I believe in the power to love something so much and at the same time despise it.

Samantha - Shaker Heights, Ohio
Entered on May 14, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in the power to love something so much and at the same time despise it.

So many times, I ask myself, “Why do I do this?” Why do I dance? I seem to torture myself and yet I don’t know how I could live without it. Many mornings I wake up and can barely move, but by night I find myself in that room with the blaring music, and the teachers telling me to do it again. I guess when I really think about it, the reason I dance even though it causes me pain, is because it makes me smile inside.

I love to dance for many reasons. I live for that, single second where my breath is taken away and I feel like I am defying gravity. I have never been more dedicated to anything ever before and the dedication comes so easily. I look forward to the time that I spend in the dance studio. The time seems to fly by, from the first plies, to the moment when I finally get that impossible jump combination. When my feet hurt in my Pointe shoes and my toes feel like high school students about to pop under pressure, that doesn’t make me think, “Let’s be done for the day.” or “I hate this”. Instead, the words “one more time” pump through me like an adrenalin rush. One more turn, one more leap, one more jump, one more minute, one more hour. It can only make me better, a more confident dancer.

However, I haven’t always felt like the confident one. I can’t stand going to the countless dance competitions and watching the five year old girl standing right next to me, do turns I would never dream of doing, making me question why I even dance. I have had many moments where I have felt like I would never be able to succeed and continuing seems pointless. But every time I hit the stage, I remember why I set myself up for criticism. All of those nerves and negative thoughts melt away as I hit that triple pirouette that I have “only” been working on for the last hundred years. It is those moments that make my insecurities go away.

I know that I could not have gotten this far without my dance teachers, the ones that have helped me from the beginning and the ones that have come into the studio along the way. The dedication and skill have always been in me but they helped me pull it out. I have learned something from each one of them. They have helped me to become a better dancer and taught me to never give up. Without them, one of the biggest chapters of my life would not be complete. The chapter stained with blood and pain, but also filled with happiness and love.