from the October 2015 issue of Simply Family Magazine. Check out the digital edition, here!
photos by jana graham photography
As Tippy Dringman begins her final year of school as a senior at West High School this fall, she brings with her many memories she has made over the past several months. The 17 year old’s summer proved to be full of experiences and adventures that have left the teen bursting at the seams with stories to share.
To begin with, in May Tippy participated in a regional dance competition in Seattle, where she received high honors for her solo performance-a dance routine she’d worked on the entire year. Her performance qualified Tippy for MVA, or maximum velocity artist, a huge honor in the dance circuit that places her in the top 40 dancers. The end of June found Tippy in Las Vegas at Nationals where she earned high honors, catapulting her to one of the top dancers in the nation. Tippy considers her performances this summer the moment she “stopped holding back” and poured her heart and soul into the routine, something that shone through to the audience and judges.
After her whirlwind summer, Tippy is ready to settle back into her regular routine as a senior in high school, looking forward to everything she gets to experience in the months ahead.
Transitioning into her senior year of jam-packed days hasn’t been a problem for the organized teen. A typical day for Tippy begins in the early morning hours with a workout followed by a school day full of honors classes. When the 3-o-clock bell rings, Tippy glides off to various commitments including volunteer work, dance practice and…more dance practice. Often returning home late in the evening, Tippy tackles her homework before heading to bed, excited and prepared for another early start the next morning. When asked if she ever thinks about slowing down, Tippy replies with a large smile, “There is so much I want to do! I’m having the time of my life!”
And with her energy, determination, strong work ethic and positivity, Tippy may very well do everything on her bucket list-and more.
Tippy views her senior year of high school as bittersweet. “Everything is the last of this, the last of that,” she explains. “While at the same time life just keeps getting more and more exciting. I’m so excited for what the future holds!”
Tippy’s biggest fans and supporters are her parents, Katie and Eric Dringman, who have encouraged the ambitious young lady to find her calling even at an early age. “Whatever Tippy has wanted to pursue, whether it was running, gymnastics or dance, we supported her and told her to go for it,” remembers Tippy’s mom, Katie. “It is all about finding her niche in life, working towards it and running with it.”
And for Tippy, her niche is dancing. Introduced to dancing at a young age and surrounded by dancers who have inspired her every step of the way, including her older sister Jessica, dancing has remained a constant in her life. Tippy credits her family life, growing up in a large family with seven siblings, for setting the foundation for a solid work ethic and faith base. “Tippy had a lot of influences in her life as a young girl. She stepped up to the plate when I had some medical problems, taking care of her siblings,” says mother Katie. “And through it all Tippy was really able to deal with everything. Life doesn’t faze her; she has a level of savvy unique to her.”
Such values are evident upon meeting Tippy and her mother, Katie, a homemaker and father, Eric, a doctor. Tippy is the first to tell you she comes from a wonderful family who loves and supports her. When asked what it’s like growing up in a large family, Tippy answers with her broad, beautiful smile, “It is cool being the middle child…I get to be the leader for my 4 younger siblings, plus I get to look up to my 3 older siblings. I’m a mentor and mentee at the same time!” Sibling rivalry just doesn’t exist…Tippy just gets along with everyone.
Lisa Oppegaard and Amantha Vandiviere, Diversity Dance Studio owners and instructors, who have known Tippy since she was a little girl say, “Tippy has always been quick to learn and master dance steps even at a young age. Now she is a gorgeous young woman, inspiring young dancers with her talent and passion for dance. We are so excited for her next chapter. She will continue to touch the lives of her Diversity family every step of the way.”
“Tippy is an amazing dancer! With outstanding athleticism and brilliant creativity her dancing blew me away,” says Alicia Bravo, dance instructor for Diversity Dance Studio, who met the teen several years ago. “I then found out that she is on West High School’s dance team and also heavily involved in church. Tippy also is an amazing caretaker for her younger siblings. I truly see her love for her family.”
Although Tippy admittedly enjoys time in the spotlight, showcasing one of her well-versed, practiced and choreographed dance routines, the caring and compassionate teen enjoys working behind the scenes as well. In addition to her numerous school and dance commitments, Tippy serves as a mentor to new high school students, volunteers at the local food bank preparing lunches, cleans classrooms at Head Start, and helps organize Toys for Tots donations over the holidays. She works hard to maintain a high GPA, challenging herself by taking honors classes.
Faith is important to Tippy and her family, “We focus on the creation of God,” says the teen. Tippy’s father is a trauma surgeon, something that has made an impact on her life. “Growing up in a medical house, you learn about making good choices,” shares Tippy. “Never underestimate the power of being able to heal yourself.”
Tippy’s firm belief in the power of healing has influenced her ever present decision to make healthy choices and helping others do the same.
Tippy takes pride in her abilities as a dancer and choreographer, but admittedly says it is the interactions with people that really give her the drive to succeed. “Sure there have been times I’ve doubted myself for a second,” shares Tippy. “But then I’ve found people who are so supportive, who encourage and support me to go for my dreams as a dancer.” The hardest thing says Tippy, is learning how to balance her time and choose what to do. Whatever she does choose in the future, Tippy assures it will include dance. “Everything in dancing is so fast paced, always changing, but I’ve learned that dancing is what makes me happy, it’s what completes me.” sfm