Senior Spotlight: Daphne Daan


Daphne Dann

“In high school, if you want to make memories, you gotta make them fast, otherwise you’re gonna miss the opportunity.”- Daphne Daan

Kelsey France, Health and Beauty

Daphne Daan is a current senior at John F. Kennedy Memorial High School. She is an active member of the 2023 graduating class, participates in choir, band, and acapella, and has been in the school musical.  I spoke to Dann about her high school life and her up-and-coming future. She recalls her favorite moments and her experiences as a high school teen. She also gives some advice to her freshman self.

How has your experience at JFK been through all of your years here?

Daphne: Well, I’ve only been a student here at JFK for three years and one year was online during Covid…. It was a lot of changes made, you know, going from periods to blocks. It was a big switch for me. I didn’t really know what blocks were. And then coming here, as an arts-involved student seeing how there are not many arts being involved in this school, it was saddening, Slowly through the years, as we got a new choir teacher, and as I got to know my band director more, the arts and JFK grew a little bit.

How exactly did covid change you? Did it change you for the better?

I moved here during the covid year, so covid was really tough on me. You know, being in a new house, moving to a new school with no friends, you know, knowing nobody, it was really difficult and tough. Yeah, it was strange. I still feel I should be, you know, a freshman. I feel time didn’t really move because of that covid year. Gym was a weird setup, because we would have to work out in front of the camera. You couldn’t really do much when it came to band and choir because you can’t sing online.  It will just be delayed or, if you try and play an instrument, it will just be crazy. So, the covid year was an experience that I probably don’t want to go back to ever again, but it was an experience.

What was your favorite moment that happened in choir, band or participating in the musical?

I feel my favorite moment, or moments plural, are when people tell me, that I am their favorite [choir] president. The greatest moment was when I was coming in to visit the lower level [chorus] class, they were doing a project and Mr. Casem looked at me and he was, like “Hello?”  And I said, hello back. And the girls got so excited to see me walk through the door.

They were like, “Oh my God, it’s Daphne!”. And then they turned to him. They were like,  “Can we show her what we prepared? Please? Can we do it again?”  I felt so happy and joyous. I was like, oh my God. They see me as someone they can look up to, a teacher figure. The parental figure almost. And they were so happy and they performed it. And I remember they made me sit right in the middle of the class so they could perform it just for me. And I just sat there clapping happily. It was so amazing.

Do you have your career planned out or are you still trying to figure it out?

Plan B is going to college for music, more specifically vocal education major. I’ve already applied to a couple of colleges, and got accepted to three out of eight, which is exciting….I got accepted into Seton Hall for an education degree. I got accepted into Caldwell, for a music education degree, and I also got accepted into The School of New York for an education degree as well….And I wanna teach middle school through high school. I would more preferably teach high school vocal though.

My Plan A is obviously to be a singer, so I wanna make music, and hopefully, maybe one day get famous and have concerts and stuff, but that’s really all up to the universe if it lets me. 

What made you want to pursue music? 

I’m not exactly sure. My parents were very music oriented. My father was in a band, but I just know that I started singing at a very young age. And I don’t know what influenced that. But, music is something that makes me happy and that’s basically what music is to me, my happiness.

You started a K-pop dance group; talk about how it’s been going and why you decided to start it. 

So since I was little, I have loved to explore all different genres of music, more preferably hip-hop, pop and K-pop. I hate country music; just putting that out there. I’ve loved K-Pop since I was in middle school, and I’ve always seen online, you know, these groups performing  Korean pop dances and it’s just so amazing the way the choreos come together and the way they’re all having fun and, and dancing. I’ve always wanted to have a performance group where we perform in public and  get pretty popular and have fun. So since middle school, my parents have always bugged me.

“Why don’t you start a dance group? You love dancing.”…. Coming here to JFK, I find that people are, at least the people I hang out with, are more inclusive and I was able to find lots of friends that enjoy the same genre of music as I did. And seeing and taking that opportunity, I decided to put out a survey and we got a lot of responses back. I think 11 or 12 in total, and the next day we had a meeting. People showed up and it was so exciting and it’s been going well from there on.  Well, actually our first cover is, of the K-pop group, new jeans. We have rehearsals every Sunday and Friday, and we plan our first performance to be on February 12th, the Sunday before school. It’s gonna be really good.

If you had a chance to talk to your freshman self, what advice would you give?

The advice I’d give to myself as a freshman would be to do harder classes, in my first few years. Because if you get all your harder classes out of the way, then all you have to do is your easier classes. And towards your junior or senior year, you could choose whatever classes you want. I’d also say to be more true to myself because I feel freshman year, I was very shy and closed off and I was hiding a lot of things about myself, that I’m not now.


Thank you, Daphne, for your participation in our school’s arts. You have encouraged more people to join, and become part of a community. We sincerely hope you have an amazing senior year, and continue making more memories. Good luck on your journey to success!