A Step in Time

susan - portland, Oregon
Entered on December 17, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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A Step in Time

I’ve learned through all of my 14 years alive so far, that you can never stop growing internally. It could be knowledge, improving in a sport, or just being a good human being. Dancing has taught me this, and is still helping me grow in all those areas.

It started when I was three years old. I came to my first class with little ballet slippers, hair pulled back into a bun, pick socks, pink leotard, and a lacy pink shirt. I didn’t know what to expect, but I didn’t care. When you’re little, you don’t seem to care as much compared to being a teenager. As soon as I stepped into that studio and the teacher put on music, I knew I had a passion for dance. I had such a great time and I could let myself go. I had the most fun dancing with wands and scarves. My teacher was also very nice, and she has been helping me all through my dancing years.

At about six, I passed my grade two exam. It wasn’t a hard exam, but dance was becoming more demanding. I had to take more classes, and had to learn a new form of dance. Within the ballet class we were taught character dance. Character dance are forms of dance such as Russian, Polish, and Hungarian.

Ten years old I entered grade five, and was coming to the dance studio three times a week instead of just once. During previous years, I had a problem with paying attention in class, and was strictly disciplined. I got scolded, and once even had to write an apology note to all my teachers. At grade five, your technique needed to be more accurate, clean, and my teacher wasn’t easy on my class. I was beginning to feel that ballet wasn’t fun. I sometimes dreaded going to class because I was afraid my teacher would yell at me again.

One day after class my teacher sat all of the girls down and talked to us. She explained that the upcoming years would be tougher and wasn’t going to be as nice anymore. She also told the class that the reason why she’s hard on us is because she knows we can do better. She wanted to push us to be the best dancers we could be and further. That’s when I realized I could be a really good dancer, but there would always be something I could work on. It didn’t have to be big like triple pirouettes, but something simple, like flexibility and extension.

You never stop growing on the insides, and everyone has their own story to tell. I learned this lesson through discipline, hard work, and knowing what I can do and what I need to work on. Dancing has also taught me that the older you get, the more life demands out of you. School grades will get tougher, and you’ll face more challenges. I believe that by growing internally, it will mold and create you to be the person you are today and in the future.