Congratulations to the 16-17 Scholarship Winners
The Minnesota Association of Dance Teams annually recognizes female, high school senior dance team athletes who possess exemplar qualities. Exemplar qualities include distinguished competitions on the local and/or state levels, as well as academic achievement, community involvement and participation in MADT activities including the Student Convention and All-State. The recipient of this award will receive a scholarship of $500. The MADT Board of Directors would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to the scholarship winners from the Class of 2017!
Leah Boudreau-Essay, A Leap into Life
Dance has given me the drive and ambition to become the best scholar that I can be. Through dance, I’ve learned the importance of setting goals and accomplishing them. In a dance season I spend 17 weeks focused on one goal; improvement. Our goal as a team is to always improve our scores from the last competition. Being able to persistently work towards a goal is something I have acquired through dance.
I’m able to use the skills I have learned through dance at school as well. I set goals for myself to improve my grades and exam scores. Because of dance, I have become a more reliable and motivated student.
Dance has also taught me how to be a leader and role model. I have always had a passion for choreography and formations. I was given the opportunity to be a part of the choreography team my sophomore year and a two-year captain. Since then I have dedicated my entire life to dance. I am constantly thinking about how my actions will affect the team and always behaving in the best interest of my teammates. I now know that leadership doesn’t come easily, and one must work hard to be successful. As a leader on my team, I decided to take my leadership to the extra step, by becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant last summer because I wanted to contribute to my community. Currently I work at a senior living facility caring for elderly residents with dementia. I am honored to have the opportunity to become a leader in my community and I have my dance experience to thank for those skills I have acquired.
Dance has guided my personal goals and given me a purpose and the feeling of satisfaction when meeting a goal. Now, I find myself competing in every aspect of my life. Not always with other people, but with myself. Everyday I wake up and strive to be better than I was yesterday. I have been very successful doing so; my grades in school have improved, I am more involved with my family and helping around the house, I value and think about my future constantly, and I love to volunteer not only at my school but internationally.
The most important lesson I have learned from dance team is to not wish my time away. Since my first season on dance team, I have always been wishing for the next best thing. I wished for the next competition, the next season, and the next pasta dinner. I wished to become a better dancer, and I wished to be on varsity. I wished to become a choreographer, a captain, and eventually a senior. But now, when I have gotten all the moments I’ve wished for, I wish that I had never wished my time away. I have learned to live in the present, and enjoy the wonderful people and things I surround myself with.
Bryanna Sandvik-Essay, Dance Team
When I was a little girl, there was nothing I wanted more than to be a ballerina. I’d like to think that I have accomplished it because of being on the dance team. Dance has always been something that was a part of my life. I was a part of Miss Leann’s Academy of Dance from the age of 3 to 5 and then Fusion Dancy Company from the age of 5 to 10. When I learned from a friend of mine that our school offered a dance team in junior high, I knew I had to join.
At the beginning of my dance career, I had no idea how much it would impact me in the end. Words cannot describe how glad I am that I decided to join dance team in the 7th grade. One of the biggest influences it has had on me is it has taught me that hard work and dedication are key. Dance has never been something that came to me easily. It was always something I had to work my hardest on, to get to the point at where I am now. I am truly blown away at how much I have grown over the years. Dedication is the one thing one must have when in a sport such as dance. From drilling, learning technique, and helping my teammates, dedication to succeed is what helped drive me through it all. Dedication has driven me so far in dance as well as my academic career. My high academics are all due to the refusal of giving up when something does not come easy to me.
Dance has taught me to never give up on myself. Not just when dancing but in many other things as well. My academics and other extracurricular activities are proof that I refuse to give up on myself. I am so thankful for being so determined with everything I do as the results in the end are always the best.
When my head coach, Jenny, asked me for some words of advice for the underclassmen for senior night, I came to an epiphany. The advice I gave was: “Don’t give up. It’s so worth it at the end of the day. Keep striving for improvement. When you look back on it all and you see how much you’ve grown over time, it brings one of the most amazing feelings ever.” I truly don’t think I would have been able to think of something like that if it hadn’t been for dance. The experience over the years with my team has really grown me into a better person. This reason is why I always get so excited when I hear that someone is thinking of doing dance because it influences yourself and life in so many different and amazing ways.
Everyone hopes for once in a lifetime opportunities; mine was being able to dance on the Austin Packer Dance Team for the last 5 years. This team is not just a group of girls who get together and dance. It’s a family, where we learn how to succeed and fail as one. APDT taught me how to be a leader and team player. It pushed me to achieve my goals, both academically and on the dance floor. APDT kept me motivated, taught me many lessons, and showed me failing is okay.
Many of the lessons I learned from APDT apply to everyday life. When times get tough, never give up because the result is always worth it. Something I refuse to have are regrets. APDT taught me that if you give 110% in everything you do, you will never have regrets. This team has taught me how to set goals and strive to achieve them. APDT is not just a dance team, it has taught me many life lessons that I can apply to my academics as well as my everyday life.
APDT has pushed me to work hard in school. Since APDT is so time-consuming, it made me understand the importance of time management. I am a full time PSEO student, which frees time during the day, but also makes me study longer. Dance taught me to be committed to my school work and always try my best. It taught me that you will never know your fullest potential unless you try. School is not always easy, but you must push through. Always give your best effort the first time, because the second time is always harder. My coach and the girls have all pushed me to be the best I can be, both athletically and academically.
