Center Stage

Sophomore expresses her love of dance competiitons

Story by Emily McMaster, staff writer

You wait patiently behind the curtains, the routine constantly running through your head.  Trying not to watch the performer in front of you, for it could make the nerves increase to the extreme, you check your bedazzled costume. You take one final breath as the announcer speaks your name over the speaker, plaster a smile on your face, and walk out to center stage overlooking complete darkness behind a panel of judges.  One click of the play button and the stage is yours.

Many people may say football season is the best time of the school year, but for me I always await the springtime dance competitions.  I’m not saying I don’t enjoy kicking on the football field with the other Highsteppers, but competition season allows me to perform my individual style of dance.

My favorite styles of dance are lyrical and jazz. In these dances I get to show my personality or tell a story to the audience. Football season does not include these two styles often, so I much look forward to the competitions in the spring.

Some may not see the difference between the two. Technically both field routines and competition dances are “just dancing.” However, field routines include strict movements unified with a team while competition dances can include more free flow movements, such as lyrical, where one can show more personality.

To me, competition season is a time where I can immensely improve my dancing.  I see judges as people who are spending their time helping me with my hobby.  Along with this, competitions give out scholarship money, allow me to make new friends and observe others to see where I can improve myself.

Along with performing as a team with both Highsteppers and my studio, my favorite part of competition is getting to perform a solo of my choice.  Team dances are also fun and I truly believe the best way a team can grow is going for the gold, but solos allow me to put forth my own unique style.

Although competition routines take hours of hard work, the audience’s applause at the end of the dance is rewarding enough. Besides this, many competitive dancers will agree that the awards ceremony, where each dance is given a general and overall ranking, is the most exciting part.  Receiving my score and corrections at the end just prepares me for a better performance next time I take center stage.