My Dance Teachers Have Become My Mentors And Best Friends

My Dance Teachers Were More Than Just Teachers, They're My Mentors And Friends

My dance teachers not only taught me how to dance and helped me better my technique; they changed my life.


I started dancing at the age of two and by the time I was ten years old, I was at the studio five or more days of the week. Every day I would come home from school, get into my dance clothes, and go to class, sometimes for three or four hours. And I absolutely loved it. Even when I was tired and sore and didn't feel like going, I would always feel so much better once I got there and started moving.

Dance has always been my passion and I know my great teachers influenced me in a way no one else could. I grew up under the same studio director for most of my life and had most of the same teachers, too. In some cases, I watched these girls dance at my studio and when they graduated, they came back to teach and I could finally learn from the women I spent years looking up to.

All of these women guided me throughout my dance education. They taught me proper technique, created beautiful pieces for us to work on and perform, and were always there to give me criticism but also to support me. By my senior year of high school, I had grown so used to seeing these women every week and talking to them about more than just dance. They had become my friends.

I would like to take some time now to thank them for all they have done for me.

Ms. Toni, thank you for providing such an amazing studio for me to dance at and making it feel like a family. I am so incredibly grateful for all the hard work you did for us.

Miss Rebecca, thank you for being the very first influence of my dance education and for being part of the reason I fell in love with it. Your tough love showed me how much you care about us and how much you wanted us to succeed, and I love you for that.

Miss Danielle, thank you for being there for me since I was literally nine years old and teaching me so much about dance and life. You could always make me smile even when I felt down and I still feel like I could talk to you about anything and you will always care. Not to mention being so incredibly inspiring as a beautiful dancer and human being, as well.

Miss Kelsey (weird because I never call you Miss), you really have grown to be one of my best friends, even though it's not a conventional friendship. You have taught me so much about dance, work ethic, and passion. I know you are always there for me and even though I'm a former (and still kinda a current) student, I am always here for you too.

These are just a few of the amazing teachers I have had over the years. I am grateful for each and every one of them.

Dance has taught me what it means to work hard for something you love and how to be a strong, independent woman. These women have influenced me to be healthy and strong, to work so hard for my dreams, and to care wholeheartedly about the people around me.

You have given me more than I could ever imagine and I will never stop looking up to you. Thank you.

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ASU Students Push For A Healthier Dining Hall To Counter 'Freshman 15' Fears

The freshman 15 is an avoidable curse, but many students will continue to follow into its trap.


Arizona State University students are pushing for change within the downtown Phoenix dining hall as they strive to avoid the infamous freshman 15.

The downtown Phoenix campus offers fewer dining options than the Tempe campus and has a less appetizing dining hall. The freshman 15 is a common scare among students living in the dorms, who are often freshman.

The freshman 15 is defined as a student who gains 15 pounds or more in their first year of college. Studies prove the average freshman does not exercise the right amount, is sleep deprived, has a poor diet, increases their stress level, alcohol consumption, and fatty food intake, which is most likely causing their weight gain.

Lauren Hernandez

Daniella Rudoy, a journalism major and fitness instructor at the SDFC, relived her freshman year as she provided tips for incoming freshman.

"There are a lot of workouts you can do in your dorm room as long as you have access to YouTube or a floor. You can go on a run, a walk, or do exercises that do not require equipment," Rudoy said in support of college fitness.

Rudoy said that mental health, fitness, and nutrition all correlate with one another.

"I follow the saying abs are made in the kitchen. So if you are working out day and night, but eating a giant pizza and chicken wings with a pack of beer when you come home you aren't doing yourself much good," Rudoy said.

Lauren Hernandez

The main cause for weight gain is increased alcohol consumption. 80 percent of college students drink and this includes binge drinking, which is unhealthy for many reasons.

Students who do not drink are most likely gaining weight because of their exposure to an all-you-can-eat dining hall. The downtown Phoenix campus offers a salad bar as their only consistent healthy option for students, therefore students are left eating hamburgers, fries, and pizza.

