Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Performer of the Year

Last year Kendra had the honor of being awarded the prestigious title of Performer of the Year. At her studio this is the big recognition that you have arrived as a dancer/performer. In order to win Performer of the Year (POTY), you not only have to show excellence in dance, vocals, and acting, you also must have performed in community shows, and most importantly the teachers must think that you will be a good role model for the younger students. POTY does not just come to you if you have danced at the studio enough years, etc. it is truly a prestigious award that tells the student that the teachers think the student is awesome as a performer and a person.

Part of the joy of being awarded POTY is that you get to be an assistant teacher and join the ranks of the in group of teachers. If you do well at assistant teaching for 2 years you then might get asked to have your own students but that is not a given. Kendra has truly taken on the teaching mantle with joy and responsibility. She is very determined to do a good job as an assistant teacher, she understands the task of a teacher to encourage, challenge, and support her students. The younger students flock around her and they love when she comes into class to demonstrate for them because she is very patient in breaking down the steps into manageable teaching moments.

Anyway, her year as POTY ended at this year's recital as she helped to award the title to the next student. Part of the tradition is that the POTY writes a speech. She gave me permission to print it here.

Last night when I was writing this I was watching Dora with DBG and she said I should talk about rainbows and cookies but I'm pretty sure that's not quite the right subject. Now when I was DBG's age I used to freak out when Miss Sandra announced Performer of the Year, even though I was three and still mastering the good ol' shuffle step. When I was 7 and I was working on my single turns I would convince myself that it was my year. When I was 12 and practicing those fouettes I would actually break down in tears the night before recital, but I'm a cry baby so that is par for the course with me. Through the years and dance steps I have realized that earning POTY takes time. commitment, patience, talent and a lot of hard work.

Last year my nerves were going crazy. I had heard some whispers about me being POTY and I was more than nervous. As I remember it I jumped a good 3 feet into the air when I heard my name. I was so ecstatic that I even named my trophy "Pinky". I kept Pinky by my side for the next little while. I actually took it to Quodoba (a Mexican chain restaurant) with me the Monday after recital, that's 3 days later folks, but I didn't take it in because I thought we might see Emily(a former POTY) and her mother there, and who did we see but Emily and Siri!!

A lot has changed for me in the last year, I started teaching which has been quite the experience. The girls have been great and they have taught me a lot too. I know that's cheesy, but cheesy is what we do here at Dancensation. I went to YPAS (the Youth Performing Arts School) which was a big change, I sprained my ankle in the Fall which set me back a little but all in all it has been a great year for me.

Right now when I have my minute with the mic I want to thank Sandra and Dancensation for everything they have given me which is a lot when you think about it. Dancensation has given me my best friends, my talent, and my second home. So here's to the new POTY whoever they may be. I hope they have a wonderful year.

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