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Friday, July 3, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  High school sports

Senior stories: Rogers’ Dana Tran shows compassion and support despite personal disappointment

UPDATED: Sat., May 30, 2020

 (Paula Siok Photography / Courtesy)
(Paula Siok Photography / Courtesy)

Like many seniors, Dana Tran took the news of the spring sports season being canceled hard. A four-year veteran of the Rogers dance team and novice on the golf team, she lost her last opportunity to compete in her primary sport – and her first opportunity in her newest.

She could not avoid being disappointed, but that didn’t stop her from being constructive. It’s in her nature.

Tran – who plans to study business administration at Gonzaga in the fall – took to social media in an effort to process her grief, and a way to help others in the process.

First, she produced a 7-minute video on YouTube dedicated to her fellow seniors on the dance team.

“I understand the heartbreak we are all going through,” she said on the video. “It was our last year, our last state, and our last time to perform and compete.”

Tran explained why she felt it was important to have a public display of support.

“I made the video because it’s kind of like putting all the memories together and just being able to not only reach out to my team, but reach out to other teams in Spokane and across Washington – but then also beyond because dance goes beyond just even our state.

“The dance community is just so close, whether you’re in Washington or Idaho or wherever. We all have a connection and that’s dance and the passion for dance.”

“She’s just such a good, good leader, strong leader,” Rogers dance team coach Amanda Belote said. “Always striving to be her best, looking for the best in her peers. Just a phenomenal person.”

Belote had high praise for her captain.

“She’s just very inspiring about how she leads,” she said. “She definitely leads by example, in that she’s always prepared – and always upfront about what her mindset is. I mean, if she’s having a hard day she’s like, ‘Hey, guys, having a hard day. But I’m still here and I’m trying so just work with me.’

“I think it’s pretty great in a leader to also admit when they’re having hard days.”

Tran didn’t want to limit her support to the dance team. She created Instagram and Facebook pages to give all Rogers seniors an opportunity to post dedications and thanks to classmates, teachers and families.

“I saw the idea through several other high schools,” she said. “It was just kind of honoring the seniors and what their next plans were, where they’re going to college. And so I was like, ‘Well, Rogers doesn’t have that.’ I felt like we needed to because why not, like every other school has it and we don’t.

“It was really fun to see everybody contact me and just be like, ‘Thank you so much for doing that.’ It’s the least I could do, especially with the administrators and teachers really busy with other stuff. So for me to be able to recognize (classmates) throughout like this quarantine was kind of special for me.”

Tran said at the beginning of the pandemic she held out hope for a return to school and competing, but when the final word came that classes and sports were canceled, she took it tough.

“I’m gonna be honest – I took this cancellation of not only my senior year but especially dance really, really hard,” she said.

“When state was canceled, that hurt a lot because I’ve been doing dance for all four years, and we’ve made it to state all four years.”

The team took third place last year for its hip-hop routine, and for the first time in program history it was taking three routines to the state competition.

“So there was this kind of like, history, you know, for Rogers, that we were making,” she said.

Tran had high hopes for the state competition.

“We scored so high in all three routines, we thought that we had a shot at high placement (at state) in all routines,” she said. “So not being able to see what we could have done there, it kind of like just left us hanging.”

One of the performances was their “show routine,” which is an elaborate production with large props not unlike a theater production, which required assistance and backing from the parent group.

“Not only did (the dancers) feel heartbroken, but our parents as well,” Tran said. “So having them, seeing them hurt and all their hard work not being able to be showcased … it hit hard.”

“(Tran) and her family have put a lot of time, effort and money into (the production),” Belote said. “And she personally has invested a lot of time into it. So she was pretty heartbroken to not be able to see that go to fruition with everything happening.”

Tran took up golf just this year and tried out for the team.

“I loved it so much,” she said. “I went out with my stepdad and we played a couple rounds, and it was just fun. So just not being able to see where I could go in golf, yeah, it was hard.”

The new sport is something Tran is going to keep playing.

“Yeah, definitely,” she said. “I love it so much. I don’t know about being on a team or anything, but definitely playing with my family.”

Rogers senior roll call

Baseball: Anti Aine, Mason Bishoff, Cayson Brewer, Naki Jorju, Ian Searls, Aaron Stewart. Softball: Brianna Vann, Shalinda John. Boys soccer: Rabin Gurung, Randy Scharff, Victoire Wilondja. Boys tennis: Adam Alqureishi, Mason Connerley, Daryus Culbert, Rhys Day, Michael Foehringer, Tyler Fogelquist, Dylan Hill, Bryce Hill, Chalee Moua, Todd Shaw. Girls tennis: Jadien Ashby, Emma Blackwell, Kelie Esmieu, Faith Guieb, Tracy Ha, Samantha Mitts, Seenam Mohamad, Rhiannon Nicholas, Emmerance Nyiramugisha, Elisa Onder, Emily Parks, Montserrat Perez, Susmita Pradhan, Alondra Rodriguez, Amina Said, Sway Shaffer, Sophia Sibulo, Loreen Wilondja, Jayrene Zheng. Boys golf: Dustin Delany, Josiah Lowry, Kenny Thiefault, Eli Torres, Dale VanGorder. Girls golf: Naliyah Sanchez, Dana Tran. Boys track: Yasir Ahmed, Tanner Boedcher, Issak Chol, Riley Funnemark, Devonte Johnson, Kenneth Jordan, Michael Malone, Elijah Roberts, Jakob Trantum. Girls track: Nebol Aleu, Nikyia Anderson, Abby Burton, Shayla Howerton, Braigh Kilgore, Yeimi Mojica, Dora Mwange, Lidiya Pankova, Elyssia Perry, Kaytlyn Reno, Justice-Monique Walton, Charline Wolindja.

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