Not your typical freshmen

Paige Cannady explores passions through a variety of interests

Elly Herrick

From contortion to activism, comprehensive freshman Paige Cannady had many things about her that made her stand out. Before landing in Wisconsin, Cannady had been in and out of states her whole life.

“I’ve lived in four different states and it’s never easy but it gets better,” Cannady (9) said. “I was born in Minnesota and lived there for a year, I lived in Indiana for nine years. Then Illinois for four years and now I’m here.”

She said that her life has always been chaotic, but what she did not expect was moving suddenly to Kenosha, Wis.

“Over the summer there was a plant that exploded in Reckon, Il and I lived a mile from there so I had to move,” Cannady said. “It was kinda scary [to move] because I had a lot of friends there.”

While the transition was a little hard for her, her peers agreed that she would fit in just fine.

“I just thought that she was a really sweet girl,” English teacher Kara Swenby said. “She said good morning to me on the first day of school and ever since then, every time she comes in or leaves my room she says, ‘hi.’”

In and outside the classroom, Cannady had a wide variety of interests and some are not for the faint of heart.

“I practice gymnastics and contortion,” Cannady said. “I can do handstands where I can bring my feet over my head. I’m really flexible.”

While she does not do contortion competitively, she said that it was really calming.

“I’ve always really loved [contortion] so I just started doing it,” Cannady said. “The more you do it the better you get at it.”

Besides using her double jointed body to do any sort of trick, Cannady also participated in choir and musicals.

“Whenever I was a kid and I was super scared or I was stressed out, singing always calmed me down and it made me think of my great grandma,” Cannady said. “When she was in her nursing home she always was like ‘Sing for me’ and I would always do it. She had dementia so she didn’t understand a lot, but she always loved to hear [me sing]. Whenever [I sing] I think of her.”

Cannady has sung for her whole childhood and said she felt empowered by it.

“Given how hard [my upbringing] was for me and all the people around me pushed me forward and empowered me to do all the things I do now,” Cannady said. “I grew up with that feeling that I was powerless and I couldn’t do anything to help myself and I wouldn’t want anyone else to feel like that.”

A member of the Gay Straight Alliance, Women’s Rights and Empowerment and Minorities Empowerment, she stressed the importance and overall need for these activism clubs.

“If I have to spend four years here, I want it to be good.”