Sometimes, new passions can be found where you least expect them. 

Adia Seckel can be found on the Maclay campus managing Langford Hall, running the Glee Club, coaching middle school cheer and working with her performing arts students. She began running the Glee Club this year and took over Langford Hall full-time in November. Her mother also works at Maclay, running the middle and upper school theater departments. Naturally, because of all these things, Seckel has been involved in theater her whole life. 

“I think it [theater] is a great way to express yourself,” Seckel said. “We have this, kind of like this saying in musical theater to explain to people why people just break out into singing and dancing. It’s when you have too many emotions for just words, you sing and when you have too many emotions for just singing, you dance it out. So, I just feel that it’s a great form of art, and the human connection that you get with other people, it’s amazing.” 

Seckel grew up around the arts. With a mother who is a choreographer and director, a visual artist father and siblings who shared similar artistic interests, the performing arts came naturally to her. She began when she was three years old and from there, built a career off it. Seckel has performed professionally as Esmerelda in a production of the Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Garden Theatre in Winter Garden, Florida. 

She has her Bachelors of Arts [BFA] in musical theater and landed a job performing at Universal Studios Orlando as a paid professional when she was just 18 years old. She started as part of the Harry Potter World attraction, the Frog Choir, performing during summer and winter breaks. Later, she auditioned for the “Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular” at Universal Studios and got to portray a “Who” character. 

While she was doing that, Seckel auditioned for her current job at Universal Studios, where she still works on weekends. She performs as “Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees” on the stage in Diagon Alley which is part of the Harry Potter World. 

“It’s [Universal Studios] a great company to work for, most of the time,” Seckel said. “I do love it. The park perks are awesome. They treat us well.”

She was living her dreams, performing her heart out and enjoying the career she had worked her whole life for. 

But, while she was living in Orlando in 2019, Seckel was in a car accident, where she was rear-ended. This terrible accident changed everything in a moment of time. She broke her back and displaced three discs in her neck. For about eight and a half months, she was unable to perform. 

“In retrospect, it was horrible,” Seckel said. “My career in performing was really taking off. I had four different commitments coming up and I had to release all of them, and it was hard. But the rebuilding of my muscles and everything really led me to loving how to make your body stronger so you can recover from things like this. So, I just became passionate about student health.”

For the time Seckel spent injured from the accident, unable to do the thing she loved most and what she thought she’d be doing for the rest of her life, a new passion began to rise within her. Her accident and her background in dance played a large role in inspiring her to go back to school and pursue a new career path. 

Fast forward to the present day, she is currently getting her second degree in Sports Medicine, a big career decision for someone who already knew what she wanted to do in her life. 

“I’m very passionate about the health of young students to be able to do their art form, whether that is performing or sports, because you know, sports have some level of artistry in it,” Seckel said. “So, I would see myself helping especially dancers learn that strong is beautiful.” 

Seckel was nervous at first, pursuing a whole new thing and going back to school while trying to balance her two passion-filled career paths. It can get hard for her to take on so many things at once. 

“I’m working 50 hours a week now,” Seckel said. “It’s very hard, but you have to look at the big picture. What do you want out of life? Like, what can I get with this second degree? Will it help me in the future? Is it worth the extra money pouring into a second degree? You know, then I’ll eventually have to go get a masters. So a lot more school for someone who never wanted to go to college. I never wanted to go to college, it was just something that I knew I needed to do.” 

Though it is a challenge, Seckel is content with her decision to get a second degree in Sports Medicine. She plans to use her knowledge of Sports Medicine to continue helping teach performing arts, especially dancing, to train strong athletes and performers.

“She [Seckel] is so passionate about teaching,” Glee Club member and sophomore Emily Hawken said. “To see a teacher who actually loves to do what they’re teaching and to be able to do what their teaching is so inspirational.” 

It is common for young people and students to be told that they need to pick one thing to do for the rest of their lives. However, Seckel balances both of her passions and even connects the two things she loves. 

“When you’re 18, you’re asked to choose what you wanna do for the rest of your life, and that is so terrifying,” Seckel said. “It’s unrealistic as well, because  who you are at 18 is not who you are at 28.”

Seckel’s injury gave her new insight into her life and led to fresh goals and aspirations for the future. 

“I definitely would say that I am happier,” Seckel said. “My injury did cause me to have a new outlook on life and I learned that success isn’t defined by other people. It [happiness] is if you wake up, especially in today’s time, and 90 percent of your days, you were okay. That’s a win for me.”  

She plans to spend her time at Maclay working on building the performing arts program up, as she continues to balance her passion for the arts with her interest in Sports Medicine. She has found that the two connect in many ways, and her biggest goal for the future is to create strong, healthy performers, as well as encourage her younger students that there is no need to pick one career path to follow forever. 

“Five-year plans are of the past,” Seckel said. “Life is too short to settle on one thing and only focus on one passion when there’s multiple things that can make you passionate.”