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When I was three years old I first stepped foot into a dance studio. Little did I, or my parents, realize that it would quickly consume my life. Dance does that. It sneaks up on you without you even knowing what is happening.

After spending the past fifteen years, and hopefully many more to come, perfecting my art form in the studio, I’ve realized that I have learned so much more from dance class then just how to point my toes and relevé.

Here is my short list of the life lessons that dance class has taught me:


1.  You’ll only get there through hard work and discipline

Most people don’t realize the nerve and determination that is required to get through an hour and a half ballet class. Every day, you approach the barre to perform the same exercises. At times it feels like no improvement is being made and it’s difficult to see progress, but looking back on several years of practice, it is much easier to see the growth. Dance has taught me the importance of doing something over and over again, even if you think you have got it down. Practicing the little things is sometimes what matters the most, and going back to basics can provide the most important lessons.

One of my favorite quotes is, “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”, said by Tim Notke. I have found this to be true. You could have talent, but if you are not willing to work hard and be disciplined it will be difficult to find success. Taking dance classes truly taught me this lesson.


2. Try, and then try again   

Anyone who has spent a year in a dance studio knows how frustrating it is to try to turn, whether it’s in pointe shoes or technique (unless you are a natural turner, then just know the rest of us are jealous…). But dance class taught me and showed me that if I persevere through the embarrassing falls and bad days there is often a reward to be found. Often change won’t happen right away, but with perseverance and the strength to keep trying, seeing improvement becomes easier.


3. Closer together

The friends I made in dance class are people I know will be people who will always support me. You connect with people through the long rehearsal days, dress rehearsals and productions, maybe even because of that one crazy teacher! The memories you make are ones you will never forget, and the people who are there with you, are also people who you will probably never forget. I know the friends I’ve made may be people I might fall out of touch with, but if we ever reconnect it will be easy to rebuild because of all that we have been through. We have cheered each other on, supported each others successes and helped each other through the tough times. At the end of a long day, I always know that my family at the studio will welcome me home.


4. Stronger together

Dance, and especially ballet, can be a very solitary, lonely journey. Often you are the one who is determining your boundaries and how far you can go. Nevertheless, my favorite parts in every production were never the solos, or leads (although those were fun and taught me a lot about myself), but rather the group numbers. Each time I had so much fun working with other girls perfecting our timing and our movements. Don’t get me wrong, there were often small fights over who was right, but I always felt more fulfilled leaving the stage after a group number knowing that the work we put in paid off and everyone was integral to the dance.


5. Release and express

The most important lesson dance taught me, was how to express myself. As a quiet, shy and introverted student, I didn’t often seek the spotlight or was outspoken. Dance gave me an outlet, and a tool to release all the emotions of the day. Going to the barre provided the best kind of relief and performing onstage gave me a high like no other. It took me years to realize the importance of this in my life, and only after not dancing for several months did I realize how important it was to me. Dance took a lot from me, but it gave more than it took, and I will be forever grateful that my parents decided to put me in a dance class all those years ago.


Katie Wind

Simmons '22

Katie is a self-proclaimed introvert, bookworm, and Harry Potter fan. She can be found reading at the library, watching Netflix in bed, or exploring the city of Boston. She is known for her snarky sense of humor and her infamous "Katie Look" (it involves one raised eyebrow and a smirk). Not to be cheesy, but Katie has big dreams and hopes to accomplish them someday.
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