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Experiences

I Am Ready To Get Back Into Dance After My Long Hiatus

Disclaimer: The events in this article are reflections of my personal experiences. It is in no way meant to be offensive or derogatory toward any of the people and places mentioned.

I’ve been a dancer my whole life. As a kid, I was a ballet dancer. I went to ballet classes every week at Ms. Karen’s studio. She would give us bubblegum-flavored Extra gum at the end of every class. My mom tells me that I was really good at it, and I choose to believe her; considering the fact that I cannot remember if I was good or not. 

Ms. Karen eventually closed her ballet school, and to say the least, it bummed me out. From then I bounced around other dance classes in my hometown, but none of them stuck. I knew I wanted to dance, but I was having trouble finding a place to do it. 

There was one place that I hadn’t tried yet, which was The Dance Studio* — the only official dance studio in my hometown at the time. Frankly, The Dance Studio scared the crap out of me. The environment seemed very cutthroat and exclusive, and to 10 year-old-me, that wasn’t exactly something I wanted to be a part of. I’d seen my classmates and friends dance in competitions affiliated with The Dance Studio, and part of me was jealous, but the other part of me knew I did not want to dance competitively. I didn’t want to dance for the title or the attention. I wanted to dance simply because it made me happy.

One summer, my mom convinced me to do a week-long summer intensive dance camp at The Dance Studio. It was five hours of dancing every day for five days. No competition, no bad energy — just a bunch of people dancing and having a good time. The camp was very fun because I met new people and got to do what I loved with people I loved. 

At this point I started considering the idea that maybe The Dance Studio wasn’t all that bad. I signed up for a few classes during the week. 

The thing about The Dance Studio is that when you take classes there, you ‘belong’ to it. The company becomes more exclusive and elitist the deeper you get into it. As you advance through the levels and courses, the classes become more expensive, and less about the dance and more about the title. After my dance classes ended, I decided to not return to the studio. This made me pretty sad. I wanted to keep dancing, but neither me nor my family wanted me to be in that kind of environment. 

I did not dance for a few years. 

Then, a new studio opened. I was beyond excited. I immediately signed up for multiple classes a week and started to prepare myself. I was finally going to be doing what I loved again. 

Once again, I was disappointed. There was nothing wrong with the studio, it just was not a good fit. I didn’t feel like I truly belonged there. At this point, I was pretty discouraged. This was probably a sign from the universe that I just shouldn’t dance.

Fast forward a few years later, I’m at the university of my dreams and I see a mega-talented dance crew performing at the involvement fair. It awakened something in me, something that had been asleep for far too long. I literally said to my roommate, “I have never wanted to be a part of something as bad as I want to be a part of this dance crew.” 

I kept an eye out for any workshops and eventually maybe an audition or hiring workshop. Once I learned the date for the audition workshop, I tried to find someone to go with. I was NOT brave enough to go to (in my opinion) the best dance crew on campus’ audition alone

I wish you could’ve seen how nervous I was. I was shaking, my heart was beating so fast, and I genuinely started questioning why I was doing this audition. I hadn’t danced in so long, and now here I am, throwing myself to the lions. 

I didn’t get the spot, and that’s okay! 

I had so much fun at the audition, and it reminded me why I like to dance in the first place. It boosts my confidence, and despite the risk of sounding cliche, it is really freeing.

Dancing has become a part of who I am because it has been important to me for so long. The reason I stopped dancing before I came to California was because I had exhausted every single dance opportunity in my hometown. Now I’m realizing that there are so many new dance opportunities here, and I cannot wait to take advantage of every single one. 

*Names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of the people and places involved.*

Molly Summers

UC Irvine '25

Molly is a first year Literary Journalism major. When she is not in class, Molly enjoys reading, hanging out with friends and drinking copious amounts of iced oat milk lattes. Born and raised in Steamboat, Colorado, Molly has skied and spent the better portion of her life outside. She is very excited to be in southern California for a change and be a part of Her Campus!
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