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Success Stories
My Dance Story
By idancetoexpress Comments: 2, member since Thu Jan 02, 2014
On Sun Jun 22, 2014 07:52 PM
Edited by idancetoexpress (263816) on 2014-06-22 19:53:09
Edited by idancetoexpress (263816) on 2014-06-22 19:53:27

So I recently entered a dance scholarship essay for my dance school and this was my entry. I'm posting for anyone who feels like they aren't good enough to be a dancer.

What Dance Means to Me?
Dance goes beyond something that I love. It is a way for me to express myself, and release any pain or joy. When I dance I enter a zone, everything else disappears and I just go through the movements, transitioning from one into the next, letting anything I am feeling free, whether it is through a smile or frown.

To say dance comes easy to me is a lie. It is one of the most challenging things I face. When I was five I was diagnosed with hypotonia, which is a state of severe decreased muscle tone. My strength and coordination tested in the fifth percentile in muscle mass in kindergarten. As I was taking dance class, I was also attending physical therapy. dance class was a struggle. As most of the girls beside me got their splits and turns and jumps, I was having trouble just keeping my balance. I convinced myself that I was not dancer nor would I ever be and focused my attention on theatre. At age 12 I was invited to take a ballet technique class at a new studio. I fell in love with dance all over again, perhaps even more than before. I soon joined the house recreational class. I no doubt struggled and had classes where I felt completely frustrated with myself because I could not do the skills that came so easy to the others. The summer after my first recital with my new studio, I spent every day working at dance. I watched any youtube video I could find of dancers and tutorials, I read as many articles as I could on how to improve your technique. I had my 12 year old sister that was gymnast teach me crazy stretches to get my splits and I worked on any trick I could learn. I spent hours conditioning and stretching and practicing so I could get to the same level as all the other girls. I came back to class planning to blow everyone away. And for a while, I did just that. My teacher was so impressed with my dedication and the other girls were constantly commenting on my improvement. Then I got sick. In February of 2012, I passed out at my local mall, and was sent to the doctors. I was diagnosed with an eating disorder caused by severe anxiety. Anxiety seemed to be in control for most of my life. When I entered high school, my anxiety increased drastically and as a direct result, my eating and weight suffered tremendously. I weighed 77 pounds and was at risk of going into cardiac arrest when I was admitted to Hasbro Hospital for malnourishment. I underwent intense treatment to regain control of my body. The news I was most concerned with, however, was that I was not allowed to participate in any physical activity until I was at a healthy weight. This included dance. I was crushed. I worked so hard at dance and it meant the world to me. Even though I could not dance, I attended every class and just watched. I spent what should have been my recital in the hospital. I promised that I would get better and dance, and I did. I spent my summer in treatment with one goal; to be healthy enough to dance by the end of that summer. By the end of the summer I was back to taking class and performing in shows. I recovered. Now I faced the obstacle of dancing with a new body. I had gained over 30 pounds and was felt like I was starting from square one. I was frustrated, but going through my ordeal allowed my to gain a new talent. I was able to channel all my feelings into my dancing. I went to class with a new found appreciation for what I did. Unfortunately my studio closed that year. My dance teacher strongly recommended Smiths Dance Studio, and this fall I began class. Once again I found myself years behind the girls in certain aspects of dance. I suddenly was doing steps and styles of dance that I never even attempted to do before. However Kim and Jessica have been incredible teachers to me and the girls in both the Junior and Senior company have been extremely patient.
I love dance. I love it because it allows me to share a bond with my little sister, because it is something that I can constantly work at, and because it allows me to remember my past, enjoy the present, and look to the future. Has dance changed my life? Yes, it helped save my life and constantly gives me hope. It is because of it that I know, no matter how cliche it sounds, that nothing is impossible, because if I could overcome all my struggles and still dance each week at Smiths, loving what I do, than I can do practically anything I set my mind to.

2 Replies to My Dance Story

re: My Dance Story
By Aurore Comments: 328, member since Sat Nov 04, 2006
On Sun Jul 20, 2014 04:58 AM
What a beautiful story! your strength and resiliency are very inspiring :) good luck with the scholarship and keep us updated on how it went!
re: My Dance Story
By hummingbird Comments: 10419, member since Mon Apr 18, 2005
On Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:11 AM
Thank you for sharing your story with us, it's very inspiring.