** The above photograph was captured by Alicia Fernandez from The Fine Art Photography Company for her “Dancers in Urban Settings” Project. **
You have your first solo dance competition coming up this weekend and I am so super excited for you! You have competed with a team before, and you will again, but also by yourself this time. You have worked so incredibly hard to get where you are. You have stayed motivated and on-track. You have practiced. You have studied. You are going to do, and be, amazing.
Still, there are a few things that I need for you to remember during this competition:
You are always GOOD ENOUGH.
You are always BEAUTIFUL.
You are always CONFIDENT.
You are always SMART.
You are always STRONG of mind and body.
You can and will DO AND BE ANYTHING YOU WANT.
For you, dance has become a love and I encourage you to continue to pursue it as your talent and your passion will take you so far. As long as you continue to enjoy it, I will help motivate you to keep on.
This weekend, I want you to remember that when you are standing up on that stage, in front of those judges, that no one, and no judge, can or will, take away from the enjoyment you get out of dancing.
In life, we are always judged and that is unfortunate. But, whether in the competition of life or at your upcoming dance competition, you must promise to KNOW, with all your heart, the following:
— To keep your attitude optimistic and bright.
— To appreciate every moment and every opportunity.
— To never feel insecure.
— To embrace your talents and your weaknesses, as weaknesses are only unrealized talents.
— To maintain a high, but humble self-worth
— To always, always, always, chase your dreams, no matter how lofty they seem.
— To know how immensely loved you are, by all that know you.
Daughter, I am so proud of the person that you are and can only imagine the great things you are going to do in this life.
I respect and I admire you.
And oh yeah, you are going to rock this…just like you do everything else!
A giant thank you to Ms. Lisa’s Dance Studio for loving, teaching, inspiring and supporting my daughter in her dance endeavors. I could not be more appreciative of you, Lisa, Amy Jo and Michelle, and all of the teachers at your studio. We are lucky to be a part of your dance family!