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Jackie Ryan / Her Campus

Thank you, dance, for everything you have given me. You gave me the title “dancer,” which is a title I hold dear. I’ve been dancing since I was four years old and never stopped. For 16 years now, you have stayed constant. Moving from small town Bristol, Rhode Island to semi-city New Bedford, Massachusetts at seven years old. Being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at eight years old. Discovering I’m prone to anemia at 12 years old. Through all this change, dance, you never changed. I know I did. You are probably proud that I did, otherwise I would not be where I am. Know that a huge part of why I am who I am is because of you, dance. A mostly confident, unshy, happy, upbeat, fidgety, wanna keep moving kind of girl. I am confident and outgoing because of you, dance. Beginning dance lessons and performing on stage at four years old left no room to be shy. Not that I was shy before.

Thank you, dance. You’ve gotten me through so much. Like when a boy in my seventh grade class kept going to the hospital. I thought he was sick. Actually, he was wrecking his body. Drinking five large Monster energy drinks a day, everyday. One day, while sitting in chapel, hearing the Bible lesson for that day, I noticed everyone was sad, and that an ambulance had come to the school. It was for the boy. When I found out why, I was in a state of shock the rest of the day. 

I’m lucky that a few days later, I had dance practice. It was such a relief to put on my ballet and pointe shoes that night. I told my dance teacher I’d had a rough week but I didn’t say why. She immediately replied, “Well, we’re going to forget about that for now and have fun. We’re gonna make it a great week.” And she was right, you took the rough week and made it a great one. You’ve always been able to do that for me, dance.

Thank you, dance for the way you make my good days better. I honestly don’t have many truly, bad days in my life. I could count them all on one hand.Yes, I’ve had less than stellar days, like the times when I would fight with my friends or get a bad grade, but it was all about perspective. It was about asking, was it a bad day or a bad five minutes? I asked my dad once why I never seem to have bad days, he said “It’s because of your attitude.” He was right. I miss him.

It’s my attitude that has made my life so bright and happy. It’s choosing every morning to find something in this day to love.  It’s believing God has a purpose for me today. It’s understanding the mutual trust between me and those I love. It’s knowing that despite having gone through toxic friendships, there are good people out there. I’ve met them and made a few of them my friends. It’s a desire  to know who you are and how strong you are. I started learning who I was and how strong I am in middle school. I really found out in high school when I was 16. This is what makes up my attitude and gives me a sunny outlook on life. And dance, you have helped tremendously with that. Getting me through the rough and into the great. So thank you, dance, for being a part of my life, especially when I needed you.

Amanda is a junior at MCLA. An English major and dance minor, she is very creative. She loves spending time with her friends and family. Her favorite things to do are dance, write and be out in nature.
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