Mackenzie Roy reflects on the passion she once had for dancing

Mackenzie+Roy+reflects+on+the+passion+she+once+had+for+dancing

When Sophomore Mackenzie Roy started to learn how to dance at a very young age, she never knew how many memories and life lessons she would take from the sport that consumed an immense part of her life.  

From the ages of one to four, Mackenzie started with Kinder dancing, which is a kids program for young dancers, and at the ages of four to fifteen, she did ballet, jazz, and hip-hop, along with many other varieties of dance. Out of all of these categories, her favorite was Jazz. 

“Jazz has good music quality, and I felt that it was my [niche],” Mackenzie said.  “I felt that I could express myself in a really good way.”

Mackenzie loved to communicate her emotions through every executed dance move she made, and felt that it was a unique way to do so because not many can. All in all, she appreciated every second she had in the spotlight.

As Mackenzie grew as an athlete, she felt that there was so much more to the sport than the awards she was given, and that, over time, the hard work, friendships, and memories she made would fill her heart more than a trophy ever could. 

“I was in Dearborn, Detroit and we were at the convention [center] on day one,” Mackenzie explained. “I remember all the girls in my group were warming up, and we were all just laughing and talking—it was the first day of [a] brand new competition, and it was very nice to just share the moment of laughs before the twelve-hour dance day.”

Throughout her fourteen-year journey with dance, which heavily included those twelve-hour dance days, Mackenzie gained these friendships that will last a lifetime, but it goes much further than just the laughs they share. 

When it came to waiting backstage, Mackenzie knew that being a supportive teammate was key to a good performance, so her confidence in both herself and her teammates went far. 

“[It felt like being] a part of a family,” said Mackenzie on her backstage experiences. “We always had each other, and, at competitions backstage, we would always hype each other up.” 

[It felt like being] a part of a family; we always had each other, and, at competitions backstage, we would always hype each other up,”

With the help of both her teammates and coaches, Mackenzie has furthered her own journey of self-confidence, and she could not have done it without all those days spent in the studio, the dressing rooms, or backstage. Mackenzie was beyond grateful to have coaches that were constantly supporting her along the way and pushed her to be the best dancer she could be.   

Over time, Mackenzie realized that her determination and courage made all the difference in the world. She achieved goals she never thought she would be able to accomplish. From getting scholarships to dance on Broadway to being offered the opportunity to take classes in New York, this journey was not always pleasant or enjoyable. There were many tough obstacles Mackenzie had to overcome such as injuries and mental setbacks. 

“I got injured a lot, I had sprained ankles, hurt my wrists a lot, and injured my knees,” Mackenzie said. 

Mackenzie knows that being an athlete is difficult and that injuries come with almost any sport. While she learned this along the way, she knows that the only way to prevent fewer injuries is to stay conditioned in the off-season, as it is just important in season. Amongst physical challenges, Mackenzie also faced many other issues, such as keeping up with her academics and social life. 

As time went on, Mackenzie started to outgrow the sport that had once made her whole. She started to realize that there was more to life than dance and felt that she was missing out on too much to continue. Mackenzie does not regret quitting, and felt that the decision she made was wise.

“It was a good decision because my education does mean more [to me],” Mackenzie said, “[Along the way], I gained more confidence in myself and [I got] to express my emotions in ways that people don’t [get to].”