As the bagpipes screamed in my ears, I swallowed my last bit of nerves and stepped on the platform. I was ready. I had been working for this moment since kindergarten, and it had finally arrived. I forced a smile onto my face and found my mom and dance teachers in the crowd. Deep breath. Here we go. It was my first Highland dance competition, and I was just figuring out the world of ribbons, trophies, and kilts.
When I was 3, I fell in love with the world of dance. Whether it was watching The Nutcracker at the Houston Ballet or leaping through the hallways of my house, I was captivated. I had been enrolled in ballet for five years when I was introduced to Highland dance through the Scottish Arts program at Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School. All through lower school, I would boast to my ballet class about the new step we had learned in class or how much I knew about the history of each Scottish dance. When I entered the fifth grade, I knew I had to make a choice: ballet or Highland dance. It felt like the world was coming to an end, but deep inside I knew which one I truly loved, and which one would fulfill my competitiveness.
The years of sweat, memories, and plaid all blend together now. I know I made the right choice. It’s not always rainbows and butterflies, but I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. From spending my summers in the dance room to the injuries along the way, it has been anything but a cakewalk. This year, I’ll compete in my first official U.S. championship. I’ll also travel to Scotland this summer to compete in some of the biggest competitions in our sport.
Highland dance is a sport that requires the leg strength of marathon runners and the grace and precision of a professional ballerina. From dancing over swords to jumping vertically with your toes pointed, it’s hard to compare to any other sport or style of dance. Dancers must be on the balls of their feet throughout the whole dance, as well as pointing and maintaining a relaxed appearance. It takes work, practice, and dedication, but there isn’t anything else I would rather do.
Want to be a Buzz Kid? Email approximately 350 words, a high-resolution photo and caption to [email protected]. Or mail it to The Buzz Magazines, 5001 Bissonnet, Suite 100, Bellaire, Texas 77401.
Want more buzz like this? Sign up for our Morning Buzz emails.
To leave a comment, please log in or create an account with The Buzz Magazines, Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Or you may post as a guest.