Students Share What Dancing Means To Them

May 9, 2018

The communicative masterpiece between the body and the soul forms the art of dance. Center stages, sore bodies and storytelling techniques encompass the life of a powerful artist: the dancer.

Within the school, multiple dancers are from diverse dance studios across the city. Even though different girls and boys dance at different studios, a sophomore dancer at Heidi Knight School of Dance sees themselves as more of a collective unity than a rivalry.

“When Heidi’s goes to the 24/7 [convention], we watch Southern Sensations and always cheer for them,” Sarah Schomburg said. “There’s going to be competition for any kind of group but I feel like we want to represent Huntsville. We should not be going against each other but instead trying to over succeed the other studios from other [cities].”

Schomburg has been involved with dance since she was a 5-year-old little girl and has danced for a total of eight years. She became star struck with the art ever since she attended one of her fourth grade best friend’s dance recital at Heidi Knight School of Dance on the front rows.

“I remember I went home and I told my mom ‘I just want to do that really bad, I just love that’ and so I did. It came a little easy at first and of course, I struggled a lot but it wasn’t something that I didn’t enjoy. It was something easy and I enjoyed it because I don’t like doing something I’m not good at,” Schomburg said.

Jade Gross, a junior at Southern Sensations, believes that every dance studio is unique in their own way but Southern Sensation’s togetherness and energetic quality makes them a special group. She feels like she belongs there.

“ I like the energy because we all feel like a family. I walked in the door and I was like this is definitely the place for me,” Gross said.

Dance has been involved in her life for a long time including praise dance at her church. Her love to dance and help her peers allows her to want to pursue a career as a dance therapist. The nurturing attitude she possesses makes it easy for her to uplift her fellow dancers.

“To be a junior and being ready to graduate next year, gives us the opportunity get to help out with the little kids”, Gross said. “When someone is down about not doing a move, we can always help them make sure they get it and understand it more than they did the first time they tried to do the moves.”

Several dancers stay at a studio during their dance seasons but not this one. Aja Yarborough, a sophomore, dances currently with just only the dance team. In her opinion, dance teams provided better opportunities for her than a studio did.

“I get to do different styles than what I did at a studio and I learn new things. I get to push myself more than what I did earlier,” Yarborough said.

Yarborough has endured an injury for over a year but that has never stopped her in doing what she loves. Determination and support have helped her through the tough moments.

“I’m trying to recover and I am doing whatever it takes to heal it. Because I was doing studio and dance team at once, it was putting stress on [my injury],” Yarborough said.

Megan McNabb, a junior at North Alabama Dance Center, has her share of struggles when it comes to remembering choreography but dance still comes as a natural born talent to her.

“I’ve stuck with it because I enjoy it and I like expressing myself. It’s just fun and I like certain aspects of hip-hop and genres like that,” McNabb said.

Her studio is unique to her due to its incentive to give everyone a chance at competitions. This has still allowed the team to win several awards and be successful at competitions.

“Our studio doesn’t have a set competition team so they let everybody go to the competition,” McNabb said. “They teach classes a dance and then they compete which is nice because it gives everybody the opportunity.”

To McNabb, dance brings people together and instills teamwork between dancers. She believes like Schomburg that dancers in the school are more of a unit than they are a rivalry.

“For theater [the featured dancers] are all from different studios, however, we are all dancers in that setting. It’s as if we don’t have a specific studio. It’s more of a unity kind of thing,” McNabb said.

McNabb sees dance as an opportunity to express one self’s but it accomplishes something much deeper than that. It is a way to get emotions from your audience.

“It is another way of expressing yourself but it is also another way of people seeing it. It’s not like soccer or basketball where you go in for a side, it’s more of an entertainment thing in dance,  it’s something you enjoy watching like you would a play or movie,” McNabb said.

According to Schomburg, dancers are fierce in their strength and in their art. The efforts to put a story behind movements makes dancers extraordinary in their art form.

“We work so hard and when we go back to the basics you can tell it affects you and it makes you better when you work on the small stuff. I find it really interesting when dancers can out a story behind something and pick up choreography fast and make it look good while thinking about their technique all at the same time,” Schomburg said.


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