Senior Spotlight: Cailey Umamoto


Art/Photo by Cailey Umamoto (12)

Cailey Umamoto (12) entertains a life full of energy, dance, a dream to travel, and so much more. With 4 committed years at West, she is dressed for success. Through these years, she has a continued pursuit in her love of dancing and dedication to fellow confreres. Looking forward, Umamoto hopes for a bright future of travel and University.

Sophia Yoshimura, Staff Writer

   For Seniors, being back at school is a fresh experience, as their only full year on campus had been spent as a Freshman. After two years online/blended, those freshies are now at the top of the school. Cailey Umamoto (12), one of those Seniors, found it refreshing to be back.

   As a committed member of the Dance Team and travel enthusiast, Umamoto expressed excitement for returning. “That’s crazy to me, to think that before the pandemic I was just a Freshman. And now that we’re back, I’m a Senior!” Though she does feel a sense of loss, as she “miss[es] seeing my friends who are older than me,” Umamoto will do her best now as a Senior. “It feels right, Going into senior year and doing everything that I have.”

   Of course, being a Senior will be tough. There will be stress, work, and the infamous senioritis. Yet with the responsibilities as a Senior, Umamoto always makes time for dance. “I’ve always been into the arts, and I feel like dance is what’s made me feel the best. I love the adrenaline of performing and being on a stage.” Nothing can stop her with the thrill of the groove!

   While dance was a constant in her school life, there were definitely challenges — especially in the pandemic. “During COVID, all of our dances and shows were virtual. So we actually had to create music videos, essentially, for our virtual shows.” Among the struggles, however, was the fond experience of it all. Umamoto remarked that, though they were in rough times, “Being able to film our dances with the team during the pandemic — while being safe, obviously — was so fun because it was like a different version of how we perform.” 

   There were parts of virtual learning that Umamoto found hard because she wasn’t able to “bond the same online” with her peers. Being back in person allowed her to have a closer connection with the dance team. “I feel like [with] being in person, our team is already so much closer than if we were to be online.” When it comes to school, it’s the little things that Umamoto cherishes. She adds that “There are funny moments that happen when you pass by someone you know, and you do something to say ‘Hi’ to them.” 

   To say the least, her experience at West has been truly outstanding. Umamoto will soon move onto the next chapters of her life. Her goals following are to move out of state, explore, try new things, and get out of her comfort zone.

    After all the craziness that came with living through a pandemic, she will before-long be fresh out of West with memorable experiences and stories that she will cherish for a lifetime.

   With her Senior wisdom, she leaves a word for the underclassmen. “Just live in the moment and really embrace that you’re actually in-person now. That you actually get to go to school and see everyone. I feel like our experience has been really unique, and it’s something that you should embrace.”