My Drive for Dance

Over the past few years, I’ve spent a lot of time having to choose between my passion over the typical high school experience. Filling my weeks with dance is my favorite pastime in the world.


by Charlotte Malone, Photo Editor

I haven’t quite gotten used to my alarm going off at 5 a.m. while I’m on a “vacation.” I wake up and try to make myself presentable for the day, as I look out my window and remember I’m in a random hotel halfway across the country. Why, you ask? Dance. I voluntarily get on a plane to spend 12 hours a day for three days in a sweaty ballroom, surrounded by hundreds of other dancers. While you may spend your weekends hanging out with friends, I spend mine on a stage trying to impress one famous choreographer or another. Something that started as a way to give my mom a break once a week has now become my life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I didn’t really realize that dance took over my life until freshman year, when every time someone would try to make plans, my response was always, “I have dance, sorry.” 

I soon began spending over 40 hours a week in the studio. This was hard, especially coming to a new school trying to make friends. I only wanted to dance, but I also didn’t want to sit alone at lunch. It became a constant battle between friends or dance.

Sophomore year I began traveling every few weekends for conventions, and this is when it became extremely clear that dance was my thing. Sure, missing tons of school was not ideal, but I was doing what I loved. I really loved using Teams last year, because it allowed me to be at my classes when I was gone but wasn’t competing or dancing. Since dance is year round, I don’t really have an off season to stop and save my grades. Now, I’m less lucky since we went back to traditional learning, but I still try to get ahead as much as possible beforehand.

Something that I never expected dance to bring me was a large community of people that I now call family. I have friends ranging from Los Angeles to New York and everywhere in between. I have had the opportunity to connect with so many incredible dancers and mentors, all who have the same passion as me. I love going to conventions because I get to see my friends from different cities and spend a weekend with them doing what we love — dancing. It brings me so much joy to see these people once or twice a year, though I wish it was more. 

While my weekends aren’t filled with sleepovers or basement hangouts, I am thankful for being able to travel the country, learning from incredible people. While dance used to give my mom a break, she now gets to accompany me on plane rides and city adventures. My parents have sacrificed so much for me to chase my dream, city to city. No matter where life takes me, I will never forget that 5 a.m. feeling.