Athlete Profile: Haley Franker


Kelly Wenzel

Haley Franker

By Assistant Sports & Health Editor

Haley Franker is a junior art+design major from Alsip, Illinois, hoping to dance her way into advertising art. She loves music, dancing and has been on dance teams since junior high school. She made the original Poms team at Columbia when it was created in 2011. 

 Franker is currently captain of the Poms team. The Chronicle sat down with her to talk about leading the Poms team, balancing dance with her major and her choice to attend Columbia.

THE CHRONICLE: How long have you been dancing?

HALEY FRANKER: Since I was 3 years old. I started with ballet and jazz and continued on from there. I made the dance team my first semester at Columbia.

How does it feel to be captain?

It’s an amazing feeling to have this position because I have been with this team since it was started three years ago. After dedicating so much time to something I love, it’s rewarding being a leader for the rest of the girls.

What do you say to people who think dancers are not athletes?

I would say that they have never tried dance before. We work very hard and we sweat. It’s very difficult to be a dancer. Dancers are definitely athletes.

What are your proudest moments as a dancer?

I would say making the Columbia team. Just being at a college level, it was really exciting. I wasn’t really expecting to make the team, so when I did, it was a really great accomplishment for me.

Why did you choose to study graphic design?

I really got into graphic design and decided I wanted to go into that. But I knew I wanted to keep doing dance as an extracurricular activity. That’s why the dance team was perfect for me.

What do you hope to get out of your time at Columbia?

The experience. That’s one of the reasons I chose the college. They really get you out into your field, so I knew it was going to be a great place. So any experience I can get, I am happy to take.

What is the hardest routine you have ever had to learn?

The routine we did at the Manifest [Art Festival] last year was difficult to learn. We have an amazing choreographer who really brought up the skill level and incorporated new moves and styles we had never done before.

What advice do you have for aspiring dancers?

Keep dancing, whether you are going to do it professionally or not. It’s a lot of fun, it keeps you in shape and if it makes you happy, then you should do it.

Where can students watch the dance team perform?

We perform at Renegades events such as the basketball and dodgeball tournaments. We also do different school events throughout the semester, and we finish off the spring semester with Manifest. You can always find information on our upcoming performances on our Facebook page.