Dance is a way of life

Mallory - Hillsboro, Oregon
Entered on March 13, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

To dance is to move one’s feet or body, or both, rhythmically in a pattern of steps, especially to the accompaniment of music. I believe in the power of the feeling, the rush, the release that dancing gives. It has always been a sort of therapy for me. Whether I am stressed, happy, sad, especially if I have built up energy, I dance.

I always had an interest in joining a dance team, but never had the courage to try out. I felt that people would make fun of my unique moves, and I would be rejected. This all changed after entering high school when I discovered everyone is different in there own way. People accepted me for who I was, and if they didn’t then they definitely weren’t worth my time. I had already missed tryouts my freshman year, but when they rolled around the second time I made sure to be there. I did make the team, and for the first time I felt like I had found my nitch. Practice was hard and grueling; sometimes I found the sport to be more of a chore than a hobby. I worked through the challenges though, contorting my body, stretching, dancing for hours every week.

Last year we were competiting at state, where we were sure to lose, but instead of giving up I gave it my all. I felt my heart beating through my chest the whole performance, for I knew if we didn’t get a sixty five our team wasn’t moving onto second round. I felt so happy while I was executing out routine, the energy on the performance floor was amazing, and everyone on the team was moving as one. As cliché as this must sound for the first time throughout my dance team career I felt all my worries about failing go out the door, I couldn’t see any of the thousands of audience members, and for some reason my body still remembered the rehearsed movements. This feeling is almost indescribable but the closest I can characterize it is complete bliss.

In my eyes I almost reached complete nirvana, and it sparked a curious nerve in my body. I realized that dance for me was a way of meditation, to relieve stress, and to give my body endorphins. Dancing shed a new light on my life; I use it in a positive way to benefit my mind, body, and soul. As a great dancer Agnes de Mille once said “To dance is to be out of yourself, larger, more powerful, more beautiful. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking.”