Why Love Really Is All You Need

Love & Care Are Sometimes The Only Thing You Need To Keep Going

How creating environments in which people treat each other with positivity and support can make all the difference.


As a dance major, I have experienced a lot of long days, stressful weeks, and pressure in my first semester. Its been challenging physically, but even more so mentally, consistently second-guessing myself and doubting my abilities. This past week was production week for Nutcracker, which was my first full-stage production at Butler. I was exhausted and anxious the entire week, trying to keep my schedules straight, get enough sleep, eat well, and perform at my best constantly. The stress leading up to opening night was terrible, and I didn't know how I would get through the weekend.

In preparation for our first show, I experienced so much love the second I arrived at the theater. Each class within the dance department organizes a secret Santa, and we are very enthusiastic about it. As I came into the dressing room I watched all of the first and second-year dancers run around preparing surprises for their gift recipient. We were all so devoted to making each other feel special and supported before our first show. I had chocolate delivered to my dressing room as I was finishing doing my hair and the smile on everyone's faces as they received their surprise filled the theater with positive energy.

After warm-up class, I returned to the dressing room to find a present from the lead dancers from a scene in which I was in the ensemble. Some of the upperclassmen explained that every lead gives gifts to the other dancers in their scene before opening night. It was such a kind and supportive gesture, one that made all of the corps girls feel like part of a team and loved. All of the freshmen were so shocked to be brought thoughtful gifts by dancers that we looked up to and aspired to become.

By closing night, everyone had thoroughly planned their secret Santa reveal, decorated each other's makeup stations and hand-delivered gifts with sweet notes. Everyone was thrilled to get final gifts from their friends and even more excited to see the reaction of the person they were surprising. I couldn't help but feel the support putting compliments on my person's mirror and leaving her her final gift, and the love only grew when my secret Santa brought me my present and gave me a huge hug. What's more, a senior came to our dressing room to give all of the first years presents and told us how beautiful we all are and how much she loves us.

I know these things seem just like fun presents for our friends during a fun performance weekend, but it really did make all of the stress and exhaustion that much easier. The first years were all shocked by the love that went around the dance department that weekend. Leaving the last show we told each other how happy we were to be in this dance department with these people. The positive impact of some love, support, and good energy made something that was busy and challenging into something that made all of us grateful for where we are and really happy. This weekend really showed me how important it is to surround myself with loving people and to show the people around me how much I appreciate and care about them.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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18 Things You Know To Be True If You Are A Dancer



It's the night before my first dance competition of the season, so of course I'm going to write about dance. Without further ado here are 26 of the most common things you know if like me, you are a dancer.

1. You are constantly choreographing dances in your head.

It doesn't matter what song you are jamming out to, without fail, you find yourself choreographing dances, even at 2:00 AM.

2. You always find a way to practice your solos or dances for competition.

Even if you have a small space to work with, NOTHING, and I mean absolutely nothing will stop you from practicing.

3. You are constantly trying to better your technique.

All day, every day, it doesn't matter if you're working on turn combinations or bettering your tap technique, not a day goes by that you don't work on it.

4. You have a "dance drawer" in your dresser.

Leotards, tights, and booty shorts, oh my!

5. The studio is like your second home and your team is like your second family.

There's really no explanation needed.

6. You feel like you never get enough time in the studio.

Because there's no such thing as "too much dance"

7. Your weekends always consist of a dance private

Literally almost every weekend

8. You're not embarrassed about going out in public while wearing dance clothes.

And you don't care if people look at you funny for wearing your leotard and company jacket to a restaurant.

9. Your company jacket is your jacket of choice.

You've gotta represent your studio, plus it's sooo comfortable.

10. Forget the holidays, competition season is the most wonderful time of the year.

I love competition season so much!

11. You're always losing bobby pins.

Gotta love those sock buns that take you literally 15 minutes to do, and the ridiculous amount of bobby pins that you use just so your bun can stay in tact.

12. You have regular earrings and then you have dance competition earrings.

Those big sparkly earrings are always fun to wear.

13. Your Instagram explore page is full of videos of other dancers.

What can I say, I just love dance.

14. The phrase "I can't, I have dance" is one you say all the time

I apologize to all of my friends and family who I try to make plans with but can't follow through because of dance privates.

15. The same goes for "5, 6, 7, 8"

I am so guilty of this one.

16. People ask you if what you do is like what they watch on "Dance Moms"

And you reply with "Sort of, but not exactly"

17. Sometimes you just randomly strike a dance pose.

For me, it has always been , and always will be an arabesque.

18. Your mom is the best dance mom ever, and you dad is the best dance dad ever.

They honestly are, I couldn't do any of this without my wonderful parents and am so thankful that they continue to support me in doing something that I absolutely love.

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