Foresthill teen enjoys the many expressions of dance

Sydney Martin, 13, does ballet, tap, jazz
By: Bridget Jones, Special to the Journal
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Foresthill resident Sydney Martin, 13, was 3 years old when she knew she wanted to be a dancer. She noticed some of the girls in her gymnastics class were wearing tutus, and she knew right away that she had to be a part of that world. She said she enjoys dance because it is an expression of the stories that music tells. “I get to explain what the music is saying,” Sydney said. She said dance also forces her to forget any outside stresses, because it demands her full attention. “You have to work so hard, and you just have to put it all out there,” she said. “You have to actually care. You can’t just memorize the stuff.” Sydney was born in Citrus Heights and moved to Foresthill about four years ago. She continues to dance at In Sync Dance Studio on Grass Valley Highway where she studies ballet, tap, jazz and Irish dancing. She said she took up Irish dancing because she enjoys learning the dances of other cultures. “It’s something different to do,” Sydney said. “I like to learn how other countries (dance). I think that’s interesting.” Sydney said she enjoys all the dance styles she practices for certain reasons. “I like ballet because you have to focus really hard and you learn how to control your body better,” she said. “I like tap because of the rhythm, and jazz — it tells more of a story I think.” Jessie Krick, co-owner of In Sync Dance and a classically trained ballerina, said Martin is completely dedicated to dance. “I think she has a natural gift,” Krick said. “And another thing, she dances with her whole heart. She really puts everything into it.” When Sydney was 6 years old, she was already performing in the Sacramento Ballet’s annual production of “The Nutcracker.” She said these performances helped her learn about how different people express themselves through dance. “I liked watching their performances and seeing how hard they worked and watching how they showed the audience how they felt,” Sydney said. Sydney began dancing pointe in ballet when she was 12 years old. Pointe involves standing on one’s toes while doing various ballet steps. Martin had to wait for her muscles to develop and for the bones in her feet to stop growing before she could provide the strength that pointe requires. Sydney spends about 10 and a half hours dancing at the studio each week. She said she has considered a career in dance, but also has other plans. “I’d also like to be a doctor too,” she said. “I want to be able to help children, and my grandma had Alzheimer’s, so I kind of want to help others who have it.” Sydney said when she isn’t dancing she enjoys reading, riding horses, riding her family’s quad and playing with her dog Molly. Jaycee Pratt, 12, Martin’s fellow dancer, said she enjoys dancing with one of her best friends, and appreciates the support Martin offers. “She’s always my partner for everything,” Jaycee said. “She helps me when I forget something, or she tells me if I’m doing something wrong and she helps me correct it.” In November 2007 and 2008, Sydney and other In Sync company dancers took trips to Disneyland to tape live performances, which were then aired on Christmas day on ABC. “That was fun because we got to be in a different environment to dance,” Sydney said. “It was fun to have my friends excited because they knew how big it was.” On top of dancing, she makes time for schoolwork, friends and family. She said her regulated dance schedule has taught her how to manage her time effectively. “I think having an after-school activity helps with schoolwork,” she said. “It helps you plan, so you know when you have to get it done. So, you’re not sitting and procrastinating all the time.” Krick said Sydney is simply enjoyable to be around, and her desire to be a doctor demonstrates her caring, hardworking personality. “I think that kind of wraps it up in a nutshell there,” Krick said. Bridget Jones can be reached at or comment at