APDT has also influenced the way I look at life, showing me how to look at the world more positively. It has shown me that failing/not winning is okay. You must get back on your feet and learn from it. APDT has taught me the importance of individuality. If you have the chance to be different then everyone else, do it and don’t be shy. APDT influenced the way I think of myself. Dance has made me more confident in who I am. Dance has influenced my life in many ways. There are no words to describe that feeling.
The Austin Packer Dance Team is one of a kind and I am proud to say I was a part of it for five years. We may not have won every competition or received medals at state, but I feel that made me a stronger person. APDT taught me many lessons that I will use for the rest of my life. APDT taught me about commitment and dedication in practice as well as the classroom. It motivated me to be a better athlete and student. APDT influenced me to be a better person and pushed me to my fullest potential on and off the dance floor.
The great philosopher Wayne Dyer, once said; “When you dance, it is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.” To me, my dance career as a Minnesota high school dancer has followed this quote respectively. Along my high school dance journey as part of the BOLD Divas Dance Team, I have learned more about myself, others, and my future goals than I have learned in any other aspect of my life. Mostly, Dance Team has given me reasons to believe I have the potential
While there may be challenges presented at times, I have learned and grown from every aspect of Dance Team. I have found that the values I hold important were first initiated with being committed to the Dance Team. These were not just important values or traits that were applicable to dance, instead I carried these skills on to my academic work, my relationships with family and friends, and the way that I live my life. Being part of any team requires dedication, and I fully accepted that role and continue to practice it daily through the other parts of my life. When school work starts to get hard, and challenges are presented to me, I can work through any difficulties with determination and perseverance, from my experience as a dancer. Dance has encouraged me to keep my grades high, and my ambitions large… because both are achievable with hard work.
I am a current Post-Secondary Education Option Student, and my future plans include double Majoring with a minor in two years. Looking back, I never would have believed I could graduate high school with a large amount of college credits, and then graduate college in two years. However, I have been a firsthand witness of what hard work and perseverance looks like, as a dancer. I now know, that no goal is too large to accomplish. And I also know, that each step of the way is just as important as the desired final moment. Dance Team has taught me that you cannot just end the last dance move strong, for it to be a winning dance. Each movement through the dance must be done with as much energy, passion, and strength as the next. Similarly, this has translated to my life. I have learned that doing every little thing completely, with energy, passion, and strength creates success.
For me, being part of the Dance Team was more than joining just another sports team. It encouraged me to find it in myself to work hard when practices got long, and when life threw unexpected hurdles in my path. Dance Team has impacted me immensely in the other areas of my life, because it has empowered me to be a strong, independent, and hard- working individual.
My name is Cassandra Keough, I have been a member on the Bagley Dance Team for six years and a captain for four. Throughout my experience Dance has made me who I am today by teaching me an incredible amount of important lessons. It has taught me to appreciate beauty in its purest sense, the importance of discipline and determination in all areas of my life and it has taught me that one should never stop learning. If you give something your all, the benefits are immeasurable which is something most dancers, like myself learn relatively young. It has taught me to appreciate diversity both in styles of dance and in the individuals I meet. The importance of being a team player and how to lead others by example are both valued attributes that I developed on my team. It has taught me that performing is about sharing and perhaps bringing a smile to someone’s face. Most importantly, it has taught me to never, ever, give up and that anything is possible if you follow your passion.
During my time on the Bagley Dance Team, our schedule was very busy. We participated in the State Tournament my seventh and eighth grade years which meant we had to practice hard and often to stay competitive. Throughout my ninth grade year to senior year we remained highly competitive and although we missed the state trip by one placing each year our practice and competition schedule remained grueling. Having five morning practices a week (preferred by our team), studio practices, jobs and weekend meets left little time for homework and sleep, like every dancer knows. This is where the time management and dedication comes into play. Although it was difficult at times, I personally wouldn’t have changed a thing because pushing through and being organized lead me to complete any task at hand in academics, maintain good grades along with attendance.
Education is our foundation and there are many reasons why it is purposeful. Dance has helped create a drive within myself to use education to develop intellect, serve social needs, contribute to the economy, to create an effective work force, to prepare for a career, and to promote a particular social or political system. In doing so, I am seeking this MADT Scholarship because it is extremely beneficial in continuing my education.
In holding leadership positions throughout school, dance teams, volleyball teams and community involvement throughout my life (i.e. Student Council President, Team Captain, Church functions, Rotary, and American Legion), I have learned the importance of doing for others, taking the initiative to get things accomplished and the skills needed to motivate people. I believe these roles have been crucial in my development of a student, leader, and dancer. In many situations I know what needs to be done and step up to take the initiative in accomplishing the task. Friends, family and employers have told me that I am an empathic, hardworking, and driven person.
In conclusion, dance for me is physical, emotional and intellectual. Being on a dance team has taught me to push myself. My teammates and I motivated each other to grow at every practice, so when competition time came, we all were our very best. Being on the team has let me continue to share my talents, improve my dancing and make lasting connections in the dance world. Thank you for your consideration of my application, If I were to receive the award, I know it will greatly benefit my future.