1. Food after a long rehearsal. You earned that mac and cheese!
2. When no one else has your song at competition.
3. Those stretches that hurt so good! Like stretching your calves after a million relevés or your quads after an endless shuffle combination. SO GOOD.
4. Pretty new pointe shoes…or jazz shoes…or tap shoes.
5. Finally getting that impossible choreography into your muscle memory. When you finally let go and just dance, it’s all worth it.
6. Hairspray and bobby pins. For that piece of hair that WILL NOT OBEY.
7. Nailing a turn when your teacher is actually watching. Your teacher can’t be everywhere at once, but it seems like they’re never watching you when you actually nail that quadruple!
8. Little ones looking up to you. You think they’re the cutest, and they think you’re the greatest! Remember that they are always watching you.
9. Mirrors. You can’t rely on them, but they’re perfect for checking your alignment or catching your friend’s eye to share an inside joke.
10. Late night rehearsals. You know those unforgettable nights when everyone is tired, crazy and everything is funny.
11. When someone finally acknowledges all your hard work.
12. Ripples when everyone finally hits their count.
12. Wonderful dance teachers. These people laugh with you, choreograph for you, and push you to push yourself. They’re pretty much the best!
13. The creative ways you and your friends fight boredom in between rehearsals.
14. Crawling into bed after dancing literally all day.
15. How fast you can take off your leo and tights when you have to pee.
16. Your whole dance family. Don’t forget to show your dance buddies some love this Thanksgiving!
— Written by Annie Hoffman
Annie Hoffman is a 17-year-old artist from MTJGD studio Inspiration Performing Arts Center in Mahtomedi, Minnesota. Annie has had the privilege of performing at venues around the Twin Cities and in Chicago, New York, and Poland. Annie believes in the power of art to move hearts and change the world.