I began training at The Landing in 2008 at the age of 12. Throughout the years I have spent here, I have grown not only as a dancer but also as a person. Dancing at The Landing has taught me the importance of hard work, commitment, and communication with others, and I have made some lifelong friendships along the way.
My teachers and fellow students here have inspired me to want to constantly improve at everything I do. I have learned to enjoy challenging myself, both at dance and at school. My friends and family often question how I manage to be successful in school while spending so much time at dance; however, it is dance that has taught me the work ethic and organization needed to do my best at school and in all other areas of my life. By spending so much time at dance, I am forced to work quickly and efficiently on all of my schoolwork, which has enabled me to push myself by joining honours and AP courses. Without dance, I would never have become as hard working or as organized as I am today.
Growing up as a dancer has also taught me how to communicate with others and how to work successfully in a group setting. I have learned that when you work in a group, you need to put your own wants and needs aside and focus on what is best for everyone, whether you are working on a group project at school or performing a new contemporary piece at dance. Everyone in our group respects one another, and we have all become very good friends over the years we have spent together at dance. I will never forget the day at competition where the edited version of our music would not play; we tried everything, from burning new CD’s to playing it off of our instructor’s computer, with no luck. We ended up having to use the original version of the song and improvise part of the dance, but because we all knew how to work together as a group, it wasn’t a problem. In the end, everyone liked the version of the dance with the improvisation better, and we continued to use the unedited version of the music for the rest of the year!
Committing to doing a single activity everyday after school at a young age is hard, but I am incredibly glad I chose to dance. I cannot remember a single day where I thought, “Oh, I don’t want to go to dance today.” This is thanks to The Landing’s wonderful positive atmosphere. Of course there have been days where I am tired or sore, but the inviting feeling of The Landing has always made me happy to return each day after school. The Landing has been a place where I can spend time with people I care about, be inspired by my teachers, and learn how important it is to remain positive and work hard. I will be incredibly sad to graduate and leave The Landing at the end of this year, but I will leave feeling extremely grateful for everything my family there has taught me.
– Annie Brown (18), Sixth-year student at The Landing Dance Centre