2 advanced dancers add their perspective

September 21, 2015

Maddie Martin and Abbie Mendenhall

Abbie has been dancing for 10 years and Maddie has been dancing for 7 years. Maddie started in ballet and then transitioned to jazz and has stuck with it ever since. Abbie started with Jazz and then added the other styles as electives. Our favorite style is jazz because it is so diverse, including a broad range from contemporary to jazz funk. Dance benefits us physically, mentally and emotionally. It keeps us fit and healthy, but also pushes us to pay more attention to detail. On the emotional side, we are able to express ourselves-whether that be creatively or just letting out bottled up emotions. Because of all of the friendships we have made through dance, dance not only takes care of the physical aspect of our lives but also some of our social outlets. It gets tough to balance out everything, but ultimately we try to stay organized by planning our schedules ahead of time. For example, if we have a weekend practice on a Sunday, we spend time on Saturday doing homework to make sure we’re on track. And sometimes it comes down to it that we do have to make sacrifices in our social lives to be able to go to dance almost every day, but being able to come to dance and see more of your friends makes it worth while. The advice we would give to a beginning dancer would be that a little bit of confidence goes a long way, even if you’re not super confident in your dancing abilities, be confident in your self and it will show. Your confidence will also help you show your personality to other dancers as well as your teacher, making your class and your dance experience a lot more fun. To someone who has never performed before we would say to not second guess yourself, you have been rehearsing for months for this moment so be confident that you know what you’re doing. If you mess up the best thing to do is to always keep going, improv if necessary! Performing has helped us with public speaking and overall presence in front of a group of people. We would both love to be professional dancers, but we know the reality of how difficult the dance world is and we know that it would be a tough road to get there. We are both applying to colleges now, so dance won’t necessarily be our first priority after we graduate. We hope to be able to continue dancing somehow in college, whether that be a minor, dance team or company. Even though dance programs won’t necessarily be our deciding factor when looking at colleges, we would love it if the opportunity was there at the college we end up going.
Abby (on the left) and Maddie (on the right)