Continue to Challenge Yourself!

Hi everybody.  Today I spent the day in a town about 2 ½ hours from mine at a dance convention.  If you don’t know what a dance convention is, it’s where a bunch of famous choreographers/dancers/dance teachers come to teach different age groups and dance levels of dancers in a variety of dance styles.  Sometimes, they have dance competitions with them.  I have attended two dance conventions in the past, with my former studio.  One of them was out of town and we spent the weekend there.  This one I found out about from my new ballet teacher at my new studio.  My new studio isn’t a competition studio, so they don’t have the usual recreational dance company made up of students who take classes there, the kind of company that goes to competitions and conventions.  Instead, it is a ballet focused school that prepares pre-professional dancers for careers in dance and runs a professional ballet company.  My teacher comes from both worlds, so she gets me.  I have moved away from constant exposure to several different dance styles to focus on ballet.  Sometimes I miss some of the other dance styles and I don’t want to lose all of the skills that I’ve learned, but I know that ballet is the foundation of all dance.  My teacher told me that if a dancer has a really good foundation in ballet, then they can learn all other styles of dance.  She told me that she learned how to tap dance in a couple of weeks when she was hired to dance on a cruise ship and she’d never even tapped before!  But she was able to pick it up enough to be in the tap numbers that they performed.  Anyway, I attended today’s convention just so that I could keep up with everything that I’d learned in dance so far.  I took five classes today – jazz, hip hop, ballet, musical theater, and something called street jazz.  I was kind of nervous about going to a convention without being a part of a studio that was attending the convention.  I didn’t know anybody there and wasn’t with any friends.  Sometimes you can feel all by yourself, even in a room full of hundreds of people.  When I got there and started dancing, it was all good, though.  I learned a lot.  I was challenged.  And I had fun.  The ballroom that I was in was packed!  There had to be 500 or 600 dancers at the whole convention.  My mom and my dad drove me down.  We got up at 4:00 a.m. to get ready (well, they did, I woke up at 5).  We left the house at 6:00 a.m. and they stayed at the convention center all day while I was in the Tween Ballroom dancing.  They sacrifice a lot to help me to achieve my dreams.  They were there in the lobby when I came out during our break and during lunch.  I am happy that I went.  The ballet class was my favorite, of course.  Street jazz was the hardest.  The combinations were so fast!  In all, the convention was great and I’m glad I went.  I’m still learning every day to overcome my fears and to challenge myself.  Everybody should do the same.