Senior profile: Claire Wess


Annie George

Claire Wess, senior, dances as a pommie at a football game.

Alongside her friends and teammates, Claire Wess, senior, said she finds community through a constant in her life, dance. As a passionate dancer on varsity poms and studio, Wess said she faces trials on and off the dance floor.

Throughout her senior year, Wess balanced competing for both a private dance studio and the KHS varsity poms team. She formerly chose to participate on either high school or the other, but decided to compete on both teams during her senior year. She claimed this to be an overwhelming, yet rewarding, decision.

“During freshman year, I didn’t do studio [dance], and sophomore year I didn’t do poms,” Wess said. “I wanted to see if there was one that I liked better, or if I could take both.”

Maddie Rowan, junior, is a friend and teammate of Wess. They have become close friends through high school and dance, which has given Rowan the opportunity to witness Wess’ success. She admires Wess’ empathy, as well as her strong leadership skills.

“That girl can make anyone laugh or smile, and she really knows how to make people feel heard and seen.

— Maddie Rowan

“Claire has a heart of gold,” Rowan said. “That girl can make anyone laugh or smile, and she really knows how to make people feel heard and seen. [Consolation is] the biggest thing I have learned through [Claire] in poms this year.”

Coming out of an unconventional 2021 varsity poms season during COVID, Wess said her senior year was much more rewarding. Caroline Geeting, junior, said between performing at games and winning state competitions, the entire varsity team has finally seen their success from an in-person audience rather than through a screen.

“Last year I didn’t get to do pep rallies and [I] had to do social distancing even when I was dancing,” Wess said. “This year was more normal for everyone, which made it so much fun.”

Emma McDaniel, senior, has been friends with Wess since her sophomore year. Despite being involved in separate extracurriculars, they maintained their friendship in and out of school.

“We are both so weird and find our humor funny to just us,” McDaniel said. “She is genuinely hilarious and friendly to everyone.”