Bear Pause: Yolanda Pauly '21

Yolanda Pauly Bear Pause Class of 2021

Yolanda Pauly ʼ21 describes herself as “a pretty outgoing and smiley person.” When she’s not dancing or finding ways to incorporate dance into all aspects of her life, you'll find Yolanda with her cuddly cat Buttercup. 

Q: When was the last time you were nervous?
A: The last time I was nervous was definitely at [Blake’s] commencement. I was so excited to be graduating but really nervous about walking across the stage. I didn’t want to trip and fall in front of everyone and embarrass myself on such a big day and in front of so many important people! 

Q: What is something you learned in the last week?
A: One thing that I learned in the last week is how important it is to label photos and boxes full of childhood items. My mom has been doing a lot of labeling of our photos and boxes before I go to college, so that when I have my own kids or I’m just looking through the memories in the future I can have some of the info I have forgotten right there.

Q: Who is your hero?
A: I can’t say that I have just one hero. I definitely think my mom is my hero for countless reasons, but I also think that Temple Grandin [American scientist and animal behaviorist] is one of them too! Both women have taught me valuable lessons and been people who constantly inspire me and have kept me going. 

Q: If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why?
A: I would LOVE to go to Sydney, Australia. I have always dreamed of going there and dancing at the Sydney Opera House. After watching the Aussie show “Dance Academy,” based in Sydney, I’ve been obsessed with traveling there someday. 

Q: What teacher inspired you the most? How?
Dion [Crushshon ʼ88]. He is such an incredible teacher and is always just so eager to learn more. He’s really taught me and inspired me to have a desire to deeply investigate my passions and questions through his constant encouragement and curiosities. His “I wonder..” statements always lead to further reading and conversations about anything and everything in the world. He inspires me to always reach and learn beyond what I think I already know. 

Q: What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to?
A: I think the best concert I’ve been to is a Lila Downs one. She talked to my mom and even said my name while she was on stage! It was so thrilling. 

Q: What did you want to be when you were small?
A: I wanted to be a vet, surgeon, dancer, mom—the whole nine yards! 

Q: What is one goal you'd like to accomplish during your lifetime?
A: A goal I want to accomplish in my lifetime is writing a research paper/article and having it published somewhere. I think it would be really incredible to have my own work somewhere that can be read by people all over the world and something that would be very fulfilling. 

Q: What's your favorite family tradition?
A: My favorite family tradition is one that doesn’t happen very often but is special about my family: every first girl born in the Pauly family is given the middle name of “Mae.” I think it’s a really beautiful tradition and one that I can’t wait to hopefully continue with my own children! 

Q: What is the most surprising thing about you?
A: I think I’m a pretty social person, and I love to talk and meet new people. So I think that what is most surprising about me is that I love to just sit and listen to people talk. I love seeing people talk about something they are so passionate about and just listen. It’s so refreshing and so exciting to see what people are interested in and everything that makes them who they are!