Thanks to Dance

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Thanks to Dance

We’ve all been the go-getter whose journey through our dance career, and to adulthood, was undeniably linked to the time spent in dance class. The lessons learned originated from the challenges faced while learning to be the best dancer you could be, and continuing to be a supportive teammate. Lessons learned were about respect, giving back, self-reliance, time-management and teamwork—all important moments dance provides.

Growing up in dance bridged the gap between identifying who you are and who you want to become. One thing is clear: dance provides many opportunities for you to fit into different roles and relationships—important steps on the way to recognizing who you are now and envisioning who you can be. Take the time to thank dance for the lessons you’ve learned, those that will last you a lifetime.

Self-Reliance: There’s nothing quite like having a dance family and a studio as your home away from home. Being able to thrive on your own develops independence that you might not have been exposed to otherwise. At competitions or practice, you must identify the resources that can help you meet personal or group goals, resolve conflicts and achieve success. This ability is imperative in becoming the human you are designed to be.

Time Management: As a dancer, you probably know this saying well, “Sorry, I’ve got practice.” You find yourself not only juggling hours of practice, but academics, friendships/relationships, too. It gets tough, but you quickly realize how important it is to manage your time wisely. There are high demands on you as a dancer and the expectation that you put in the work outside of practice. Your teammates and coach count on you to be successful outside of practice and achieve greatness within the team. If you’re late or have not fulfilled your responsibilities on time, it doesn’t just affect you anymore—it affects your entire team. What better teacher to manage your responsibilities effectively than to have a group of individuals depend on you to do a job well done!

Having a Servant’s Heart: In the midst of every day responsibilities, it is easy to stop reflecting on your blessings. Team Up for St. Jude is one of the greatest ways to remember how lucky we are to be healthy, active souls who have the ability to give back. At the end of the day, we are all here trying to find our place in the world, and as the saying goes, “In order to find yourself, you must lose yourself in the service of others.” Here’s the cool thing: service doesn’t have to stop with St. Jude. Whether it’s complementing the freshman on your team or high-fiving the middle school dancer who has finally gotten the chance to wear a uniform, these random acts of kindness develop community, build trust and demonstrate an understanding and appreciation for those around you. The ability to see the good in people, the good in difficult circumstances and the good in heartaches will aid you in having a happy life.

Respect: Developing respect is necessary in order to find your uniqueness and similarities in others. You must figure out how you fit into the larger whole, be it a family, camp, school, community or society. Fitting-in means to develop and sustain a genuine respect for yourself, for others and for the expectations set before you. This ability is necessary in developing respect in all facets of life, the classroom, the workplace or at home.

Teamwork: The most valuable resource we have, as people, is other people. Becoming a strong team-player, a tireless team-builder and realizing the importance of others in your life is a true combination for personal success. The best teammates are those that don’t ask what their team can do for them, but, instead, ask what they can do for their team, in order to better the team as a whole. Dance proves that together you are stronger. Throughout life, you will find yourself in circumstances where you have to work effectively with others. Never forget the strength and level of influence a group of individuals has together.

The experiences gained as a dancer are opportunities. Opportunities where, under the instruction and influence of coaches, teachers and teammates, we learned to become more independent, more confident, more self-aware and more giving toward others. Our identities emerged, solidified and were reinforced by recognition of our own character and of our personal contributions, all thanks to dance!

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