I started dancing when I was four years old for the sole reason of dressing up and looking pretty in costumes and makeup. But as I got older, I stopped staring in the mirror and focused more on how dance made me feel. Dance became an extension of myself, and I've been dancing now for 17 years and I don't think I'll ever stop.
I started with Ann Witt School of Dance in Sutherland, VA where Ann practically became my second mom. She'd already known my family for years before I started dancing with her. Once I joined, I stayed through my sophomore year of college.
Dancing gave me the confidence I never knew I could have. I love learning a new move or combination, and if I struggle with it, I download the song to my phone and practice until I get it right. When I started off dancing, I took ballet, tap, and one jazz class. I stopped tapping when I was 7 and took jazz on and off. Ballet was my main love, and when I started middle school, I started taking pointe, and I never stopped.
I met the greatest people through dancing, and I am so happy to call most of them my friends or family for life. I have watched girls who watched me growing up grow into beautiful dancers. Now, I love working with the girls at my hometown studio when I go home. I plan to do that for spring break and spend time with people I haven't seen in a few months.
Dance gave me confidence that I will always carry with me. I have always been self-conscious about my weight, my skin, and some days are just bad days. But when I step into the studio, everything melts away and I'm left feeling such confidence that everything else seems irrelevant.
Dance changed my life, and it will continue to change my life. I will never stop dancing, even when I'm old and gray. I will always dance, no matter what.