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Looking back at my time at BGSU, I had undergone a lot of different changes. I switched my major twice, moved into numerous off-campus apartments, and had lots of friends come and go. One thing that had remained constant in my life was being a part of University Dance Alliance (UDA), an all inclusive dance organization on campus that welcomes dancers of all levels.

When I had first moved to college back in Fall of 2017, I was adamant on finding something I was passionate about. I remembered how I always had regretted leaving my dance studio as a kid because it was “boring” to me. But the first thing I had noticed at the college’s Campus Fest was the tap boards. One person was smiling wide and tap dancing on a square wooden board near the Union Oval. I had watched as people crowded around hyping the dancer up and even how they had pulled someone from the crowd to dance with them. Never did I think approaching that table and putting my name on the list would enter me into a world that would soon become my home.

My first auditions were far from great, due to my only recent experience in dance being strictly for musicals in high school. But from then on, I was placed into my first piece for my very first collegiate showcase: a jazzy hip-hop group. A year later, I would go out on a limb and choreograph my own contemporary piece. It was nerve wracking, but I still managed to do it with the support of my own dancers who helped guide me along each step of the way. Soon after that, I had taught my very own Wednesday UDA class. I kept gaining momentum and confidence with each semester that passed, and I continued choreographing and signing up to teach classes at any opportunity I could get. The entire process of choreography for even a smaller group was almost like a part time job, but I had fallen deeply in love with expressing my emotions and having a fun time with my dancers. Towards the end of the Spring 2021 semester, I had went out on another limb and felt I was ready and confident enough to run for an Executive Board position. I was nervous just as any of my other friends who had ran, but I had figured applying to three positions was better than solely one. Towards the end of that semester came an email from the current board members. I had immediately accepted my loss, but opened the email anyways. To my surprise, I had won the election and was going to be on the 2021-2022 UDA Executive Board as the historian. I had cried tears of joy and immediately woke up my mom and grandparents to tell them the good news (I had to tell someone, but it just couldn’t be any of my friends in UDA quite yet). This was going to be my final year in the organization before my graduation in summer of 2022, and I was absolutely floored and honored.

After many sleepless nights, tears, a LOT of sweat, and countless boughts of laughter, my dancing career had finally come to a close on April 2, 2020. I reflected through tears as I took my final bow on how many memories I had made during my five years amongst my second family. I had met some of my best friends in this organization, and overcame so many hurdles with the help and support of people I only saw once or twice a week. In the span of 5 years, I had choreographed six pieces and taught three Wednesday night classes. So many of those who had been dancing with me since 2017 expressed how much growth they had noticed within me as a dancer. After all, I came in as the most unseasoned and uncoordinated person, but still shared the same love of dance as anyone else. I put my entire heart and soul into every single piece I was invited to or had choreographed. I became the older sibling who helped guide and encourage others who may have been in the same shoes I was in so many years ago. Dance is, and always will be, my therapy. In some of my darkest moments,I found that putting on a good song and just letting my body move however it felt necessary helped aid in releasing my emotions into an art form rather than holding them all in. The studio is, and always will be, my home away from home and University Dance Alliance will always be my family. As I move on into the real world, no matter how scary it might be, I don’t think there will ever be a moment that I stop dancing. Everything I do in my life will always and forever be “For the Love of Dance”, and I will always be eternally grateful and cherish the memories and the people who helped me find my way.

Taylor Eureste is a fifth year Fashion Merchandising and Product Development (FMPD) student at Bowling Green State University. They love to write and read various articles that help lift other young women up in today's society. Eureste is a huge advocate for Latinx and LGBTQ+ youth as well as women empowerment on their college campus. They hopes that they can inspire someone with their words or at the very least make someone's day a little better.