Humans of Harker: Artistry in motion

Linette Hoffman expresses herself through choreography and art


Aishani Singh

“I’ve learned discipline: practicing a lot and then knowing what your strengths are, knowing where to improve. That discipline is definitely going to stay with me. If I’m trying to get a big piece of work done in general when I’m interested in it, I’ll stop at nothing to reach my goals,” Linette Hoffman (’23) said.

As the maroon stage lights brighten, Linette Hoffman (’23) holds her beaming smile and full-out pose during the soft opening crescendo of “Telephone,” the dance routine she and her partner had tirelessly choreographed for the school dance production. In a striking maroon costume and with her hair drawn back into a swishing ponytail, she prepares to captivate the audience with her performance. 

Linette’s journey in the performing arts has been all-encompassing, spanning theater, music, art and dance. However, it was the latter two that have been most fulfilling for her. Ever since Kindergarten, Linette has been dedicated to dance, attending weekly after-school classes which have taught her diverse moves.

“Ever since I was young, I’ve loved performing on stage, and dance is so freeing to me and has resonated with me,” Linette said. “It’s a really comforting way for me to continue my athleticism, and there’s also the artistic part of it. Dance covers all the bases of my interests: performing arts and sports. It is a fun form of expression, and then it’s really fun to deliver to an audience.”

When given the opportunity to choreograph a dance for the school dance production this year, Linette worked with her friend Makayla Aguilar-Zuniga (’23) to create a unique, upbeat piece that incorporated both of their creative visions. Through countless iterations, lunchtime meetings, and the exploration of numerous ideas, Linette dedicated herself to creating a fusion of jazz and hip-hop. During practices with her dancers, she remained open to feedback and showcased their individual strengths.

“I had a mixed level dance, and so I tried my hardest to play up to their strength, but I didn’t want to sacrifice my vision,” Linette said. “I really did challenge them, and I was worried about it before the show, but the dancers ended up really pulling it together, and they worked it out in the end.”

Through dance, Linette has grown into a team player. She unwaveringly lifts up her fellow dancers and is always willing to offer assistance. Makayla, Linette’s partner choreographer for not only the dance production but also the senior showcase, witnessed firsthand how her positive energy and eagerness to help others contribute to their dances’ overall success.

“She knows what she wants when she choreographs, and she understands the music and movement, but she’s willing to work with you if you want something else,” Makayla said. “If you’re struggling with a section, she’ll be like, ‘okay, we’ll do it,’ and then we work through it together. Overall, she’s just like a really great partner to work with.”

As a high school student, Linette has become increasingly devoted to dance, earning a Conservatory Certificate in dance. Close friend Claire Chen (’23), who has known Linette since elementary school, took notice of her blossoming into a confident leader. 

“I watched her in the dance that she choreographed, “Telephone,” and it was really impressive,” Claire said. “I can’t believe she did a lot of that herself, and it’s just amazing to see how far she’s going. I feel like before, she kind of just did what other people suggested to her to do, but now she has her own life that she wants to go through.” 

Since attending her first art class in third grade, Linette’s art pieces have also been a way for her to express her creativity. At her current art studio, Linette’s teacher has given her the opportunity to explore different mediums, spanning from soft pastels to graphite pencils. For Linette, art represents a sense of freedom and limitless possibilities, where she can let her imagination create a truly unique work. 

“I just love when so many colors are put into something, and it’s not what it’s supposed to look like, but that’s the point,” Linette said. “It doesn’t have to look as real as things actually are, and I really like it when it gets a little bit messy and when images are warped or exaggerated. A lot of my art has different messages. What [viewers] should get out of it would be a reflection of their own experiences and how that applies to them.”

Last year, Linette’s art portfolio for her AP Studio Art in 2D Design class focused on the portrayal of women in the media. In composing her artwork, Linette draws on her own experiences and ideas. Close friend Clare Jin (’23) praises Linette’s determination to share her ideas through evocative, meaningful artwork and bring awareness to various important issues.

“A lot of her art is derived through both her heritage and own experiences in the modern world, and that’s something I’ve always admired because she always draws her artistic talent from something that is very impactful to her,” Clare said. “Those pieces that she’s done have taken a long time for her to complete.”

Dance and art have each taught Linette valuable lessons in determination, which she carries with her into the future. As a dancer, she strives to perform pieces that convey emotion, which motivates her to continue practicing until she achieves a satisfying result. Similarly, in her art, Linette has experienced moments where she has hit a creative wall, unsure of how to continue her work. Despite moments of feeling discouraged, she finds a way to push through and discover new inspiration, helping her grow both as an artist and as a person.

“I’ve learned discipline: practicing a lot and then knowing what your strengths are, knowing where to improve,” Linette said. “That discipline is definitely going to come with me. If I’m trying to get a big piece of work done when I’m interested in it, I’ll stop at nothing to do my best to reach my goals.”