Josie Nugent dances her way through life


Josie Nugent

Josie Nugent dancing in a competetion.

After running off stage during a performance, freshman Josie Nugent was struck with the realization of her mistake.

“One time at a dance competition,” Josie said, “I accidentally went off stage when I wasn’t supposed to. So I had to sprint to the other side so that I could get back on. It was kind of embarrassing. It wasn’t really funny [at the time], but it was funny to watch the video.”

In over ten years of dancing, it’s natural that Josie has had moments like this. Not every performance is perfect, but that has never stopped her from continuing along her dance journey. 

A large part of Josie’s continuation of dance has been the people she surrounds herself with. Josie and her teammates have created a tradition that allows them to stay close.

“After any event, my friends and I go out to eat,” Josie said. “We get to just have fun, and it kind of takes the stress out of the competitions and stuff that we go to. It’s something fun that we get to do together where we’re away from other people and our parents, and anything that gets really stressful.”

This tradition initially started with the idea from one of Josie’s teammate’s mom. At that point, Josie and her teammates weren’t able to drive, so their parents always drove them to eat. But after a few got their licenses, the tradition has continued on with just the girls and no parents.

Before even meeting the girls on her team, Josie already knew who some of them were, no bonding necessary.

“Two of the people [on my team] used to be on the upper level team and I used to look up to them,” Josie said. “I really tried to model myself after them and [now], I’m dancing with them.”

Since these girls had a significant impact on Josie’s dancing career and ended up later becoming friends with them, it’s no surprise that, in a way, Josie still models herself after them.

“I want to be a role model for younger kids,” Josie said, “not just for dancing, but for being a person as well.”

Josie consistently pushes herself when dancing, especially if it means she may become an inspiration to those watching.

Even when dancing in a style she likes best, Josie still finds it important to consistently work to improve.

“I like contemporary,” Josie said. “I like that the movements sometimes rely less on technique and they allow you to explore, like different elements of dance that sometimes you don’t get in other styles. Also, the teacher that I have had this past year really pushed me outside of my comfort zone and that helped me become better.”

Dancing is an integral part of Josie’s life. By constantly working to improve, she can always hold a large part of her heart and schedule for it. 

Whether Josie is pushing her boundaries in her favorite style of dance—contemporary—or her least favorite—tap—she always appreciates the outlet it gives her for her emotions.

“It’s really nice because, it feels like when I’m dancing, I’m not really thinking about how my day went or like any kind of emotions that I may be feeling,” Josie said. “It’s just a really nice way to be able to express my feelings.”