Sarah Tiggleman showcases her talent in all aspects of school


For most students, they take a language just to get their credits in. For others, they take a language for multiple years because colleges look for students that know a foreign language. For sophomore Sarah Tiggleman, French is something enjoyable that she has been immersing herself in since middle school, and now, that has led her to the rigorous French 3 class.

With a more advanced class comes different teaching styles (more oral quizzes instead of written ones). The new test-taking method allows Sarah to experience a real-world moment by composing dialogue on the spot instead of memorizing vocabulary for a written test.

“Right now I’m in French 3,” Sarah said. “It’s really hard but rewarding because we’re doing this new teaching style. Our tests aren’t really tests. You do dialogue between two people and make up what you’re saying on the spot, so it [has] really helped me develop my French skills. It submerges you into the culture more because we do the speaking test, read articles from France, and guess what [different words] mean.”

The new testing style has paid off, though, because Sarah feels comfortable enough to converse with someone from France. In eighth grade, she had a foreign exchange student which was an eye-opening experience. Conversing with her exchange student showed her how much she has actually retained and how well she could hold a conversation in another language.

As of recent, students from France came here for a few weeks, and Sarah had another opportunity for speaking French.

“[Speaking with the exchange students] was still a little hard because of the language barrier,” Sarah said. “But I tried my best, and it went pretty well. I had a French exchange student when I was in eighth grade, [and] my family and I are hoping to go to France soon, meet him, and get to know the culture.”

Sarah and her family are very close, so the trip to France will be an enjoyable experience. Her mom especially has made an impact on her, and she continually inspires Sarah.

Sarah’s mother was involved in musicals throughout high school and college, and even now, she still continues to sing. Inspired by her mother, Sarah has also taken up musical theater and singing and loved it.

Sarah started doing theater through the Summerstock program where she was involved in a number of musicals. Since then, she has landed roles in the musicals in high school, and she is looking forward to playing an Indian in Peter Pan.

“I started doing musicals in the summer of eighth grade,” Sarah said. “My first musical was The Addams Family. From there, I did the Forest Hills Central musical, Little Shop of Horrors. This year, I am an Indian in [Peter Pan].”

Sarah loves showcasing all of her talents in the musicals, including dancing and singing. Sarah has been singing all of her life and she improves through the corrections her mom gives her. Because her mom was involved in theater, she was an exceptional singer, which inspired Sarah.

“[My mom] did musicals when she was in high school and college, and she got some leads,” Sarah said. “She always used to sing to me when I was little. From there, I’ve been taking her corrections because she’s such a good singer it’s inspired me to be a good singer, too.”

Right now, Sarah is in the women’s chorus and plans on continuing, but she is still unsure if it will translate into a career for her. Sarah has also been dancing since a young age; a talent that she can display in musicals, with the dance team at sporting events, and at competitions.

Sarah occasionally dances at Ada Dance Academy and was on the Varsity dance team for the first time this year. On the dance team, she competes, and through sports, she and the team get to showcase their talent

“I like dancing at basketball games because that’s our main event so we get to perform our competition dances,” Sarah said. “I like the fact that [there] are so many different styles [of dancing]. Every time you dance, it’s something different and new.”

When Sarah and her team compete against the other schools, they have found that their main competitor is the Eastern team. The team feels great satisfaction when they win, but losing also allows them to work harder and appreciate the wins even more.

“I like that we get to compete against all different schools,” Sarah said. “That’s fun to see who will win. Sometimes they win, and sometimes we do. We all hold our hands in a circle,[close] our eyes, and [hope] for the best. [If we do win,] we get really excited and cheer; it’s a fun time.”

Sarah loves all aspects of dancing, including competing and dancing on stage during musicals. Dance has proven to be a substantial part of Sarah’s life, and she appreciates every lesson learned from the sport.

“Dancing is an individual sport so you have to work as a team and individually,” Sarah said. “It has helped me work individually, put all of the pieces together, and [get used to the] uniformity of it all.”

Sarah is grateful that she can use her dancing talent, whether that be on stage or the gym floor. The people she has met through dance and musicals have helped her embrace her uniqueness and develop her personality. Through many aspects of her life, she has learned to embrace her individuality which has allowed her to be fearless in all aspects of life.

“Dance has always been a big part of my life,” Sarah said. “[Dancing] has helped develop me as a person because of the people I’m around. With musicals, all the people are so wonderful, and everyone has their own character. They just aren’t afraid to be who they are, so that has helped me not be afraid [of] being me.”