A dancer on stage with backup dancers behind her performing a hiphop dance routine

When tasked with telling someone about myself the first topic that comes to mind is always my passion for dance. I love telling people about the experiences I’ve had because of the art form and my goals are for myself as a dancer. I often share about the experiences I’ve had and the awards I’ve won but I’ve realized that only a few know about where my passion for dance stems from and why I have stuck with it for this long. Everyone hears my name around the school and everyone responds “Oh yeah isn’t she that dancer girl?” Many know that I dance but not many know why I do what I do and why the art form is so close to my heart.

The way I ended up in dance class was pretty simple. My grandfather had a friend who owned a dance studio and she suggested he put me in dance classes when I was two years old. My family thought it would be cute for me to do “baby dance” but they never expected that after I outgrew “baby dance” that they would be driving me to auditions, dance competitions, and classes all around the tri-state area for the next fourteen years. No one expected that I would stick with it for this long. I’ve always had a passion and an undeniable drive for dance. This drive allowed me to become the youngest dancer to ever be accepted onto the 76ers Mini Dream Team. From then on I was always put in dance classes with girls a year or two older than me due to my talent. I remember every day when I attended the 76ers half-day camp for the younger dancers, I begged my dance teacher to let me stay the full day and dance with the big girls. I never wanted to leave the dance studio and I still never want to. Even though I’ve always had a love for dance, no one really knows why it’s so special to me.

The full truth is that dance has always been my outlet. My love for the art form started with genuine enjoyment but it has grown with the need to have the art form in my life to cope. Dance is all about storytelling and the trauma I’ve endured in my life has made for many stories to tell and express through movement. I’ve had a very troubling relationship with my father that has now come to the point where we are not on speaking terms. Through all of my problems with my father, I always relied on dance to be there for me. The trouble I endured with my father has led to many features of my character. I am never afraid to stand up for myself or others to whomever. This is because I was forced with the task of standing up to the very man who helped to put me on this earth. I was forced with the task of standing up to the very man who was meant to be my built-in protector but turned out to be the one I needed to be protected from most. However the trauma I went through also encouraged the development of my ADHD. Dance has become even more important to me because it is the only time I can truly focus. After all, it is movement-oriented.

Dance has become way more than just a hobby to me; it has become my lifestyle. Dance has taught me how to be patient, pay attention, work towards my goals, and many more important life lessons. Dance has been there for me through the hardest times in my life. It gave me a purpose that no one can ever take away from me. The purpose to share stories, connect, and inspire others through movement. It has become my own personal therapy.

I often feel misunderstood but the dance community has always made me feel understood. Dance gives me the ability to be my most authentic self. The art form means so much to me that I have chosen to work towards graduating high school a year early. This will provide me with the opportunity to work towards my goal of pursuing dance as a career. I’ve wanted to be a professional dancer for as long as I can remember and I’m determined to make my younger self and current self proud. Dance has taught me many life lessons and has ultimately made me the person I am today. Dance has always been my constant in this crazy world and I could never imagine where I would be or who I would be without it.

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Life during the Pandemic (Quarantine)

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What makes dancing a unique activity?

A picture of Mia LePage when she was in elementary school with her fellow teammates on the 76ers Mini Dream Team

Dance is a unique activity that provides dancers with the opportunity to express themselves through movement instead of words. Dance can help one process thoughts and feelings that they may have trouble working through in their mind. Dance serves as an outlet for many…

Mia LePage

Media Studies and Production Major at Temple University • 17-year-old dancer who has a passion for writing as well • IG: @mialepage @mialepageblog

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