Assistant Hyline director returns to teach at alma mater


Hyline recently re-welcomed one of its 2004 graduate members back into their family. Former captain Lauren Turnbull, now Smith, danced into the job of her dreams as the new assistant director. She joined main director Lindsay Joe in directing the new Hyline team on Aug. 12 and is excited to be back at the school she graduated from.

“I wanted to come back and be a part of Hyline since the day I left,” Smith said. “[I was excited about] the idea of getting to be back at my alma mater, where it’s just such a strong program. It’s home, and there’s such a comfort in going back to the school where you grew up.”

Smith did not start out as a dancer. Instead, she was an acrobat, gymnast and competitive cheerleader before she was persuaded by a friend to try dancing.

“I started dancing when I was 13,” she said. “My best friend that I met in middle school was a dancer, and she asked me to come and take classes with her, and I fell in love with it.”

Her love of dancing led her to Hyline, where she found a passion for teaching others. Former director Barbara Loomis helped nurture her passion.

“I was really lucky in high school, because Mrs. Loomis let me be a part of [the directing] side of drill team a lot,” she said. “I was an officer for two years, and I really got to see more of the ins and outs of what I was getting myself into.”

After high school, Smith studied at Texas State, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in dance and performance. She was the director of the Lake Highlands Highlandettes in Dallas from 2009 to 2013. In 2013, she began teaching dance at Anderson High in Austin. Previously known as Lauren Turnbull, she married senior prom date, Evan Smith on Aug. 3.

She said she is grateful for the techniques she has gained over the years from having been a Hyline member and uses what she has gained to help direct the team.

“I’ve learned so much from people over the years,” Smith said. “ You take what you learn from everybody, take the best qualities and try to make it your own. I was influenced by [them] so much.”

As time has gone by, Hyline has stayed rooted in its customs since Smith was the captain of her team.

“A lot of the traditions are the same,” she said. “Several of those traditional dances, like ‘Cotton Field’, are the same. What happens on the field has stayed the same and kept up with the times.”

Smith appreciates the work ethic the girls bring to the team.

“It’s a sweet group of girls working really hard for a common goal,” she said. “[They are] willing to be a part of a family. It’s no longer about the individual or solo dancer. It’s about working together with your friends for that common goal.”

In directing Hyline, Smith views her position differently than when she was performing.

“You get to really see the starting product to the ending product, all the way through the observer’s side versus the dancers’ side,” Smith said.

Smith enjoys witnessing the pride and love the girls have for dance.

“I love working with high school girls, and the joy in seeing them be really proud in what they’re doing [is something to admire] ,” Smith said. “I love getting to watch that happen for the girls.

Smith is excited to be back where it all began and said she was filled with “general overall excitement” about the prospect of coming home.

“Mrs. Cappezuti and Mrs. Joe have done such wonderful things for the program,” Smith said. “It was always my goal to come back, so I was overjoyed.”