Ever since I was little all I can remember is how I always wanted to be a dancer. And when I was in second grade my dream came true and my mom put me in Just For Kix. And my love for the sport has grown stronger ever since. I have always loved the quote “dance like no one is watching” because when you dance you do not see the audience or the judges all you see is your teammates and all you hear is the music. Dance is something I love and always will, it is something that has and will be part of my life. Dance is my passion.
When I went to my first day of dance practice I knew I had found the sport I was meant to be in. My coach made practice enjoyable and I always looked forward to going. In second grade I remember learning all the fundamentals of dance and how I would practice for hours on end at home. Dance is about flowing from one movement to the next. In the beginning of dance you just learn how important it is to have a pointed to because flexed feet are very ugly, you also learn that you have to be very sharp with you movements so people can tell what you are doing.
Some other fundamentals we worked on where posture you have a straight back it just looks better and we learned on moves like turns and kicks. I learned how to just lose myself in the music and just let my body take over. In dance you do not have to think as much as you have to just go with the flow of the music. The more you let yourself just go with the music the better you will look out on the dance floor and the more you will dance as a team instead of individually. JFK just taught me that dance is a place you can be yourself and not worry about school or any other drama.
And I made friends that became some of my closest friends throughout elementary school and high school. Then after JFK came middle school dance team. I remember that the first day of practice scared me. We were doing things I never had even heard of before and the coaches were amazing dancers themselves and the really intimidated me. But the one thing I could rely on was that I loved dance and I knew that I was learning something new every day that would just make me a better dancer in the end. We would practice two hours a day, five days a week and I never realized how much they were preparing me for the varsity dance team.
They taught us skills we would need to try out for the varsity squad. Things like Russians where you jump and do the splits in the air or an eclipso where you turn twice and then kick one leg out around you like a fan and then the other follows behind bent at the knee behind your body. But dance once again was my favorite part of everyday; all my best friends were there. And I remember how excited we were when we were all in the front row together. We made practice fun and hung out on the weekends to practice and to just have a good time.
I remember the first time we performed a routine at a high school basketball game. At that time it was the best thing that I had ever experienced. But after middle school dance was over then came trying out for the Moorhead Highlights dance team. Try outs were a week long and were most defiantly the most nerve wracking experience of my dance career. I mean the captains of the team were teaching us a routine that was the most difficult routine I had ever danced in my life. Finally came Friday, the day we found out if we had made the team or not.
But the positive is that all of us got to try out together. I messes up, but I can say that it was fun and I had a smile on my face the whole time. And in dance having a smile on your face the whole time is one of the most important things you can do because it makes it look like your enjoying what you’re doing. And the good thing was all five us made the team one of my friends was so excited she cried. I would have to say that making the team was one of the highlights to my high school career. The highlights became my second family after being with everyone for four years.
The Moorhead highlights were my life during high school. I could go to school and have the worst day but when I went to practice I know I would have a good practice. Everyone says dance is not a sport but I can guarantee you would think dance was a sport after spending a day with us and seeing everything we have to go through in order to be ready for competition on the weekends. And besides just being athletic in dance you have to have a great since of beat so you do your moves on the correct counts and an excellent memory to learn all of our routines in a week.
Dance is defiantly harder then what it looks like. I can say we all dreaded practice but at the same time we absolutely loved it. We would start practice of by running two miles, doing a stair work out or running jog sprints. Then we would stretch which was a great time for team bonding. Stretching is an important part of dance. Stretching helps you kick high and leap gracefully and properly and it is also important because it keeps you from getting injured like pulling a muscle. Then was everyone’s most dreaded part of practice. Center floor kicks an across the floor kicks.
We would kick constantly for thirty minutes some days. It may not seem that hard bet let me tell you it is very difficult to continually kick as high as you can with a perfectly pointed toe and a straight back and sometimes having a coach yelling in your ear to do it better or faster. After all the hard stuff came the best part of practice. Practicing our competitive routines. I mean some days our coaches would threaten us and say that we looked so bad that they did not even want to put us out on the floor but that only made us work harder to prove them wrong.
We would run them over and over until we were sick of them. But it was my favorite part because I knew it was getting us ready for competition on the weekends. And then after everything we go through together we become one big messed up but happy family that I couldn’t help but love. We laughed together and we cried together. The competition floor. We walk out of our room and into the shoot. We get in a circle put our left foot in the center and our coaches give us a speech that get us ready to dance our hearts out then it is our captain’s turn to give their speeches.
Then we cheer, we cheer to get our adrenaline pumping and just get our blood pumping. Then you hear the crowd cheering for the team that was performing before you and we line up in our first formation and all of a sudden you just get a rush of butterflies. And then the announcer says on deck is the Moorhead Highlights. We walk out onto the floor straight backs and our arms clean at our sides. We get to the center of the floor line up and someone says 5, 6, 7, 8 and you know to prepare for the music to start.
And then comes the time to show what you have been working so hard on. The music starts and all of a sudden you lose yourself in the music all you can see is your teammates and their smiles. You just have fun together and move as one to create an art form for the audience to see. You keep a huge smile on your face and it’s not a fake one because you are having the best time of your life. And when the hard parts of the routine come our coaches would stand up and scream for us to do it right and if we did our one coach would start crying and we know we did our job perfect.
And when the music stops you cannot help but smile because you know you did what you had leave it all on the floor for everyone to say. I would have to say there is no feeling like the one of dancing on the competition floor. Dance is an art form and a sport all in one. You have to have passion to do what you have to do, you have to be dedicated to your team in order to dance like a school of fish. Dance was the high light of my younger years. It was always something to look forward to no matter what was going on in my life. My dance family was always there for me. I would relive those years just for dance.
Courtney from Study Moose
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