1. How to do a smokey eye at age 12: Yes, that's right. You're in the presence of someone who learned how to do a smokey eye as a child. It really is a valued life-long skill. Fun story: the first time I did stage makeup, I had to re-apply the eyeshadow three times to get it dark enough for the blinding stage lights. Tough times as a 12-year-old.
2. A spoonful of honey makes the adrenaline go up: Before going on stage, my coach would always convince us that taking a "shot" of honey would help pump us up and all the sugar would get our adrenaline going. Even after all those years, I'm still not convinced it actually works. So I'll just stick to coffee.
3. How to do a full costume change in under 5 minutes: Not only in under 5 minutes, but also in a public place. That's right. One season I was in 10 dance numbers which were all in the same category which meant the least amount of time to get ready as possible. So I striped near-completely naked in the hallway of a high school performing arts center in the presence of many, many strangers. Definitely got over any fear of being naked in public, that's for sure.
4. Rac n Rolls may be the best thing ever invented: I strongly believe that everyone should get the experience of owning a travel clothes rack at least once in their life. If you're unfamiliar, simply put, it's a big suitcase that then transforms into a clothes rack. Pure magic.
5. People who enjoy conditioning classes are people you don't need in your life: I suffered through countless hours of conditioning classes in my 8 years of competitive dance. Yes, conditioning is an essential part of being able to look fabulous in the tiny piece of rhinestoned fabric they call a costume, but it's never fun. Never. You're either having a sports-induced asthma attack from too many burpees or you feel like you've destroyed every single muscle in your legs due to sitting in an over-split for too long. No sane person enjoys that.
6. How to be a leader: I was lucky enough to be either a leader-figure or captain of my competitive team, Kreative Kaos, for the last 4 years of my competitive career. I am the first to say that the first year was pretty rough. But as my career progressed, as the relationships amongst the members of the team evolved and matured, and as I began to understand what it really means to be a leader, I finally realized what had ben missing during that first year; respect. I became a better leader when I respected the views and talent of my team and when they respected me in the same way.
7. Dance is more than just choreography: Non-dancers see dance as a bunch of moves set to music. Dancers see dance as their outlet. Their safe place. Dance is something that is there to express how we feel without having to ever say a word. Dance is the most perfect mixture of athleticism and artistry that the Earth has ever seen. Dance seems easy from an outsider's perspective because good dancers make it look easy. It is our job to make the art look effortless. We put in so many hours at the studio to make it look effortless because we are taught to expect nothing short of greatness of ourselves.