by LINDA FRABL | photos by Spark Photography

Goal-Driven Performer

student_tano2Kalena Tano, who lives in the High Country West neighborhood, is a very busy 4.0 GPA senior at Rancho Bernardo High School. As the editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, the Silver Spur, Kalena said, “The newspaper is so similar to a business in its organization and its teamwork. Being the editor-in-chief has improved my writing a ton and helped me be more outgoing as a growing person, because I’ve had to be confident with my work being published for the whole school to see.”

Another way for Kalena to outwardly express her inner confidence is through dance. As a pre-professional ballet dancer at Southern California Ballet in Carmel Mountain Ranch, Kalena attends dance classes six days a week for a total of 20 hours per week. In addition, she teaches ballet to some of the younger students, and regularly performs in dance outreach programs at schools, nursing homes, street fairs, and libraries. At the moment Kalena is finishing up her Cecchetti Diploma, which is the equivalent of a professional dance exam. She also plans to pursue a higher Cecchetti certification so that she can continue teaching dance.

“Performing on stage is definitely one of my favorite parts about dancing, but my best memories have come from working hard with my friends in rehearsals.

student_tano3Discussing how dance has improved her overall work ethic, Kalena commented, “Performing on stage is definitely one of my favorite parts about dancing, but my best memories have come from working hard with my friends in rehearsals. Without work there is no end product, so working hard has always been my favorite part of reaching my goals.”

As for her future aspirations, Kalena will either attend University of California San Diego to study Dance and Literature, or she’ll attend Texas Ballet Theater for its Professional Division Training program, which involves a six-day-a-week intensive dance training. Kalena sighed, “These are two amazing offers, and it’s hard to choose!”

Grateful for her solid educational foundation, Kalena especially cherished her English/Literature classes. She elaborated, “Literature helps to capture the mood and problems of specific time periods, but also holds themes which are timelessly applicable.” She plans to continue studying literature in college because it would help her transition into education, law, or business, three potential career paths of interest to Kalena. But whatever she chooses to do, Kalena added, “I don’t really care how small a salary I’m paid as long as I love what I do!”


Name: Kalena Elaine Tano (17)
School: Rancho Bernardo High School
Grade: 12
Parents: Suzanne and Dustin Tano
Sibling: Kalei Tano (13)
Favorite Local Spot: Einstein Bros Bagels (PBJ Bagel for breakfast)


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