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By , Oshkosh, WI
I could still feel the excitement ripple through me like it did on that day we won first place just like it was yesterday.

“Five! Six! Seven! Eight!” I freeze into my position, listening quietly.

The sound of the music pounded in my ears; I brought my hands clutching to my poms up to my chest as I went on my tippy toes, bringing my hands down and straight out to my sides. My legs bent and I pushed off the grippy floor and soared high into the air. After landing the toe touch; I prepped for the double turn. Stepping out with my arms in a L shape, my left arm straight in front of me and my right to the side, I brought my feet to my knee, and my arms close to my chest. Twirling my dress like a ballerina on an axle, my vision blurred as the world started spinning.

As I halted myself to a stop, the rhythm of the beat slowly died down ending the upbeat song. My right leg slid out in front of me on the waxed floor with my left behind. My poms rustled wildly in the air as I did the splits. The cheering screams and shouts of the crowd filled the air as if we were a basketball team that just won the championship for the school. We all got up in sync smiling so hard, our faces hurt. We walked back towards the velvet curtains, smiling like maniacs.

We waited and waited for the big announcement to come. Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock went the clock; seconds, minutes and an hour passed by. We sat there on the glossy gym floor; twiddling our thumbs, or twirling a strand of hair with a finger. About 20 minutes later; a smiling middle-aged woman with a silky white top and black dress pants wobbled onto the little black stage. Everybody’s attention drew towards her like a predator does when their waiting to pounce on their prey. She started listing off the first, second, and third places with her funny country accent. We all sat in a circle holding hands, just staring at her in unison and crossing our fingers, hoping to hear our name.
“And the first place winners of the JV Kick Division are…” She paused for a moment and I looked around at the girls on my dance team at their worried faces. “…The Oshkosh Dance Team!” We all cheered and screamed, the excitement bursting through our mouths while we jumped with joy and hugged each other in midair as we all walked up onto that tiny wooden stage. Barely fitting us, we lined up and each accepted the gold Wisconsin shaped necklace with first place JV Kick Division imprinted on it.

On the bus ride, everyone talked and chatted about the gold necklace we won while I just sat there and smiled all the way home. I’m proud of myself and my dance team for winning first place. I actually felt good at something for once. Even if I wasn't that smart in math, didn't understand all the chemical reactions in science, wasn't interested in learning about history or wasn't that good at writing essays. I loved the adrenaline rush of my blood pumping through my veins and the amazing feeling of performing in front of a crowd. I was proud of myself; I was a winner even if I only had one first place award.



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