It takes two to win: twin athletes aid community

By Lizbeth Solorzano

Granada Hills Charter’s (GHC) sports programs compete to go the distance, whether that means fighting to win California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Championships, West Coast Elite Dance Nationals, or any of a host of championships our teams bring home. This year, the school has double the talent with the help of the senior twin sisters Anoukka and Ouanessa Nana.

As a member of the dance team, Anoukka encourages works with her fellow dancers to bring art to life through movement.

While Anoukka was on the cheer squad for her first three years of high school, she joined the dance team for her senior year.

Anoukka’s fraternal twin sister Ouanessa runs both track and field and cross country. She placed third in City Championships and competed in State Championships for the girls relay 4×4 last year.

Despite her impressive record, track and field was a new sport for her since she had spent most of her previous energy dancing with her sister for most of their lives.

The twins started dancing at the age of five, however only Anoukka continued dancing officially as part of the school teams, while Ouanessa now only dances for fun.

Anoukka was recently given the opportunity to dance solo for the dance team and is currently perfecting it. She dedicates her dances to her dad due to his recent passing. Though he was never able to see her solos or performances, in her heart she feels that he will be watching her this time.

“Dance allows me to express my feelings. If I’m having a bad day, I leave it behind and just dance. It’s my way of speaking. I’m more comfortable performing, and I’m more myself when I am performing,” Anoukka said.

For Ouanessa, the energy and commitment her sister puts into dance is similar to the strenuous effort she puts into running.

“I both love and hate running. I hate it at practice because it’s hot, my feet burn, and I can’t breathe, so it feels like my chest will explode. But then I remember that running relaxes me and that I have fun times at the meets. So it’s worth it,” Ouanessa said.

Despite switching from dance to track and cross country, Ouanessa still dances with her sister. They enrolled in ballroom dancing classes just for the thrill of learning a new style.

These twins enjoy learning as much as they do performing, which is why they participate in more than just sports.

Anoukka and Ouanessa volunteer to teach children at the preschool in New Life Church  of the Nazarene. They attended this school themselves when they were younger and found it the perfect avenue for giving back to the community.

The girls teach reading there and are often rewarded with hugs and the satisfaction of making a difference in the lives of children.

As they are so passionate about children, they both plan to enter the medical field in order to become pediatricians.

They will use their energy and commitment that they have as student athletes to help motivate them to be the best doctors kids can hope for.

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