News From the Students, For the Students

The Griffin Gazette

News From the Students, For the Students

The Griffin Gazette

News From the Students, For the Students

The Griffin Gazette

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Rianna Norman plans to dominate the stage and beyond

The young Griffin captures the praise of many people due to her skill, dedication, and hard work.
Instagram, @rianna.normannn
Rianna Norman posing on the set of the music video “GOD’S PLAN.”

LOS ALAMITOS CA– The passion. The power. The musicality and stage presence. All of which makes Los Alamitos High School junior Rianna Norman a dominating force on stage.

She displays her skills in front of massive audiences with striking moves of extended arm movements and large jumps, while maintaining an impressive amount of coordination. As a member of the dance group, the Divas of Compton, Norman lives two lives as she goes from performing at the Super Bowl LVI pre-game show to understanding metric conversion in physics class. 

“I technically started dancing at the age of three, but I actually did not like it at all,” Norman said. “I was mainly doing ballet, tap, and a little bit of hip hop, but I didn’t really connect with dance until later on.” It wasn’t until she turned seven that she revisited the art form once more. This time, she didn’t quit. As of 2023, Norman has been dancing for nine years and currently spends more than 28 hours a week, practicing and perfecting her dance routines to put on her best for performances. 

Her growing love for dancing eventually led her to join her “sister” dance troupe, the Divas of Compton. For eight years, Norman has formed an indescribable sisterhood with her dance mates, something that she holds to the highest standard. 

“I would think of them as like my second family or my second place where I like to feel comfortable,” said Norman. “I know all of us are striving for a specific goal, so when I go on that stage and I perform, I know all of our hearts are in it too. And since we’re all like family, you can tell that we’re all doing this together, for a purpose, for all of us.”

Within the nine years, Norman and the Divas of Compton have auditioned and appeared in “America’s Got Talent,” performed in American rapper Travis Scott’s newest music video, “GOD’S COUNTRY,” and were in the Super Bowl LVI pregame show.

In the summer of 2020, the Divas and Drummers of Compton participated in episode 1502 of the hit reality TV show “America’s Got Talent.” Through an explosive dance performance, the video on YouTube has accumulated upwards of 800,000 views and 18,000 likes since last posted three years ago. The group passed with an enthusiastic “yes” from the judges but failed to advance to the finals. However, Norman made peace with their end with the show by taking gratitude for the opportunity.

“We weren’t winners, but you see us more often because of the fact that we got more recognition from our talent. It’s [not] about specifically winning, and having the opportunity to be shown on the screen and showing our talent has opened up so many different opportunities, not only [for] dance,” Norman said.

“GOD’S COUNTRY,” Norman’s latest individual endeavor, was a highly anticipated music video by Scott’s fans in which she made several appearances in the music video, showcasing her confident dance and rap skills on the scene. However, the experience was much more nerve-wracking for the young dancer than it appeared. 

“[The music video] was the most nervous [I’ve been], going out there and doing something that was mainly out of my comfort zone because they are doing a lot. I was saying to myself, ‘I’ll just do something out of my comfort zone,'” said Norman about appearing in the music video. “I really wanted to put myself out there, but I was  nervous that I wasn’t going to be good enough.” Although Norman was nervous, she pushed herself to exceed her own expectations in the music video, which became a very memorable experience.

While balancing an impressive career at just 15 years old, Norman remains successful in school and involved in many more extracurriculars that showcase her passionate talent. She has consecutively achieved Principal’s Honor Roll while simultaneously performing in Los Al’s two advanced choirs, the Advanced Women’s Ensemble (Soundtrax) and Advanced Mixed Show Choir (Sound FX). 

“When [Rianna] dances, she just brings the performance to life. She puts all of her heart and soul into the performance and you can tell that she has an incredible amount of commitment to her craft,” said Ms. Dherlin, the Assistant Director of Choral Activities at Los Al. It seems that Norman’s hard work is apparent not only to teachers but to her peers around her. 

“Rianna exudes real star quality in all her performances. Her ability to adapt to different styles of dance and still perform very powerfully makes her stand out,” Sarah Yoon, junior, said.

In terms of what’s next for Norman, she plans to transition from show choir at Los Al and Divas to performing alongside stars on the big Broadway stage. 

“My dream is to perform [on] Broadway alongside the biggest stars,” Norman said. “Whether it’s in the background or the main character, I’m going to be happy either way… I’m just grateful to have these opportunities to do something I love!” It seems the future looks very bright for the young Griffin as she plans to shine on and off the stage!

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Jasmine Lee
Jasmine Lee, Editor | Reporter
Jasmine Lee is excited to start a new year at the Griffin Gazette as a junior at Los Alamitos High School. This is her first year at the Griffin Gazette, however, she has experience working on the McAuliffe newspaper, the Birdwatch. She would best describe herself as introverted, positive, and caring. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, baking delicious treats, and drawing. In the future, Jasmine hopes to be able to become an elementary school teacher and maintain a positive outlook on life. Jasmine joined Journalism because she is interested in covering a wide range of topics while improving her writing and collaborative skills. You can contact Jasmine at [email protected]
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