veins.”

She also talks about something special that the dance team here at ETSU does.

“Our dance team not only entertains the crowd at basketball games,” Bays said, “we also do many hours of community service.

“Serving my hometown is very important to me, and I love that the ETSU athletic department stresses the importance of giving back.”

Bays doesn’t have just one accomplishment in dance. She was asked to be the team captain for this season, and last year, Bays was the recipient of the Spirit of the Program award.

“This was not only an honor, but it was very dear to my heart.”

Bays further shares her extraordinary story and why these awards and the dance team are all so dear to her.

“I had to undergo four surgeries in two weeks in June of 2012, but I was determined to not miss a single practice,” Bays explained. “Unfortunately, I was not able to attend every practice due to my illness, but my motivation to heal as well as the strong support of my team helped me recover and I was able to participate in the dance competition at the University of Tennessee.”

Her story ends on a high note not only for her and her accomplishments, but for the accomplishments of the ETSU dance team.

“We were camp champs,” she explained proudly.

Bays is ecstatic and hopeful for large crowds at this season’s basketball games.

“We need our students and community to support such talent,” she said.

And as the captain of the dance team, her goal is to have the team raise the bar this season.

“I have the privilege to be among some of the most well rounded young women this university has to offer,” Bays said. “I hope to be the best leader I can possibly be, for this dance team has so much talent to be displayed on the basketball court every game.”  
Bays loves ETSU and appreciates how much the athletic department was able to let her grow as a dancer. But as for her life after being a dancing Buccaneer.

“I plan to always keep dance in my life,” Bays said. “I have been teaching free dance lessons for eight years for several non-profit organizations. Dance holds such a special place in my heart and I’d love to share my passion with others as much as I can for as long as I can.”

 

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