by Shadawn Fleming
DECEMBER 18, 2014: I feel like a brand new person when I dance. Dancing makes me feel like Beyonce. It makes me feel confident and brave to believe in myself—you can’t think about falling and getting broken bones.
I’ve been doing ballet and African dance since I was 4 years old. I still dance at the Washington Ballet. They have modern, jazz, tap, ballet, African classes and more classes I don’t know about. Ballet makes you learn French words.
It seemed easy when I saw other people dancing, but in real life it’s hard. Ballet is hard. You have to have the correct posture, and not play or slouch during practice. You can not be late for practice, because you will get “set out”. There are too many times when parents are called.
You make new friends who help you out with different steps in the dances that you don’t understand. I think dance is a sport, because you have to work hard at doing exercise and practice.
My cousin and I have been dancing together since we were born. I’m the more flexible one, and she is more into hip-hop. We’ve talked about having our own dance studio when we grow up.
I stopped dance when I was around 6 or 7 years old because I was too young to do the big shows and the big productions that they had at the ARC. Also I wanted to do different activities for a few years at my school. Then I realized that I wanted to go back to the ARC because after I tried all the school activities, I decided to follow the dream that I had since I was old enough to dance. My dream is to become a professional dance teacher.
In the video, my first experience teaching a young one was challenging, but it was easy, because I never thought it would be easy to teach advanced dance moves to a second grader. But now I know that age doesn’t matter.
Shadawn Fleming is a 7th grade scholar at Friendship Tech Prep Academy.