Hey everyone! I hope you’re having a great weekend. I had a great time at Stagecoach this weekend and it was so much fun to see so much amazing live music.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m really excited for the baseball and hockey seasons to start and to have games to watch again. However, I have a confession to make. Despite my career in sports journalism, I actually never played many sports myself growing up. (I know, it’s crazy!)
Instead of sports, I was heavily involved in dance. I first started dancing in 3rd grade and then got really serious about it around 5th or 6th grade. No confirmation if I was actually good at it, but I loved every part of it.
My sister started dancing with me pretty early on as well so it quickly became a really nice family affair. This was great for my mom because, if my sister and I were ever not getting along or fighting over a hairbrush, my mom would be like “Do you want to call the dance teacher and tell her you're being held out of dance because you are fighting over a hairbrush?” We would then FREAK OUT and behave, because being pulled out of dance would have been the worst. It was our favorite thing! My mom quickly became friends with all the other moms at the dance studio too.
We started dancing competitively in Junior High School which meant dance on the weekends and traveling to competitions. We were a really competitive family so this was perfect, but we NEVER won. We really got our asses-kicked to be honest, but we were all still having fun, which was more important. We just had so much fun competing and being with our friends every weekend.
One of my favorite memories was when we switched dance studios pretty early on. We didn’t smile much at our first studio and the vibe was fairly serious, but once we moved to a bigger studio in junior high, it was a total transformation. After our first recital my mom pointed out how everyone was smiling on stage and that made us want to do the same. We were also suddenly surrounded by so many older girls who had a huge influence on us, I looked up to them a lot.
I continued dancing for the Florida Dazzlers at the University of Florida. I didn’t make the team my freshman year, but after I joined the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, I was able to meet a lot of the girls on the team who helped me practice so I finally made it on the team my sophomore year. Dancing in college was definitely one of the highlights of my experience. I was able to perform for the Gators basketball team when they made the National Championships my senior year, which was an INSANE experience.
I kind of was a little too obsessed with the games, much more than my teammates. It was so funny because I would tell them everything about the players that were on the other teams and really studied every play, it was a blast being so close to it all.
This experience taught me a lot about being on air. You could totally be having the worst day and have shit going on in your family or in your personal life, but when the cameras are rolling, you have to leave all that behind you and turn on a happy face and perform. That's exactly what that second studio taught us. I could be fighting with my sister or my parents, but I had to leave that all behind me once I stepped on stage.
I wish I could say all this dance experience prepared me for being on Dancing With the Stars, but it totally didn’t haha. Growing up I did a lot of ballet and lyrical dance, so the ballroom dancing required on the show was a completely different language for me.
I highly recommend putting your kids in dance if they’re interested because it’s such a great way to learn confidence and discipline and I wouldn’t trade my experiences for anything!
Did you do dance growing up or have you started putting your kids in dance? Would love to know!
Until next time,