To The Dance Studio That Taught Me More Than Dance Lessons

To The Dance Studio That Taught Me More Than Dance Lessons

Five, six, seven, eight...
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As a little girl, I peeked through the windows watching the older girls in ballet class. I looked up at the stage waiting for the day I could dance my senior solo. As much as I loved dancing, I wanted nothing more than to take my final bow. Now, I wish I could go back to that day and relive it a million times. They always say, "You don't know what you've got till it's gone," and I understand that all too well now. I didn’t realize what an impact my studio had on my life until I graduated.

My feet are permanently stuck in a pointe. I stand in first and fifth position without even realizing it. I walk on my tippy toes day in and day out. I have a dance choreographed in my head for every song that plays on the radio. I still bend my feet and crack my toes when I get nervous. I casually stick my foot out in tandu position when waiting in line.

My dance teachers were my family. They were always going to be there. They pushed me. When I first came to this studio, I was a really shy, awkward high school student who was scared to try anything and scared to speak up. I can thank dance for changing all that. Dance brought me out of my shell. It taught me how to perform in front of people, which helped in social settings. It taught me a smile was a girl’s best feature. Now, I’m known as the girl who’s always smiling or laughing. My dance teachers helped me with everything. When I say everything I mean absolutely anything I needed help with. Whether it was dance related or not, I could always count on them for some advice.

The girls I danced with were my family. They were friends when I didn’t have anyone else. I could always count on them and trust them, no matter what. They saw so much good in me and knew me better than I even knew myself at times. Most importantly, they pushed me to be the best version of myself. I was not only inspired by them while watching them dance, but seeing the hard work they put into school inspired me to be better.

Most people are lucky enough to say they grew up at the studio. I was different. I joined my studio during my sophomore year of high school. Before I knew it, I was hanging out with the girls outside of dance on the weekends, and hanging out in the sewing room with the teachers while waiting for my ride to pick me up. I felt like I did grow up here. I found myself here. This is where I was meant to be. Right away, this studio felt like home to me. Shortly after, I didn’t feel like the “new girl” anymore. I felt like I found my best friends right away.

There is absolutely no way in the world I would have become the dancer I am today if it wasn’t for each and every person at the studio, so thank you. When I see others dance, I see a beautiful story being told. I learned to dance like no one’s watching. I learned that if you do it full out, it looks better.

Dance is not only a way to express yourself and your feelings, but is a way to connect to people that absentmindedly become your best friends without you even knowing it. For some reason performing on stage together brings you closer than ever. Those late Thursday night practices along with those early morning Saturday rehearsals bring you so much closer to the people you never knew meant so much to you.

The special thing about dance isn’t how many cute costumes you own, how many trophies or medals you win, how many pirouettes you can do without falling; it’s about the people who shaped you into the person you are now. For me, those are all the teachers, dance moms, old girls, and younger girls… The ones I spent every week with.

It got to the point where I would come hang out at the studio after school even if I didn’t have practice. I came so I could see the people that mean the most to me. I came because I wanted to be surrounded by the people that love and support me. I came because I wanted to love and support them. Whether I was helping by picking up Starbucks for everyone or if I was helping organize the fabric room, I wouldn’t have wanted to spend any of those days doing something different.

Spending countless days and countless hours at the dance studio mindlessly becomes a huge part of your life. It felt like, in the blink of an eye, I went from falling on my face in the closing number, to performing my senior solo at recital, all around the same people I started with. Before you know it you’re competing your last senior solo, last duet, last trio, it’s your last everything.

The people at the studio become a part of your life; the teachers, the young girls, the recreation kids, and even the moms and the girls you dance with. Not only did I find my best friends, I found my second home. Watching my best friends graduate the year before me was so hard. I now understand what they meant when they said, “I can’t explain how much these girls mean to me.”
Even if I was having the worst day of my life, coming to the studio made me forget about it; all my worries were put on hold for the time being. All these reasons I loved coming to the studio, made dancing in the studio mean even more to me. They taught me to live by the beat of life.

