I met Laife Janovyak this week and found out we have something in common. We both have a passion for hats. Hers was a black one that fit closely to her head and it was charming.
Laife is a senior and the second oldest of five daughters living in Indian Village. Her older sister, Emily, was married last year and lives in Scotland. They moved here from Norwalk, Ohio after the unexpected death of their father. Friends here asked them to come to Fort Wayne.
Laife also has a passion for music and the theater. She plays the flute. Their parents emphasized the need for all the girls to take music lessons and all of them play different instruments. Their father was a jazz drummer and played around the Norwalk area.
The family of girls is home-schooled. Mother Jane works at Taylor University in the library but sets up the curriculum for them. It’s up to Laife to help the girls with any problems they have and. keep everyone on schedule. She’s the family chauffer, seeing to it that everyone gets to music lessons, etc.
Laife is involved with the Fort Wayne Dance Collective. She was given a one-year position with this touring company. In addition to dancing, reading books is encouraged and many times they dramatize the stories as someone narrates. It has met with a great deal of success and she is gone almost every weekend with this group. Programs are done in schools and clubs and they travel frequently to Indianapolis. One of her favorite stories is ” Princess Smarty Pants”. Creating images for Haiku poetry is challenging and interesting.
Laife is also involved with the Youth Theater. She received a scholarship that has greatly helped her with the cost.
Besides that group, she has performed at IPFW Theater in “Bye Bye Birdie.” At First Presbyterian Theater, she performed in “Midsummer Night’s Dream”. In that play, they were allowed to have the script beforehand, which is unusual because of the old English language. Her sister Charlotte, aged twelve, was also involved. “It was really fun to have my sister with me.” The setting of that play was in the 60’s. In “Dial M for Murder,” performed at the Arena Theater, her job was different. She was stage manager. “That was really hard. I was supposed to know everything and be everywhere. It really kept me busy.”
I asked her to name her favorite roles. She liked the musical “Yankee Doodle” in which she played the part of Molly Pitcher.
She also works at housecleaning two hours a week.
She is also taking fencing along with her sister Charlotte. The Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department sponsor this program.
All the girls lead busy lives. Charlotte and younger sister Dorothy deliver the Waynedale News in Indian Village.
Laife hasn’t decided where she will go to College later this year but she definitely will be majoring in drama and music or history.
Meantime, she is saving her money so she can visit her older sister in Scotland this summer.
I asked her how she would feel going away to college. “It will not be easy to leave my family because they mean everything to me but I feel I will need to go a little ways away. It will probably be a college in Ohio.”
I asked who would take her place organizing all the things that were done at home because these girls take care of the house and prepare meals. She knows sister Helen is capable and will do a good job.
I asked her if there was anything else she wanted to talk about and she said she needed to get home to bake bread for the family. “My family thinks that my bread is the best and can’t seem to get along without it.”
I wished her the best in all she’s involved in and I have a feeling we will hear about this talented young woman again.