The Gift of Dance: A Local Youth Speaks Out

S. Ramos, 13 yrs old
Dec. 2021
Coachella Valley, CA

My dance experience has genuinely been one of the best experiences of my life as well as being one of the most healing parts of my daily life. You know something becomes an obsession when you wouldn’t be able to go through the day without it. Well, that special something for me is the art of dancing. Ever since I was little I enjoyed nothing more than moving my body to the beat of the music. There’s just something about expressing without using your words, just your body, that calms me.

I started taking dance studio lessons at 6 years old. I remember my first recital vividly. I was young but I knew that I belonged on that stage. I flowed and swayed to the melodies just like my class had rehearsed and by the time we were done I was exhausted, but that didn’t matter. The audience rose and applauded, cheered, and beamed with enjoyment. What we performed for them I realized then was a gift. One that I would never want to stop giving. Throughout my growth, dance has always been there, keeping me busy and pushing me to my limits. Until suddenly the pandemic hit and everything changed.

During quarantine I danced at home, but it wasn’t the same. I waited anxiously until I could return to my studio training. Then, my mother broke the news that she just couldn’t afford my studio anymore, let me tell you how heartbroken I had felt. I understood how difficult it was during these rough times, especially with the lack of income and work. but something was missing. Inside me there was a spark that had been put out.

Then, I found out about a training scholarship opportunity through my dance studio and applied. Imagine how ecstatic I was when I received a dance scholarship from the Palm Springs Dance Project for a full session of training and a recital! I was able to return to training and take these amazing classes with such awesome and talented dancers as well as excellent teachers, it was more than I could have hoped for. I want to thank the kindness of the souls that were able to grant me such an opportunity. I will never forget what your generosity has meant to me, I will always cherish it in my heart. This has truly been a life changing experience, and from this moment forward shows on stage whenever I have the opportunity to grant the gift that I have been given.

I will continue to work hard and strive to become the best version of myself. If there’s one thing my dance teachers taught me, it was to never give up and persevere towards my dreams. This has truly been a life changing experience.

Thank you!

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