My mom put me in dance classes when I was four years old. I’ve been involved in dance for basically my whole life, and even now I’m a part of a dance club at UMass. I have a passion for dance, and it has always been my creative outlet. It’s also important to me as an emotional outlet, and in stressful times I know that dance is something that will most definitely make me feel better. It is something I always come back to, regardless of where I’m at in life. I see dance as something that is a part of me, and will always be a part of me.
One of my favorite parts of being involved in dance are the performances. All the weeks and months of hard work and practice are made worth it in those moments. Sitting in an auditorium for hours figuring out lights, running dances over and over again, making last minute hair and costume changes have led to some of my favorite dance memories. The feeling of backstage with all the excitement and nervous energy reminds me why I put in all the work that I do. Performing on a stage is an experience like no other, and I feel like everybody could benefit from doing it at least once in their lives. The thrill of the bright lights and the noise from the audience is one of the best feelings ever to me, and it makes me want to do it over and over again.
The feeling after a performance is equally as special. Knowing that all your hard work paid off is so satisfying. The best part is knowing those around you are proud of you. Teammates, teachers, friends and family congratulating me and celebrating the performance confirms my love for dance.
It’s been over a year since I’ve danced on a real stage. Zoom dance classes have made me realize how special getting to perform is, and it’s a feeling I miss a lot. There’s a certain energy that comes from performing in front of a crowd, or simply just dancing with other people. I’m grateful to be able to keep dancing, but it’s just not the same doing it alone in my dorm. It’s frustrating thinking about the performances I’ve missed out on because of the pandemic. I can’t wait for the day I get to be on the stage again. Dance has taught me a lot about myself and what I truly enjoy in life, and I’m so excited for the performances to come… hopefully soon :).