The Woman Behind The Stars
When an adult looks back on their high school yearbook, they see what their senior year self had in mind for a career. Many, however, never actually achieve what their dream was. Somewhere between college, life, and starting a family, their dream got lost. When Silver Stars director Samandra Nail looks back on her yearbook though, she realizes she not only achieved her wildest dream, but all three of them.
Nail started dancing in a studio at the early age of just three years old in Chandler, Texas. Her parents didn’t force her into it though. “It was all me,” said Nail. “I was a naturally hyper kid; it gave me a way to work out all my energy.”
Even though she was only a toddler, Nail was in love. She continued dancing in studios up until middle school. In junior high she took a slightly different course and experienced cheer for a while, but at the start of her freshman year, dance had become her world once again.
While she danced, she also balanced track, soccer, and basketball up to her junior year. She always found her way back to dancing, though. “There’s something different about getting to share a passion and getting to perform in a totally different way than other sports perform,” said Nail. “There’s also a different type of sisterhood.”
During her senior year, while she was the caption of her drill team, she saw the Kilgore College Rangerettes perform and instantly knew what she wanted. “I fell in love with them,” said Nail.
Nail was soon a Rangerette, but her dreams still weren’t over. While she was a Rangerette, she saw the nationally known Radio City Rocketts perform and before she knew it, she was in love all over again.
Summer of 2003, Nail auditioned to become a Rockett. She made it up until the final cuts, but didn’t make the final list. “The hardest aspect was the criticism,” said Nail. “It can break you down. I had to use it to motivate me.” And she did just that. Nail auditioned the following summer and could finally call herself a Radio City Rockett.
Nail lived with her fellow Rocketts in a Chicago hotel for three months during the season. After the dancing season ended, Nail moved back to her home state of Texas and settled down in Magnolia with her husband.
Although she still keeps dance a very active part of her life, she still remembers her favorite memories from her performing days. “My favorite memory was- and still is- the look on my dads face every time I danced,” Nail said with no hesitation.
Since she was a small child, dance was destined to become Nail’s future. After performing in her youth, she went on to teach in studios and is now involved in all things dance at TMHS. “I can’t imagine anything else, it’s what I’ve always wanted,” said Nail.
As a teacher, Nail claims there is no better feeling than seeing the “light bulb” go off in a dancers head when they finally get it. “My goal is to allow girls to reach their fullest potential,” said Nail. “Not only as a dancer, but as a student and a teammate, too.”