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Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

SunDancer Director Emily Petrunak Returns to Westwood

Emily Petrunak
Mrs. Emily Petrunak serves as the new SunDancer Director and teaches academy classes.

As Dance students walked into the studio, they were welcomed by a new face who would be guiding the Dance department for the year; however, for the teacher, she had returned to a familiar place. With her rather rare teaching journey, Mrs. Emily Petrunak returns to Westwood to lead the SunDancers and academy classes after teaching on and off in the department since 2015.

Mrs. Petrunak’s passion for dancing sparked from all of her past teachers, propelling her to create that same learning environment for her students.

“[My teachers] inspired me and grew my passion for dance and were just incredibly uplifting, pushing, and loving,¨ Mrs. Petrunak said. ¨I wanted to bring that to the next generation of dancers.”

When Mrs. Petrunak first started teaching here years ago, she was in awe of the caliber and work ethic of the dancers at Westwood.

“Westwood is just a different breed of students and dancers, and that is what [has] always brought me back,” Mrs. Petrunak said.

Although she loves teaching all styles of dance and choreographs more than 20 diverse pieces a year, her favorites lean towards Contemporary and Broadway Jazz.

“[These styles] give me the most confidence in my performances, and I always have the most fun teaching [the styles] to my students,” Mrs. Petrunak said.

Outside of her long days dancing, Mrs. Petrunak winds down by pursuing her hobbies, which include being outdoors and traveling.

“My favorite things to do outside of school are spending time with my dog, going to concerts, and traveling,” Mrs. Petrunak said. “Just spending time outdoors with the people I love is my favorite thing.”

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About the Contributor
Sydney Fuller
Sydney Fuller, Reporter
Class of 2026 Hey! This is my first year working for student press and I’m so excited to see what this new year brings. I am very interested on hearing about other people’s opinions and I’m also interested in social issues. Outside of school, you can find me reading, dancing, watching scary movies, and drinking my 5th iced coffee of the day.

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