My letter to competitive dance


Morgan Mittlestadt

“…dance is a poem of which each movement is a word.” – Mata Hari.

This year, after taking my first season ever in my entire life off from you, I am once again returning into your welcoming arms.

To be honest, I did not completely despise my break away from you last season, but as you know, leaving you was not exactly my choice. However, I chose to dig deep and find the positives of losing you, which I believe helped me deal with temporarily losing a part of myself. I always kept in mind that I would possibly have the opportunity to come back to you once again, since for most of last season, the chances of being able to return to you were uncertain.

Unfortunately, I was a much better dancer before I left you, and doubts regarding not being able to obtain the skills, technique, and passion that I once had constantly creep through the back of my mind like a vicious predator silently approaching its prey.

I can confess that I am scared to finally go back to you.

I am scared to not have actually rediscovered the passion for you that I thought I did throughout my break. I am scared that I will be too stressed with schoolwork to be as focused on you as I should be. I am scared that I will choose school over you one too many times and decrease my chances of regaining what I once had even further.

I am scared to disappoint my parents, since they pay so much money to allow me to be able to participate in you. I am scared to finish this year disappointed in myself, feeling like I did not give as much as I could to you when I absolutely needed to. I am scared that I will care too much about both the good and the bad scores I will get and that I will let those scores define me as a dancer. I am scared that at the end of this season, I will not feel thankful that I returned to what I think of as one of my biggest passions.

Most of all, I am scared to feel as if I wasted my own time away and that I will realize this as the final award is being announced at nationals in June.

However, I am determined to try as hard as I possibly can to make a comeback.

I am determined to take risks and push myself to my absolute limits. I am determined to embrace the late nights I will have to experience because I was too busy being dedicated to you and had to postpone my homework. I am determined to make my parents and myself proud. I am determined to practice my dances in order to perfect them.

Finally, I am determined to be an even better dancer than I was at my absolute best.

Lastly, competitive dance, I would like to thank you.

Thank you for being something I can express myself through. Thank you for being a pathway to the amazing friends I have made throughout my time at four different studios. Thank you for pushing me and helping me realize that I am capable of a lot more than I think I am. Thank you for giving me ten seasons of blood, sweat, and tears.

I could not be more excited to start my eleventh season with you soon.