I have danced at the same dance school since I was around 5. Growing up there was so special and it allowed me to grow a really close bond with my teacher. When I turned 15, she offered me a job at the school as an assistant teacher. This opportunity felt so special as I knew how much I idolised my teacher growing up, and I was so excited to have the privilege of potentially being that myself for young dancer. Shortly after that, I was nominated for an IDTA (the dance examining body) Freestyle Scholarship which meant competing against the top 200 dancers in my age category from across the country.
Our school was a tiny, village dance school and I was so overwhelmed to see how excited my teacher was about this honour. The nomination was a credit to her incredible teaching and guidance throughout my time there, and I felt so glad to be able to repay back her hard work and effort via the exposure this nomination gave to her dance school and teaching. It was obviously big news for everyone who attended, and word quickly spread to the young children I taught. The day before I left for the competition, they all came in with flowers and cards (a gesture the parents had secretly planned).
It was so kind, and it really encapsulated the excitement I had for setting a good example for the kids I was teaching. I saw how inspired they were, and it made me feel so proud of the dance community I was a part of, of the hard work and dedication my teacher had put into guiding me, and of myself for how far I had come since I was the same age as the small children I was teaching, equally excited for all the things I was going to learn and perform. It is definitely my proudest moment!