The studio was the hardest thing to say goodbye to when it was time to go off to college. Now when I come home and visit, I’m not wearing my leotard and spandex getting ready to dance, I’m just watching. Maybe every now and then I’ll participate in across the floor or Saturday tumbling, but it’s still not the same. Although, when I come back to visit, the overwhelming amount of love and passion from all the teachers and moms makes me grateful to even have these people in my life. You forget about the fact you don’t get to spend every day of the week with them, you forget that you miss out on the hilarious moments at practice, you forget that you aren’t in the group chats anymore. There’s always a part of you that will remember them as your best friends, no matter what life throws at you.

Throughout the years we have built a bond that is unbreakable and indescribable. When my dance career came to an end, I honestly did not think it would be as hard as it was to say goodbye to all of you. Walking that stage to give my senior speech at recital, still, to this day, plays in my head. I miss every second of it. Even though we are all slowly going off in our own directions, I can only hope that one day our paths will cross again.

I miss how a few days away from each other felt like weeks.

I miss breaking out in the hip hop dance we learned the night before, whenever the song would play, no matter where we were.

I miss wearing matching T-shirts at competitions.

I miss the false eyelashes and lip-stain.

I miss frantically running around in the dressing room, all trying to get dressed in time for our next number.

I miss sitting backstage watching everyone from the side of the competition stage watching the girls perform their hearts out.

I miss the uncontrollable laughs that lead to wet pants and teary eyes.

I miss conditioning. I miss how we don’t get to spend endless nights in the studio together. I miss going away to competitions and not only enjoying dance but enjoying each other.

Thanks for helping me discover who I really am in this crazy world and thank you for being you. There was never a time I felt I couldn’t be myself. You all accepted me for the goofball I was, and still am. You guys have been with me at my absolute best and at my absolute worst. Thanks to dance, you guys have seen me the way the people I went to high school with never did.

I love you all and I don’t know where I would be without any of you. Thanks for everything.

There are so many things I could thank my dance teachers for and so many things I haven’t had the chance to. Even as an alumni, I know I will always have a place there. Thank you for teaching me what drive and ambition is. Thank you for teaching me to follow my dreams. Thank you for teaching me structure and to follow directions. Thank you for teaching me about art and creativity. Thanks for teaching me about life.

Dance was more than tap, jazz, ballet, and hip hop. It was about so much more. Every action in my life will be a constant eight count, and every action I take from now on will grow me into a better person, just like my dance studio did.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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9 Eligible Princes You Need To Know About Now That Prince Harry Is Off The Market

You too could have a Meghan Markle fairytale
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Prince Harry's royal wedding is officially over and there won't be another British royal wedding for quite some time now, as Prince George is way too young to start thinking about that. Fortunately, there are plenty of other countries with plenty of other princes that are still eligible bachelors at the moment. Lucky for you, I did my research and compiled a list of all the eligible princes you need to know about know that Prince Harry has tied the knot with Meghan Markle.

1. Prince Louis of Luxembourg (31)

Prince Louis is the third son of the Grand Duke Henri and Duchess Maria Theresa of Luxembourg. He has recently become a bachelor again after his separation with his wife of 10 years, Princess Tessy.

Fun Fact: He graduated from Richmond, The American International University of London with a BA in Communications. He can also speak Luxembourgish (the fact that's even a language is fun fact by itself), French, German, and English fluently.

2. Prince Sebastien of Luxembourg (26)

Prince Sebastien is the youngest child of the Grand Duke Henri and Duchess Maria Theresa of Luxembourg, so if you marry him, you'll probably never actually be queen because he's pretty far removed from the throne. However, he's relatively young and single, so best of luck.

Fun Fact: For some bizarre reason, this prince actually went to college in Ohio. He played rugby and graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2015. Now, he is back in his home country and is an officer in the Luxembourg Army.

