Kentridge dancer makes it as a Sea Gal

Jacqueline Ablao dances to express herself. "I dance when I am having a rough week or have something to say and am not sure how to get it out," said Ablao, a senior at Kentridge High School. "It takes my mind off of everything and allows me to just be me in that moment."

Jacqueline Ablao

Jacqueline Ablao

Jacqueline Ablao dances to express herself.

“I dance when I am having a rough week or have something to say and am not sure how to get it out,” said Ablao, a senior at Kentridge High School. “It takes my mind off of everything and allows me to just be me in that moment.”

Ablao, at 18, is the youngest woman to make the Seattle Sea Gals team this year. She has been dancing at studios since she was 7 and was the captain of her high school dance team this year.

“Getting a spot on the Sea Gal team truly makes me feel like I am living my dream,” Ablao said. “I always wanted to dance professionally and now I get to.”

Although sad to leave her dance teammates behind, Ablao is ready to step out on her own.

“I’ve been on the team for four years and this year I was captain, so I had lots of responsibility,” she said. “I always was worried about the girls and felt pressured to help them be the best they could be. But now I get to be out there alone, dancing for myself and no one else.”

Ablao can’t wait to graduate from Kentridge on Saturday because she is juggling high school work, community college work, the school dance team and Sea Gal practices.

“This transition has been crazy, but I knew I wanted to do this so I’m ready to take it on,” she said. “I always said I wanted to dance professionally after graduating high school, but at a place that allowed me to still attend college, so this is perfect.”

Becoming a Sea Gal is not easy. It is a three-week process full of workshops, three auditions and three cutting periods.

“I’m never nervous when I dance, but I was so so nervous during this whole process,” Ablao admitted. “I think it was really good for me though and I had a lot of fun meeting the other ladies.”

Ablao said the 34 women chosen to be on the team come from all different backgrounds.

“There is a big age gap in our group,” she said. “Some women have amazing careers, some are in college and others are completely focused on the team.”

Ablao made instant friends.

“I’ve never met so many genuinely nice people,” she said. “Everyone is friendly and supportive of each other.”

Ablao is most looking forward to that first NFL game day on CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks’ regular-season opener is against Dallas on Sept. 16. “I can’t wait to dance with all the girls in this season’s opener and finally perform these dances we’ve been learning,” she said.

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