A million different thoughts were running through my head backstage. As #154 crept closer, I was going through my corrections and continuously muttering to myself, "just don't forget it".
Although this is my fifth year dancing and third year competing, dancing all by myself with three judges critiquing solely my every move was something I had never experienced and was both nervous and excited for. I could finally showcase the result of all the hard work and hours of late night, long practices. As I was waiting in the wings, watching the girl before me perform her solo, all the jitteryness subsided and pure excitement took over. Once she was finished, I was so antsy that I walked on stage before the announcer could even finish calling my number and naming my dance. Of course, I realized what I had done the moment I began my dance.
As I was dancing, I sort of stopped thinking and just enjoyed the moment. However, my favorite part of the whole experience was the feeling of accomplishment and pride after walking off stage. I was so proud that I did it with no major mistakes and most importantly, I had fun the entire time I was up there. Then came awards. One thing non-dancers should know about awards is that they take an immensely long time and these awards were no different. I'm generally a very impatient person, so waiting for awards and for the announcer to call my number seemed to take forever. Finally they announced, "#154, Finding Hope, High Gold". I was happy as I got the same award as the other two soloists from my studio and it was only my first time. Afterwards, they announced overalls and in it, the other two soloists placed and I didn't (they were super sweet and told me how proud they were of me, as I was of them). I was disappointed even though I didn't actually expect to place in the overalls. But, it also showed me that awards don't really matter and that I have a lot of work to do in order to improve and meet my goals for the next competition.
Two Weeks later, I had my second competition and was excited to perform my solo again, with all the corrections from the judges applied. This time I wasn't nearly as nervous and was ready to show how much I had improved. At awards, they finally announced entry #82. I got a high gold again, but placed 4th overall with my other 2 dance friends placing as well. Although, I was aiming for a platinum and barely missed it by possibly less than a point, I was proud that I placed in the overalls and that I accomplished one of my goals.
Both competitions have been such fun experiences where I have became closer with my new dance friends and of course danced my heart out. I can't wait to do the same thing all over again!