horrifc as it was…it was the best thing i’ve accomplished

kelsey - boise, Idaho
Entered on June 2, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I will never forget the first time I stepped on the stage that would be my home for two weeks. At the age of thirteen I was one of the youngest members to be accepted into the competitive summer dance intensive, naïve and ill-prepared for what was to come. My first experience at Summer Dancefest was terrifying and at times downright mentally and physically exhausting but would become a meaningful experience that would shape some of the things I believe to be true about life.

The try-out to get into the program was horrific; to this day it was the most nerve-racking event I have ever put myself through. I had to take a class with professional dancers ten years older than me with twice as much dance experience. While they were nice and helpful, all I could think about was how humiliating it all was. However, at no point did I stop to think that if the try-out was this hard, that the camp was going to be extremely difficult too. My name; Kelsey means strong-headed and stubborn. And this was defiantly an instance I lived up to my name. I ignored all the warnings and went feet first into the program.

The next two weeks would turn out to be the most physically and mentally draining two weeks I have ever endured. Pushing myself well beyond what my body was capable of doing. Pains so scorching I thought, “Why not just quite?” At times it seemed almost pointless. I remember lying in my bed, my legs shaking because they hurt so bad and crying all the time because I was so fatigued.

But, I battled through it, and Summer Dancefest turned out to be one of the most rewarding obstacles I have overcome. Not only did I perfect my dance technique I also learned several thing about myself and how life works. As cliché as it might sound, I learned that nothing worth accomplishing is easy, you have to fight for what you want but if you stick it out, it will be worth it. Not only am I proud of my accomplishments at Summer Dancefest, I am thankful for the knowledge I gained from the experience.

Life is about learning, it is what we take from experiences that make living worthwhile. I believe that the knowledge we get from such experiences comes from hard work, dedication and perseverance. Master all three and life is sure to be a memorable and fulfilling adventure.