Matulionis loves to disappear into dance

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Lindsey Matulionis plans to major in biochemistry and minor in dance at Santa Clara University. (Heidi Desch/Whitefish Pilot)

While Lindsey Matulionis set herself apart in the classroom at Whitefish High School, her true passion lies with dance.

The senior earned a 4.0 grade point average in school, but after school and on weekends she’s in the dance studio.

“Dance is my escape,” she says. “It’s where I go to let go and do what I love.”

A part of the Dance Elements studio, Matulionis has been dancing since she was 4 years old and for roughly 12 years she has taken lessons for piano, which she says challenges her to learn to play new musical pieces. She has three dance classes per week and then spends weekends practicing, competing and performing.

“I get nervous performing,” she said. “But when you walk off the stage you feel so good in a competition and knowing that you were able to show off what you can do.”

While she does hip hop and jazz dance, her preference is lyrical dance for its slow movements paired with “sad songs.”

“I enjoy the emotion of it,” she said. “Everyone goes through their own things and it’s a way to express yourself without speaking — you can be mad, sad or happy and no matter what you can always dance.”

Matulionis graduates from Whitefish Saturday with the Class of 2019. She is the daughter of Andrew Matulionis and Stacy Kasell. Her extra-curricular activities have also included National Honor Society treasurer, student council and speech and debate her freshman year.

This fall Matulionis plans to attend Santa Clara University majoring in biochemistry and minoring in dance. She plans to follow a pre-medicine track, and is interested in pursing a career as an anesthesiologist or a surgeon.

It was a job shadowing experience last summer at North Valley Hospital that made her decide to pursue a career in the medical field. She got the opportunity to shadow a pharmacist and an obstetrics nurse, and says that although excelling in math and science in school had already made her look into medicine it wasn’t until that experience that she was sure about her career choice.

“I loved it,” she said. “It made me want to go into medicine and there’s no way I’d do anything else.”

This summer, she’ll work at The Village Shop downtown, but she’s hoping to get in some time again at the hospital exploring different areas of healthcare.

“It’s fun when you figure out what you want to do,” she said. “It’s really exciting.”

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