Desiré ’16 auditioned for Oliver, thinking she might land a role in the ensemble. When the cast list was posted, Dez was shocked to see her name next to “Nancy,” the show’s female lead. “I thought, ‘What did I do?’” she recalls. “I always had terrible stage fright. Then, we had our first rehearsal, and I had to sing in front of the cast. I was terrified, but there were no negative responses, and people were pretty supportive, to the point where I thought, ‘Maybe I can do this.’”
She could. Six Theater Ensemble shows followed, as did Jazz & Rock Night gigs, Classical Music Night and Open Mic performances, and a Poetry Recitation. Dez also stepped into leadership with the Admission Ambassadors, Diversity Coalition, Spectrum (the Gay-Straight Alliance), Science Bowl Team, and the Vocal Ensemble, to name a few.
“I used to turn away from things because I was afraid to do them, but I came to Miss Hall’s, so I could push myself,” says Dez, an Honor Roll student who is now a freshwoman at New York University. The growth, she notes, came in stages, from speaking up in the classroom to stepping into the spotlight. “I am proud of how much I’ve grown, and all of that growth happened at MHS,” she adds. “I’m looking forward to what I can do in this world.”