A Hobby That Turned Into a Passion

August 17, 2013
By Mina B BRONZE, Closter, New Jersey
Mina B BRONZE, Closter, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Picture a tiny girl singing and dancing to a Barbie boom box that’s playing Barney songs. Then picture the same exuberant girl climbing on top of the dinner table and performing her favorite Britney Spears song. My mom decided that a dance studio would be a better place to dance than on top of the dinner table, and put my little energetic body into Creative Movement classes when I was three. I guess you could say I was a good dancer for a three year old, so my mom let me continue dancing.

After graduating from the Creative Movement class and taking more jazz classes, the studio directors invited me to audition for the competition company. All I remember from the audition is exclaiming, “Hi, I am seven years old and I love to dance!” and being able to do all of my splits.

Being on the competition team meant that I would be at the studio numerous times a week and I would be competing in competitions five times a year. I started off taking jazz, ballet, and contemporary classes each one a different day of the week. As I moved up into the more advanced companies, four-hour rehearsals on Saturdays and tap and pointe classes crept their way into my schedule. When eighth grade came along, I found myself placed in the highest company and at the studio for 30 hours a week.

What I didn’t know when I was seven was that dance would teach me things that I didn’t learn at school. I learned how to be committed. Being on the competition team was a yearlong commitment; we started at the end of August and stopped at the beginning of the next July. I traded hanging out with my school friends and birthday parties for rehearsing at the studio and preparing for competitions.

But then came the October of my freshman year of high school. During a jazz class one day, I fully tore my ACL with just a single movement, which required surgery and an eight month recovery. Not only did that mean I could not compete that season, but also that my commitment to the team would be put to the test. Of course I passed that test with flying colors; I came to rehearsals and EVERY competition to watch and cheer my girls on and even worked backstage at the recital. Even though it killed me inside not being on the stage with my team, just being there with them almost satisfied the void of not performing.

Dance also taught me determination. I learned that that there is always someone out there who is better than you. Even though I loved my dance friends with all my heart, I still had to make myself stand out next to them in class. But, you can’t always get what you want even if you try your hardest. There was something at my studio called “elite auditions” which were tryouts for the special small groups. Even if you were determined to get into the small groups, you might not get chosen for them. Inside and out of the elite dances, everyone was always secretly competing for that spot front-and-center, and if you didn’t get it, it would just make you try harder.

Dance was a hobby that became my passion; without it, my identity would be incomplete. Now that I will be done competing with my team at the end of senior year, I plan on helping other dancers by becoming a physical therapist. Just because I can’t dance at my studio anymore, doesn’t mean I will stop my life from being revolved around dance.

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