Humans of Redwood: Edition 2- Scott Smith

Annie Forsman

Junior Scott Smith walks into class as he hears his peers scream, “Pin drop!”

Smith sets down his bag, walks to the front of the room and spins down to the floor and back up.

Smith is acclaimed for his well-known “pin drops.” He says that dancing is a much larger part of his life than anyone at school would expect.

On any given day, Smith says he spends hours at home trying to perfect new dance moves. He doesn’t stop dancing until the moves work perfectly with his personalized dancing style.

Smith describes his dance style as “fluid.” He tries to make the transitions between his moves as smooth as possible by keeping the moves similar to each other in order to avoid creating choppy routines.

“It’s like this amazing energy that I can feel and it makes me feel like the dancer I want to be,” Smith said.

Unlike many dancers who learn to dance through dance class, Smith taught himself how to dance by watching videos of his favorite YouTube dancers.

Junior Scott Smith rests after successfully completing his new record of 30 consecutive pin drops.
Junior Scott Smith rests after successfully completing his new record of 30 consecutive pin drops.

“Being self-taught [means] my style is more unique because I didn’t have as much influence from instructors,” Smith said. “I know that a lot of dancers try to create their own style from lessons.”

Occasionally, Smith participates in dance lessons at a studio called City Dance in San Francisco in order to meet other dancers. In these classes, the first 15 minutes are dedicated to freestyle. After that the group of dancers learn choreography. Most of the dancers Smith meets at the lessons are in their 20s or 30s and have similar dance styles to Smith.

Dancers such as “Fik-Shun,” “Dytto,” and “Nonstop” have provided inspiration for Smith. All three dancers inspire Smith to pursue his dancing style as well as to emulate some of the moves that he has seen them perform.

“Dancing is an art form and I can really see that when they dance,” Smith said.

The three dancers perform for World of Dance, a company that invites various groups of dancers and solo dancers from across the world to perform and compete against one another.

“In ten years I see myself living in a dance community, maybe Los Angeles,” Smith said. “[I would be] performing for World of Dance and getting to travel the world performing in other places too.”

Currently, Smith’s only performing experience comes from performing on stage for Advanced Drama’s annual production of Micetro in the Little Theater in November.

“I never really get that nervous when I dance in public, but that was the first time I danced on stage so I was really nervous. Once I got on stage, my head cleared and I focused,” Smith said.

Smith practices finger tutting while seated.
Smith practices finger tutting while seated.

Drama isn’t the only time Smith has danced at school in front of his peers. During class, he said he often feels he can’t stay in one place.

“I feel like I can’t sit still almost all day when I’m sitting at my desk at school. I want to get up and dance or do something,” Smith said. “I tap my foot a lot and I’ll even start finger tutting at my desk because that’s something I can do without getting up.”

According to Smith, finger tutting is a dance using your arms, hands, and fingers to make a series of shapes in a fluid motion.

Outside of the classroom, Smith posts videos of himself dancing on Instagram for all of his 857 followers to watch.

“My motivation to post videos on Instagram is because I want to put myself out there. I want people to know that I dance. One of my goals is to meet other dancers through Instagram,” Smith said.