Freshman dives into UHV life, forms dance team

Stephanie Ledwig

Change and innovation aren’t always a long time coming. Sometimes motivation and the knowledge to back it up are all the ingredients it takes to get the ball rolling.

University of Houston-Victoria freshman Stephanie Ledwig is living proof.

The Victoria native graduated from high school just months ago and is new to the UHV campus. But the freshman already has a new university dance team in the works.

“A lot of colleges have dance teams, and I thought it would be nice if UHV had one, too,” the communications major said. “It’s just something I thought I could bring to the school.”

So with flyers, email conversations and an introductory meeting, the Jaguar Jazz Team was born. Through twice-a-week practices, the plan is to provide students a creative outlet to express themselves while they meet new people and have some fun.

The world of dance is nothing new to Ledwig.

The 18-year-old, who is on her 16th year of dance, devotes hours each week to practicing her art. She also teaches ballet, tap, jazz, modern, contemporary and pointe at a Victoria studio that’s served as her second home for so many years.

The pastime doesn’t only offer recreation and exercise, however. She said it also helped form her into who she is today and provided her with confidence.

“I’ve definitely gotten to the point where I realized that dancers are creative, different people,” she said. “It made me realize I need to accept myself the way I am. I don’t need to change anything.”

Between her new course load, the dance team and her work at the studio, Ledwig agreed she has a lot on her plate. Practices alone will eat up about 11 hours weekly. But she said she’s looking forward to whatever the future holds.

“I’m excited,” she said. “It’s new, and I’m just getting going, but it’s good.”

As for other students, she encouraged them to indulge in their hobbies and follow their passions, now more than ever.

“Just go for it,” she said. “Don’t be scared. You only get to experience college once.”

The UHV Outstanding Student is an online feature highlighting the exceptional students who attend the University of Houston-Victoria. To nominate a student, contact Paula Cobler, UHV interim director of marketing and communications, or call 361-570-4350.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Allison Miles 361-570-4342