Opinion: Find your strong passion in life and run with it

Jessica Stewart, Columnist

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Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved dance. When I was little, I started taking dance classes at a little studio in my hometown. It was a lot of fun, and it helped me realize just how much I enjoyed dance. When I got to high school, I tried out for our dance team and was so surprised when I made the team. Then senior year, I was a captain.

My senior year, I also got in a really bad car accident. I basically ripped my foot off and destroyed my ankle. I was unable to dance for the whole season, but that didn’t stop me from still going to every single practice and helping my team out in any way that I could.

When I got to college, my freshman year was the first time since I was about 7-years-old that I wasn’t involved with dance in any way. It sucked, and I honestly was quite depressed. I felt that something was missing from my daily life, and I knew it was dance. I knew I wouldn’t be able to be on a dance team; the damage to my ankle made it so I wouldn’t be able to dance at the same level I used to. This realization only made me even more upset, but I didn’t let that stop me. I decided to email the coach for Charleston High School’s dance team and see if they could use any extra help, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Since then, I’ve been an assistant coach for their team. I go to practices, football and basketball games, competitions, and summer camps. It took me a few weeks to get comfortable with everyone, but now it feels like I’ve been doing this for years.

I was terrified before I decided to reach out to the head coach and I had all kinds of fears running through my head. What if she said they didn’t need any extra help? What would I do then? What if I didn’t have enough time to fully commit to coaching? What if I couldn’t handle it? What if I wasn’t good at it?

All of those fears disappeared so quickly. I was so passionate about what I was doing that I decided to not let anything stop me from doing it. I realized I needed something more, and I figured out a way to get it.

If you feel like something is missing, or if you feel like you could be doing something more with your passion, follow your feelings. I never in a million years thought that I would be coaching a dance team in college, but now I couldn’t imagine not seeing my kiddos almost every day. I have no idea what it will evolve into in the future, but I know I will always be involved with dance in some way.

Jessica Stewart is a junior English major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]