Open letter to young dancers

Dear young dancers,

I have a few favors to ask. They aren’t big ones, but I promise you’ll thank me later.

First off, I hope you still wear leotards and tights to every class no matter which class it is because lets face it, it’s adorable. Be sure to save every dance shoe you grow out of because those will become your most treasured possessions later on in life.

Later in life, you’ll question why you continue to dance. It happens to every dancer no matter how much we deny it. Learn that thats the biggest time of growth you will experience and soon something will happen to make you fall in love with dance all over again.

When you get critiqued by a teacher, thank them. They are there to teach you and every ounce of their time is a gift. Also, clap after every class. It’s a sign of respect for your teachers (don’t be surprised when you start clapping after class at school).

Speaking of teachers, appreciate them, love them, and cherish them. They care SO much about you. Laugh at every bad joke they tell, listen to every story they share, and never pass up the chance for a hug. It might sound scary, but these crazy ladies  you sometimes laugh at will shape your life and you’ll learn most life lessons from them.

I hope you go to every single social event that the studio throws. I hope you meet your best friends for life at the studio. I hope you laugh, cry, and scream at that studio. I hope you love that studio.

Another thing, when your mom is driving you to class or to the countless competitions, actually talk to her. Put down your phone, take out your headphones and spend time with her. Ask her about her childhood, ask her what her favorite animal is, just talk to her. She spends so much time and energy on you and dance. She pays for classes, trips,costumes, makeup, the bad spray tans you get for competitions, and every thing else you need. She’ll never talk about how much it costs but just know the answer is A LOT. Please appreciate her even when she annoys you.

Let her take as many pictures as she wants, let her talk to your friends and teachers, let her help brush out the poof you teased in your hair because I can promise you, you’ll be glad you did.

When you get asked to go to a party but you have opening number rehearsal, say “I can’t I have dance”. When get asked why you can’t just skip, explain with all the grace and poise in the world why you can’t “just skip”. Believe me, parties with dance friends are so much more fun anyways.

When you come home from hours of dance and you’re hungry because you didn’t have time to eat and you have a pile of homework to do, I hope you still love dance.

When you’re exhausted from running the same dance over and over again, I hope you still love dance.

When you can’t do four pirouettes or the splits and it seems like every other dancer is better than you, I hope you still love dance.

Because one day, you won’t be able to drive to the studio and take classes from your teachers. One day, you won’t have a prayer circle before a performance. One day, you won’t be waking up super early for competitions. So, while you still can, live in the moment you have and cherish every single moment of dance.

All in all, the biggest favor I’m asking of you, is to love dance.

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