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Making the Coach Proud
Sitting on the gymnasium floor I could hear the roar of the crowd. One of my teammates jumped up, and the rest of us followed. We were all screaming and hugging each other. At that moment I was more excited than I had ever been.
My sophomore year of high school my dance team went to a competition in Brainerd. Walking into the Brainerd High School I felt my muscles tense. Loud music came from the gym where other teams were performing. Going through the hallways to my practice spot, I noticed many bags lining the walls. The smell of hairspray filled the air. I heard joy in the voices coming from the dancers all around me.
As I walked past other teams on the way to my team, I was filled with nerves. Everyone was working their hardest on their dances. Sharp movements, pointed toes, heads up, and don’t forget facials.
When I finally made it to the small area where my team would meet and practice, I saw my coach. Coach Kate is one of the happiest people I know. She always has a smile on her face. Seeing her calmed my nervous almost instantly. I wanted my team to win this competition for her.
My team and I finished getting ready. Everyone's hair was up in a perfect bun, lots of makeup on and dressed and ready to go. We stretched out our legs more than ever before. Then it was time for us to practice. This was very hard however. We were in a small room with tables and two columns towards the center of the room. After the first time running through the dance, we were already frustrated. We had to try to do our routine without running into tables, walls, or other people. We couldn’t do our dance in our correct places or even do some of the correct moves since we were limited on space. We were also practicing on carpet, and we were used to practicing on a gym floor. I began to worry we wouldn't even have a chance at placing.
After practicing a few times and not having it work in our favor, we decided to go line up to perform. Waiting in the narrow hallway brought back my nerves. Many questions began running through my head. What if I didn't stretch enough? What if I forget to do facials or point my toes? What if I mess up one of the kicks? I feared we wouldn't do very well, especially since our practice didn't go good. We were all bouncing around trying to get the nerves out. I felt as though someone was taking my insides and twisting them into a knot.
“Park Rapids is in the hole,” the announcer called. Hearing this made my whole body tense. Kate always told us not to watch the other teams perform, for it would just make us more nervous. I wasn't worried about watching them though. I was more worried about trying to get my body to stop shaking. The other teams song ended and I knew we were about to head out to the floor. “Good luck ladies,” whispered the lady sending us in.
We walked out onto the floor with our heads held high and big smiles on our faces. That was it. Our one chance to show the judges how good we were. We took our spots and waited for the music to start.
When our song started we all began the dance. We were perfectly in sync. All our movements were sharp, and huge smiles filled our faces. As we began doing our kicks, I could feel my throat begin to sting. As the music ended and we hit our final pose perfectly, we all took a huge breath. It was as if we had been holding it the whole time. The audience was cheering loudly. We walked out of the gym and met Kate. She had tears in her eyes. She told us how good we did and how proud she was of each of us. I was also very proud of not only my team but as also myself. I knew how much work I had put into the dance, and it was all worth it.
We made our way back out onto the gym floor and sat down. The announcer called the second place team. It wasn't us. He would next announce first place. My team was sitting in a circle holding hands; left hand over right, our arms crossed over our bodies.
“And in first place,” the announcer paused. I was so nervous. I squeezed my teammates’ hands even harder. “Drum roll please.” the sound of hands hitting the gym floor, and feet stomping in the bleachers filled the gym. “Park Rapids!” I couldn’t believe it! We won! Everyone was clapping and screaming. We all jumped around and hugged one another. We had done it for Coach Kate. Every ounce of hard work I had put into that dance was worth making her proud.