**Today’s blog post written by Lonestar Dance Center instructor Alexis Parmentier.
Growing up as a competitive dancer meant carrying the weight of improving myself and skills daily. It was a heavy weight to carry. To improve my self image, technique, and skills was a lot to handle from age 8-18. I always had the thirst to feel confident in the way I looked in a leotard, or in shorts and a crop top. The image I saw in the dance world around me was not the image I could pull off. I wanted to have a little bit of everyone else. I wanted to have legs that were a little longer, that had a lot of strength. The stomach that had no curves, but just enough so I looked decent in my convention outfit. I wanted to have the feet that any dancer would kill for. I wanted to be the dancer who got scholarships. I wanted to be everything that I wasn’t.
As an adult now, married and teaching dance for a living, I can comfortably say it isn’t about what you aren’t. It isn’t about receiving first place. It isn’t about receiving a scholarship at a convention. From age 8-18, not once did I ever receive a scholarship. I wasn’t the girl that got to get her name called and go up on stage to collect that fancy piece of paper. Dance isn’t about getting noticed from ‘celebrities’ and ‘famous dancers’ off social media. It isn’t about the number of likes you get on the video you post. You have to think back to why you started dancing & know who you are.
I am a dancer. I am a strong, dedicated, joyful, crazy dance teacher who loves the word dance. I love dance because it is an art. I feel led to move to any song I hear. To dance wasn’t just to move my feet, it was to embrace my passion behind the art and express who I was. It was about being the best version of me, whether others saw it or not.
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