Give us a second chance


Second chances are known to be the losers’ bracket of life.

But, this past weekend I’ve discovered them to be different.

Venturing to Orlando, Florida to attend Dance Team Union’s (DTU) National Championship, my team and I went in with confidence. We had been working vigorously since June to prepare for this very weekend; our three routines were more than ready to hit the stage. 

On the morning of the preliminaries, I woke up with success locked on my mind. As a team, our goal was to advance to finals for at least one of our three routines. As our performance time inched closer and closer, my nerves had begun to come alive.

Waiting backstage was nerve-wracking; although, the anticipation to take on the stage was never complete without a pep talk from our captains. After Courtney and Joelie’s last words were completed, we shouted our chant with pride and pranced onto the stage under the blinding lights. 

Two minutes went by, and before I knew it, I hit the last beat of the choreography. The same phenomenon occurred for our remaining dances as I challenged myself to the best of my abilities.

The walk-off after pom, hip hop and jazz, I felt good.


Good as in I felt that I had left my all on the floor. I made zero mistakes and held consistent energy throughout each dance. After all, this was the biggest competition FHC has ever been to. 

However, good ended up being not enough. 

Knowing that we were the highest scoring team in the ‘losers’ bracket,’ we were overly determined to dominate this upcoming round. ”

Our team was let down after our school’s name was not announced to move straight to finals for any of our routines. However, we were certainly not unmotivated. 

DTU offers a special round of competition: the second chance round. A second chance is given to the many teams that did not get into finals, and this was exactly what FHC needed.

Knowing that we were the highest-scoring team in the ‘losers’ bracket,’ we were overly determined to dominate this upcoming round. 

We went into this second round of competition with even more confidence and push than the first, and that is what helped us most. 

Throughout the process of our strenuous practices that required major perseverance and hard work, as a team, we had grown closer than ever in preparation for our second chance.

As our school name was announced onto the national stage for the fourth time, we walked out with our heads held high and our games faces on. 

We wanted this. 

We watched our playback videos in awe. Our two coaches shed tears as they watched us recompete our three dances with strength and power.

As we waited endlessly for the results, we truly did not know what would happen; there were some talented teams that wanted this just as bad as we did. 

We listened intently in the hotel hallway as they announced who made finals for jazz. 

“Forest Hills Central!”

We jumped up and down with immediate excitement and joy but quieted ourselves when the announcer continued onto hip hop finals.

“Forest Hills Central!”

Two for two—this was impressive. And finally, pom results were left. 

“Forest Hills Central!”

Our happiness was through the roof. Our hard work and long hours had paid off; FHC was headed to finals. This was foreign to the FHC Dance Team. In all years of its existence, FHC had never made finals for all three numbers. 

The second chance round was meant for us.

In addition to the astonishment, we were the only team at the competition that had made Finals for three dances. This proved that second chances are worth it. They shall never be taken for granted, and I learned this through the dedication and drive this team required. 

Second chances do not stand as a losers’ bracket but an opportunity for success.