Cherryville • North Carolina
This year, I feel as if I finally came into my element as a dancer. I performed a very emotional routine about the touchy subject of drug addiction. I personally have no experience with addiction, so when I began the dance, I was intimidated to say the least. The longer I rehearsed, the fonder I became of the dance. By competition season, I was so committed to portraying the emotional piece that I threw myself into it. Every run through during rehearsal was like a performance. My teacher pushed me to my limits, and I responded by doing everything I could to break through them.
After our competitions and recital, I received many comments telling me how well I danced. But that wasn't what struck me. What got me were the comments that I portrayed the story beautifully. They said that my performance was breathtaking and brought them to tears. They said it was powerful and executed beautifully. Dancing, just doing the steps, is simple. Performing is a battle. When my instructor and I started the routine, our goal was to bring the harsh reality of addiction to attention and touch someone's life. We did just that.
Most of the time, dance is about the steps. The pretty turns, high leaps, gorgeous turnout, and flawless technique. While all of that is important, I hold myself to an even higher standard of giving a beautiful performance. To me, if you can't perform and bring the dance to life, the dance means nothing. It is my goal to bring this concept alive to the young dancers I will teach next year at my studio. By passing this on, I may possibly inspire the next generation to dig deeper and find something within themselves that they may not have known was there, but will empower them for the rest of their lives.
Dancers, find your inner fire that's wrestling to be released. Let it out. It will take you to unknown, brilliant places.