Video by the amazing: Sidney Shanelle Studios
Dance is my life. I eat, sleep, and breathe it. I have since before I can remember. To give you a little background, I started dancing when I was three years old in a small basement studio. My older sister was a dancer and I aspired to be just like her, in every aspect of life actually. I soon outgrew this little studio and my mom started me at what would be my second home for the next 16 years – The Dance Club. I started with Jazz, Ballet, and a tap class (which I hated at the time). Within a few years I jumped up to a team and started competing. This is when I started to take it more seriously. At 7 years old I was crying because I didn’t get a solo part or because I didn’t get to be front and center, haha (I’m 5’11 now, so you can imagine I was always pretty tall). Anyways, I won’t bore you with my life story but, after a few years I finally made the highest team, Company. I had worked so hard and couldn’t believe I had made it. For the next 7 years I lived at the studio. 2-10 everyday. I left straight from school, danced all day, went straight home to finish all my homework until about 2 am every night (I was a straight A student and my parents were troopers). I’ll be honest though, I was never the best one on my team, but man, I worked my butt off every single day because I wanted it, I wanted to be the best! I went to extra classes, took privates, spent extra hours trying to be the best I could possibly be. I traveled all over the place trying to get an “Outstanding Dancer” Scholarship – which I finally did.
Once I graduated High School, I got into BYU and auditioned for the highly prestigious, 16 time national champion dance team, Cougarettes. I was crazy skinny, tall, and frankly kind of awkward (as a dancer) and well, I didn’t make it. I was CRUSHED. My dream had fallen through. At the time, I thought nothing in the world could be so horrible. But, I swallowed my pride and spent my freshman year taking TONS of extra classes – ballet, jazz, pointe, ballet privates, adult classes, classes with my old company. I was determined that if I worked my absolute hardest and gave it everything I had (in all aspects of my life) that this would happen for me. And guess what?! It did!!! I made the team that next year and loved every second of it (despite my coach being brutally mean to me). The friends that I made will last a lifetime and the experiences had will shape me for the rest of my life. I then did the BYU Contemporary Company for a year and toured Southern California performing all over the place. Honestly, that’s when I realized how much I needed dance in my life. I had just broken up with someone and felt my heart had broken into a million pieces, Cougarettes didn’t go quite as I had planned, life was no where near where I had “planned” it to be (is it ever?) but, when I danced, everything felt right again. As dramatic as this is, I know I was born to be on that stage. I live for it. I feel whole and happy when I am dancing. It’s a feeling I can’t begin to describe. It’s the place I can be most vulnerable and free. I seriously love it!
Okay, this is not to brag or be overly conceited or even dramatic, this is to tell each and every single one of you.. YOU CAN DO whatever you set your mind to. You can accomplish anything. When I watch this video, honestly, I am just so proud of myself. I’m so proud of how far I have come, and the battles I have faced to get here, yes I still have so much work to do, but for me, I am happy with where I am at. I have worked SO hard to get to this point. Like I said, I was never the best at my studio or even on Cougarettes, but, through hard work, consistent effort, the help of my teachers, parents, sister, and my Heavenly Father, I have achieved so many goals. So, to the girl who thinks she isn’t good enough or the person who thinks they can’t achieve a goal, I’m here to tell you, YOU CAN!!! You are good enough, you are smart enough, talented enough, YOU are enough, and you can accomplish anything! As the company I work for says, “The harder we work, the luckier we get”.
I love you all. I love my life. I love dance.