3. Prince Phillipos of Greece and Denmark (34)

You read that correctly, Prince Phillipos is the prince of not one, but two countries. He is the youngest son of King Constantine and Queen Anne Marie of Greece and Denmark. Unfortunately, Greece abolished their monarchy, so he's a prince in name only there.

Fun Fact: Like Prince Sebastien, Prince Phillipos also went to college in the United States. He earned his B.A. in foreign relations from Georgetown University in 2008. Fortunately, for us American girls, he is actually still living in the US and he works in New York City as an analyst at Ortelius Capital.

4. Prince Albert of Thurn and Taxis (34)

Ever heard of Thurn and Taxis? No? Me neither. Anyways, Prince Albert is from the House of Thurn and Taxis, which is essentially a very old German aristocratic family. He is the son of Prince Johannes XI of Thurn and Taxis and Countess Gloria of Schonburg Glauchau. His family is well known for their breweries and castles, so unless you're gluten-free, you can't really complain.

Fun Fact: He's not just a prince. He's also a racecar driver and 10 years ago he was ranked 11th on Forbes Magazine's List of The 20 Hottest Young Royals.

5. Prince Mateen of Brunei (26)

Prince Mateen is basically like all the guys you already know, except he's royalty. He's the prince of Brunei, which is a small country on the island of Borneo, south of Vietnam. He is one of the five sons of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, and he also has seven sisters. Maybe that's a little different than the guys you know, but one thing he takes very seriously, just like most frat guys, is his Instagram.

Fun Fact: Mateen enjoys playing polo, flying in his private plane, cuddling cute wild animals, and keeping up his Insta game with 890k followers. You can follow him @tmski.

6. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai (35)

Sheikh Hamdan also has a killer Instagram with 6.3 million followers. Anyways, Sheikh Hamdan is the billionaire crown prince of Dubai and the second son of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is the prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and essentially the king of Dubai (Emir). He's actually next in line for the throne because his older brother died in 2015.

Fun Fact: Hamdan's hobbies include skydiving, zip lining, and diving, just to name a few, so if you're an adrenaline junkie, Sheikh Hamdan is the prince for you.

7. Prince Hussein of Jordan (23)

Prince Hussain is the son of the extremely beautiful, Queen Rania and Abdullah II of Jordan and next in line for the Jordanian throne. At 23, he's already a second lieutenant in the Jordanian Armed Forces and he was the youngest person ever to chair a UN Security Council Meeting


Fun Fact: Like Prince Phillippos, Prince Hussain also graduated from Georgetown University in Washington D.C.. Also, like Prince Mateen and Prince Hamdan, he's Insta famous with 1.3 million followers and you can follow him @alhusseinjo.

8. Prince Constantine-Alexios of Greece and Denmark (19)

Like Prince Phillipos, Prince Constantine-Alexios also has two countries. Lucky for us though, he is also living in the US right now attending Georgetown University in Washington D.C. (like pretty much every other prince, amirite?) He is the oldest son of Crown Princess Marie-Chantal and Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece.

Fun Fact: He's Prince William's godson, so that's pretty neat. However, if that wasn't cool enough, you might like to know that this Greek/Danish prince was actually born in New York. Oh yeah, you can also follow him on Instagram @alexiosgreece where he has 88.7k followers.

9. Prince Joachim of Belgium (26)

Prince Joachim of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este is the third child of Lorenz, Archduke of Austria-Este and Princess Astrid of Belgium. Although he bears the title, "Prince of Belgium," he is also Archduke of Austria-Este, Prince Royal of Hungary and Bohemia, and Prince of Modena. Unfortunately, he'll probably never actually be king in any of these countries as he is ninth in line to the Belgian throne.

Fun Fact: Prince Joachim has degrees in economics, management, and finance, but he decided to join the Nautical School in Brugge after completing college and is currently an officer in the Belgian Navy.

Hope is not lost for all you girls dreaming of finding a Prince Charming that's literally a prince. After reviewing the data, my best advice is to transfer to Georgetown where princes are basically around every corner.

Cover Image Credit: @meghantheduchessofsussexstyle/Instagram

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