Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Guest Post: Stephanie

Many of you know me as Stephanie from This Corner of the Earth, but today I have the honor and privilege of giving you a Tuesday Retrospective while Jess is in Germany. When Jess asked us what she should do about her blog when she'd be away, I was thinking Guest posters! Pick me!. A couple days later, when I received an email from Jess asking me to guest post for her Tuesday Retrospective, I got really excited. I am cool and I love Jess! Then really nervous. I suck and don't have anything to write about! Anyhow, I'm thrilled to be able to keep up the Tuesday tradition while she's is gone. She is a fantastic writer and more importantly, a sweet, kind and thoughtful person whose comments have helped me through some tough times and I'm so glad we're gotten to be bloggy friends over the past few months!

I wanted to be a professional dancer for all of my childhood. I don't remember how I first got into dancing, but in kindergarten, my mom signed me up for ballet and tap classes at "Miss Donna's" dance studio. Each year at Miss Donna's culminated in June with a studio-wide recital where our parents and grandparents and unfortunate siblings watched a two-hour (much too long) montage of young girls in sequined tulle costumes dancing to various show tunes.

I was always the tall one, always in the back row, center, so as to make the formations symmetrical and I loved my place in the semi-spotlight. For my first recital, my class danced to "Easter Parade", complete with wicker hats and a chorus line-esque kick sequence at the end of the routine. We were five years old.

Thanks, Mom, for the blue eyeshadow and flaming cheeks.

I loved my first year of dancing at Miss Donna's and was an above average dancer (for a five year old) so my mom signed me up for year after year, dumping hundreds of dollars into costumes I'd wear for one number in that glorious annual recital.

When I was about ten years old, my class and I had a killer tap dance to "King of New York" from Newsies (which I still have not actually seen) that won us trophy after trophy at competitions around the state. I still know every word to that song and can probably still tap my way through half of the routine. That same year, we had a ballet routine to a Nutcracker Suite medley and in the beginning of the year, when Miss Donna announced that one girl would get to dance as Clara and the rest would be toy soldiers, I immediately thought of my friend Erika. She was tiny, seemingly breakable, and a fantastic dancer at that. She had been in small roles in the Rochester City Ballet and I envied her. I thought I would be a toy soldier in the back row, center, as usual. When Miss Donna announced that I would be Clara, I thought it would finally be my break into a professional dancing career. My performance was fine, I got to exit the stage on a sleigh and I may have emphasized the fact that I had a SOLO performance to my fellow dancers a bit too often, but a professional dancer I was not.

Maybe this costume is why I never became a professional dancer?

As I got older, I added jazz, modern, lyrical and pointe to my weekly class schedule and was still the tall girl in the center of the back row. Because of my size (I was certainly thin, but I don't remember the last time I was shorter than 5'8") I knew I would never become a dancer with the American Ballet Theater, let alone the Rochester City Ballet, so my entrepreneurial spirit led me to want to open a dance studio instead. I was a good dancer and also very organized so I thought it would've been the perfect job for me.

As I entered my first year of high school, after a two year hiatus from the real world spent being homeschooled, I was overwhelmed with my new friends, changing classes at each bell, figuring out where to sit at lunch and opening my locker that dance was pushed to the end of my to-do list. My new friends were cheerleaders and so naturally, I wanted to be a cheerleader. My mom recognized the time crunch that would occur if I were to do both activities so she made me choose one. I chose cheerleading.

At Nationals senior year of high school. I'm on the left. And the gigantic Minnie Mouse bows? Don't ask.

Cheerleading became my life and I continued it for four years of high school and all three years of college. Go Mustangs! Go Eagles! was my mantra for 7 years and I met great friends, was in fantastic shape and had so much fun during that time. But I have always looked back and wondered what I could've done had I not chosen cheerleading. Had I picked the passion that I'd had my whole life. I may have opened a dance studio or continued my dance education into college, or I may have ended up exactly where I am right now. Now, as an adult, I take dance classes at the gym and that's enough to keep living out my childhood dreams.

Where or what would you be if you'd followed your childhood dreams?


  1. I would be a vet or a nurse. One should always follow their childhood dreams, and I hope I help my children with that, because pleasing someone else will never make you happy.

  2. I LOVE THIS! I was in dance team in high school and I so relate to the hideous makeup and huge Mickey bows.

    I STILL want to be a FlyGirl.

  3. I'd be a professional figure skater, of course! What can I say, I can't get enough of the glitter and spandex.

  4. I always wanted to be a professional ice skater. I still have my framed photo of Nancy Kerrigan. The only downside? I had NEVER been ice skating :)


  5. Aww! You look so cute in your costumes!

    I would have been a marine biologist or a vet. I love animals.

  6. the first time my mom asked me what i wanted to be when i grew up, i told her a part time doctor, part time trash collector.

    i'm... sort of ok with the fact that i never pursued either. :-)

  7. Is it totally horrible if I tell you that I honestly thought the first picture was of a boy? I think the huge bangs were deceiving me into thinking you had a bowl cut. :) But hey, I rocked a real bowl cut in the 4th grade. No joke. I have no idea what my mom was thinking. I'm still a little bitter.

  8. love the photos!

    the blue eyeshadow reminds me of something my mother did to me but i was much older - high school! and it was for a dance! yikes.

    hmm something to post about someday ;)

  9. Good post Stephanie! That was fun!

    I am still utterly confused as to why I am not a Fly Girl.


  10. If I followed my childhood dream, I would be a social worker. I decided against it when I realized what a thankless job it was. As for a grown up dream, I've always wanted to be a jewelry designer.

    P.S. Love the makeup in the first picture. Ha!

  11. I would be a dancer :) Unfortunately, it would have required an eating disorder, so I'm thoroughly comfortable taking the occasional class and leaving the real thing to the Irina Dvorovenkos of the world. Fame and perfect turnout is great and all, but so is wine...and ice cream.