By Melissa O’Rourke
Asst. Photography Editor
The lights go out and I take my place on the dark stage. The crowd is completely silent as I anxiously wait for the lights to come back on. I feel my heart beating in my chest as the lights go up and the music starts to play. Not even three minutes later, I hit my final pose as the audience explodes with cheering and clapping. This is the moment that I live for.
Some of my earliest memories are from when I started to dance when I was 2-years-old. There was nothing better than being a “tiny-tot.” I remember walking into dance class with my pink tutu ready to become a ballerina. The best part was getting a lollipop at the end of class.
Slowly, dance became a very large part of my life. It became more serious, but it helped me to become the person that I am today.
I owe a lot to my dance teachers for helping me to come out of my shell when I was an awkward middle schooler. These women were always people that I looked up to. If I was too scared to try a new dance move, they encouraged me to try. If I fell, they were there to help me up. Whenever I was beginning to feel discouraged, they pushed me to keep going. They helped me to gain the confidence that I have today.
Dance slowly became an escape for me. After a long day of school, I always look forward to a few hours in the studio to get away from reality. The studio is almost like a second home to me; it is somewhere that I feel safe. My dance friends are my family.
Not only did dance give me confidence, but it also helped me learn how to be competitive in the best way possible. I learned how to compete with my peers in a positive manner.
Dance helped me learn how to have faith in myself and perform on a stage in front of hundreds of people without even being slightly nervous.
Joining the dance ensemble at Sacred Heart was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Coming in as a scared freshman, the girls of the ensemble welcomed me with open arms and made me feel so comfortable.
Any worries that I had about college slowly started to fade away as I formed friendships with people who have become some of my best friends.
Performing on stage went from being a nightmare to being one of my favorite things to do. Even though countless hours in the studio, tons of bruises and months of rehearsals only count for a few minutes on the stage, it is so worth it.
There is no feeling that compares to the adrenaline rush that I get while dancing on stage. After hitting all of my moves, even the one that I thought I would mess up, hearing the audience cheering me on is an incredible experience.
I would not trade those few minutes on stage for anything. With only one more year of dance ensemble ahead of me, I plan on giving it my all.