The Reflection

Gull Lake High School's Online News Source

Difficult side of dance no one sees

One sport that is incomparable to most in strength and coordination, is dance.  Dance is the action of moving rhythmically to music, following a set sequence of steps and specific movements. 

 One dance studio close to Gull Lake High School that provides a loving, welcoming environment for all people continuing dance or just starting out is Traci Phelps Studios. In a studio, a dancer feels most heard and understood, while also extending their technique and pushing to improve.  

File:Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company 1.JPG
Taken by Shira Coriat May, 20, 2013

Dancers must first spend lots of hours acquiring proper techniques and movements to execute on stage. In dance class, one will be pushed through intense workouts for strength and control to prepare muscles for extensions, jumps, and turns.  Every dance move on stage requires talent and control, which is obtained through countless barre and technique classes.  

Also, dancers need to spend lots of time practicing.  Memorization of a dance takes a long time to fully obtain, and spending all year practicing is a way to.  TPS dancers start their competition dances at the beginning of summer in July, then after choreographing they memorize for 6-8 months before competing against other dancers. 

“I spend 18 to 20 hours a week practicing dance while still managing school and teaching dance students,” said junior at Gull Lake and daughter of studio owners, Maddi Phelps. 

Phelps is a  dance competition member and teacher.  According to Phelps, in order to actively memorize small details, one must practice multiple times a week for sometimes very long hours. 

When performing on stage, dancers have the difficult task of telling a story while also looking effortless and grateful.  Performers need to stay on time and hit every movement with purpose while they also have to constantly be engaged to listen for the right music counts.  

One of the hardest parts of performing on stage is the no recovery time. Usually a dancer has  only have one shot to try his or her  best and within the first seconds, already out of breath.

  “Not much flexibility is required in other sports, but in dance it’s a huge factor,” Phelps said. “Dancing with others and being completely in sync with them on slippery and unreliable stages is the worst.”  

Another task dancers face is that competition staff often clean stages before dancers will perform. This makes it hard to predict how to adapt to the surface while on stage.  

Each variation a performer learns will require long hours of practice to master and improve greatly at.  It takes over a long period of time to acquire good technique and learn how to correctly move loosely, on average it takes nine years to become a professional dancer.  Even after many years, most dancers are not excellent in all styles, this is because everyone is different.

Author Profile

Camrynn Sanders
Hi, my name is Camrynn Sanders, and I am a sophomore at Gull Lake High School. I enjoy spending my time outdoors adventuring and dancing at a nearby studio. I also like to paint and write stories, which is a huge role in why I joined newspaper. I enjoy writing about nature and the beautiful memoirs the Earth holds. I have three older siblings who also attended Gull Lake and graduated as I also plan to do.

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