Critical Pointe: A Dancer’s Path to Finding Self-Fulfillment Outside the Staples Spotlight
Jackie Kerames, Staff Writer
June 19, 2012 • 22 views
Filed under Opinions
The sweat, the tight uniforms, the hundreds, no, endless hours of practice, and the potential injuries that must be faced each day: these are a few of the many struggles that a dancer must overcome.
As a yearlong sport, which I will dare to call it, dance has been a commitment that I have made for over a decade. Five days a week, 36 weeks out of the year; I have spent this much time at my dance studio just doing what we do.
If I didn’t absolutely love every minute that I spent at the studio then I would’ve stopped. But thankfully, dance has been my strongpoint, my security, and my oasis throughout these four long years of high school. In a time when grades, extra curriculars, college applications and maintaining friendships seemed to consume my life, dance provided a euphoric escape in which I could channel my stress and create a beautiful form of self-expression.
And the fact that I had five of my best friends dancing with me in Senior Company didn’t hurt.
There is certainly nothing comparable to the camaraderie that is built amongst a group of people working to achieve the same goal, but when you’re already best friends outside of the studio, it makes all the difference. Dance is about channeling emotion, and it’s the strong bonds that we’ve made at dance that have allowed us to express and understand each other’s emotions. Although many of my friends do not dance, there’s an inexplicable quality to my friendships with the girls in my company that just makes our relationships different. There’s a mutual respect for one another and an unspoken appreciation for the commitment that we’ve each made. Our teachers and our peers might not know what goes on in our lives when the school day is over, but we know what we do.
Just this past month we performed in our Spring Recital, and within the span of one day we put on three shows. Imagine a striker playing three soccer games in one day, or a wide receiver making it through three football games in one day. Yes, dance might appear lovely and non-contact, but it takes just as much, if not more, stamina to make it through those three shows as it would to make it through three sports games. The rush of adrenaline that we get from each other is what allows us to do this.
I have accepted the fact that my dance recitals won’t draw large crowds from Staples, and I have accepted the fact that most people wouldn’t even call dance a sport, but rather an “art.” We never got that glory and we never got any medals, but winning any sports game seems incomparable to the moment of exultation that I get once I’ve finished a show.
I am not alone; I share this sense of accomplishment with dozens of students at Staples who don’t need scoreboards or morning announcements to mark their success. In my experience with creating a life outside of Staples, I’ve realized that success can only be measured by the number of times that you feel proud of yourself – the recognition by others is really just a bonus.