Multitasking: Tulsa VLC Students Balance School With Their Passions For Sports And The Arts

by Renae Collins and Lyla Pruitt

Colton Hadrava, BMX 

Colton Hadrava gestures during a BMX competition (Photo Provided).

Colton Hadrava is in eighth grade and has done BMX and mountain biking for about two years. He also does freestyle BMX tricks. 

He was introduced to BMX by his mom’s boss who thought he would enjoy it. His parents really encouraged him to keep at it, because they knew he would really enjoy it. 

Hadrava has grown to discover that he is an adrenaline seeker and enjoys the thrill of the tricks. He says that it takes a lot of “mental and physical strength” but if you are thinking about trying it out, he has some advice. 

“Go out there and do it,” he said.  “No one is going to care how well you perform. No one is going to care how well you do on the track. No one cares if you stand up or sit down, if you have to stop to get up one of the hills.”

Lily Heydinger, Theatre/Singing

Acting and singing make up a large part of Lily Heydinger’s life when she isn’t in class (Rachelle Veirs/ENN).

Over this past year fifth-grader Lily Heydinger has been learning to sing at Heart & Soul Vocal Studio in Broken Arrow. 

She has always loved singing, and would perform in front of her family.  “I started singing a lot more, so I asked my mom if I could start taking lessons,” she said.  

She had her first recital in front of people outside of her family, and she realized she loved it!  She has also joined musical theater at Epic. 

Acting and singing make up a large part of Lily Heydinger’s life when she isn’t in class. Photo credit: Rachelle Veirs

Musical theatre club sponsor Suzanne Grass said students in Epic’s musical theatre cre learning to get out of their comfort zone and practice improv.  A play may be in the works in the future, which would give Heydinger a chance to be on stage. 

Marne Cavin, Ballet 

Tulsa Ballet photo courtesy of Marne Cavin

When Marne Cavin was a little girl, she discovered ballet through TV. The fluid twirls and leaps amazed her, inspiring her to start dance. 

At the age of 7, she began lessons with Tulsa Ballet. When COVID-19 hit, she took a step back. After a year, she found her way back to the stage. 

“I do The Nutcracker and recitals at the end of the year for my classes,” Cavin said.

She stays diligent and determined with her dancing to achieve success with her performances. 

“I take ballet three days a week and contemporary once a week,” she said. 

At the time of this interview, all of her focus was going toward The Nutcracker, which premiered in mid-December in Tulsa. 

Cavin is dancing as a soldier in the show, which gives her time to enjoy the other elements of the story that they’re putting on. 

“It’s fun because I get to watch other things before my part goes on, there’s always the toy people and they act like they’re robots.”

Immanuel Kelly, Basketball 

Immanuel Kelly plays basketball (Renae Collins/ENN).

For as long as he could remember, Immanuel Kelley loved basketball. No other sports piqued his interest, except for the good old hooping game. 

“It’s always been basketball,” Kelley said. 

When he was in third grade, he was enrolled in the Upward Basketball league in Tulsa. He played for Upward until he was in the sixth grade. After that, he took a hiatus. Fast forward to 10th grade. He spends 30 minutes every day outside on the basketball court at the Epic Charter Schools VLC in Tulsa. Eventually, a representative for Epic’s up-and-coming basketball team came to the school to inform those interested about the new team. 

“I love basketball,” Kelley said. “When I heard we had a school team, I really wanted to play on it.” 

He is now set to play for the Epic Charter Schools basketball team, and is looking forward to having an opportunity to play for a school team rather than an outside league. 

Related Articles