From crashing into her dance studio to soaring through the air, Reagan Larson finds joy in all aspects of dance


Sophomore Reagan Larson, sitting with a cake.

One morning, sophomore Reagan Larson was so excited to arrive at her dance studio that she drove straight into it.

“I actually crashed my car into the studio,” Reagan said. “It was a Saturday morning, 9:00 a.m., and I was parking in my spot that I normally park in, and I just hit the gas pedal too hard because it’s a little uphill. I hit it way too hard and literally crashed into the building.”

Luckily, Reagan is fine, since the most pain she’s had to endure is her fellow dancers’ jokes about her bad parking.

Despite the teasing, the people Reagan dances with have become some of her closest friends, and they’re one of her favorite things about the sport in its entirety.

“I’ve known [my dance friends] since I was eight,” Reagan said. “We’ve grown up together, and we’ve gotten to do what we love together, so it makes us closer than my school friends.”

Reagan devotes much of her time to dance and spends a lot of time with the people she dances with. Over the summer, she spends even more time with them and has fun at her dance studio, even when she’s not dancing.

“During the summer, we have one big sleepover where everyone stays at the studio, and the seniors all get one room,” Reagan said. “There aren’t very many of us, we’re separate from everyone else and we stay up till 3:00 a.m. doing dumb things.”

Reagan has been dancing since she was three and therefore has spent a substantial portion of her life dancing at her studio in addition to fun summer events such as these.

Throughout her years of dance, she has grown to like and dislike certain styles of dance. Tap is her favorite due to the precision required to perform it well. On the other hand, she could do without ballet.

“I don’t like ballet class,” Reagan said. “It’s very difficult, and we get yelled at a lot, and you have to be quiet; you can’t talk to anyone. So, it’s a very stressful environment.”

Nonetheless, Reagan acknowledges that ballet improves her overall ability to dance and tries to maintain that positive mindset during class. 

One day I decided that dance was better and cheer was not, because you can’t tap in cheer.

Tap is truly the driving force in Reagan’s love for dance, and it has withstood the test of her competing passions. When she had to decide between cheerleading and dance, she reminded herself of the benefits of dance, which include tap.

“I was a cheerleader for a while,” Reagan said. “I thought I liked cheer more, and I thought I didn’t like dance. One day, I decided that dance was better and cheer was not because you can’t tap in cheer.

Although cheer is fun, it didn’t end up being the right sport for Reagan as her love for dance proved to be stronger.

Even with her affinity for dance, Reagan still has difficulties sometimes. Balancing school and sports is a strenuous endeavor, but Reagan is determined to fit it all in.

“It’s really hard [to balance school and dance],” Reagan said. “On Tuesdays, I’m [at dance] from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m., and it takes me a half hour to get there, so it’s another hour. I bring all my homework to dance every day, and I do homework before, during, and after dance.”

Dance is undeniably a time-consuming sport, and Reagan’s busy schedule is proof of that. Not only does dance take up four hours of her evening but also some of her weekends, which is when competitions take place.

“[Competing] is one of the best parts [of dance],” Reagan said, “because it’s different than soccer or basketball where you have a game in the middle of the week and you go to a school and do it. For dance, [competitions] are a whole weekend and you stay in a hotel. The hotel is filled with dancers, and everyone there loves the same thing.”

Everyone there loves dance, including Reagan. Through the difficult times and the good ones, Reagan continues to dance. She doesn’t let obstacles such as her distaste for ballet and the struggles of balancing school and dance stop her from doing what she loves.

“[Dance] is very stressful in class,” Reagan said, “but once the music turns on, you’re completely free. You feel so much better. Then the music turns off and you’re yelled at, they tell you what you need to do better, and you have to practice. Then, once they play the music again and you’re in the zone, it’s so peaceful, and you feel like the best version of yourself.”