"I haven't been to the dining hall this semester. Last semester, I went because I had no other options. I am a vegetarian and the dining hall is not accommodating to those with allergies or food restrictions. I find it very difficult to find vegetarian options," Lexi Varrato, a journalism major said.

Lauren Hernandez

Varrato explained that she believes the freshman 15 is "100 percent real" and that incoming freshman should research their meal plans and ask their school how their dietary restrictions will be accommodated before purchasing a non-refundable meal plan.

Megan Tretter, a nursing major at Seattle University emphasized that not every dining hall is like ASU's and that the freshman 15 is "definitely not a problem" at her school.

"I always eat healthy at my dining hall. There are a lot of good and healthy options at Seattle University. I usually go to the smoothie line in the morning, have a salad for lunch, and make myself an acai bowl after work with avocado toast in our floor's kitchen," Tretter said in support of her school's strive for healthy options.

College students across the United States have healthier dining options than ASU, but many colleges still face the same problems that students here are facing.

Tara Shultz, a journalism major at ASU believes she has avoided the "very real" freshman 15 by living at home.

"I believe the freshman 15 targets dorm residence and first-year students who do not live at home as they do not have their parents as a guide and are forced to eat at a dining hall that only serves fatty foods," Shultz emphasized.

Lauren Hernandez

The downtown Phoenix campus offers students access to the SDFC, YMCA, and Taylor Place gym, where students can take group fitness classes, run on a track, play basketball, or swim. Alternative options for students are purchasing a membership at Orangetheory or EOS Fitness.

Most students agreed with journalism major Vanessa Gonzalez that they have little time to work out due to their workload, but many students like Varrato, Tretter, and Rudoy explained that they try to work out every day as it is a stress reliever and it enriches their mental health.

Steve Fiorentino, the owner of Powered Up Nutrition encourages college students to learn what they are putting in their bodies.

"I think it starts with nutrition. Students believe they can outwork a bad diet and I believe that is their number one mistake. My advice is to stop eating fast foods and start eating whole and healthy foods along with supplements," Fiorentino stated.

The freshman 15 is an avoidable curse, but many students will continue to follow into its trap. The campus dining hall is not always the reason to blame as students have the option to decrease their meal plans, become active, and make healthy choices!

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7 Things You'll Need To Start A Bullet Journal

The art of journalling begins.


Bullet journals are slowly taking over. There are Instagram pages dedicated to them and Pinterest boards full of ideas. It's an easy way to stress relief and get some creativity moving. You can make it literally anything you want to.

Here are seven things you need to start one.

1. Journal

This can be anywhere from a sketchbook, to a dotted journal, to a college ruled journal. The options are endless, like many things about bullet journaling. Pick the journal you believe will suit you best.

2. Art Supplies

Pens. Color pencils. Watercolor. Acrylic. Anything art related works! This journal is for you so it differs between person to person. Some people only want pens and others want everything from paint to stickers. Get the things you think you'll want but don't worry, you don't need to get everything at one. Let it flow.

3. Inspiration!!!

This is personally one of my favorite things. Looking for inspiration is just fun! Go to Pinterest or check out Instagram pages. There is so much people do with their journals and so much you can do that I am not sure if it's possible to run out of inspiration and ideas.

4. Plan

Plan what you want this journal to be, but also don't plan too much. Let yourself have creative space and let yourself make mistakes.

5. Prepare for mistakes

Mistakes are part of life and they are for sure part of bullet journaling. You really just have to go with the flow when they happen. You can cover them up with pictures and such or you can embrace them and create something out of them.

6. A start date

Not actually though!!! You don't need to wait until January 1st to start a journal, you can start it at any time. So start it today or tomorrow or whenever your heart desires.

7. Get creative

This is your time to shine. You are in control. So take control and get creative with what you want to do.

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