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She Bang-ed Up
There I was, kneeling on a hard gym floor with my forearms resting parallel to the ground and my head down. My heart was racing, adrenaline pumping and all I could hear was the deafening cheers of the crowd.
My dance team was at an Ohio Regional dance competition and we were set to perform our kick routine. It was now late February and we had been preparing for this since November. We had run the dance numerous times in order to perfect every minute detail. We were extremely confident and ready to go.
I heard the notes and rhythm of Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs” and shot into my first position. As the song progressed, we moved into our first kick and when I saw the side of my foot nearly hit my face, I knew I was on point. The routine was going wonderfully until I heard the music falter and simultaneously my heart skipped a beat. This is it, the music is going to stop, I thought, but I soon shooed that idea from my mind. That could never happen, I assured myself.
We transitioned into our formation for the climax of the song when the scenario I was dreading happened. The music stopped. Instead of panicking, we continued on and a few beats later our captain began counting out the rhythm. The crowd went wild when they realized we weren’t going to stop. Soon all 14 of us were going as strong as ever, counting in unison.
As we continued, we briefly glanced at each other and exchanged looks of disbelief. The crowd couldn’t contain itself, as they didn’t know how we managed to keep it together. About 30 seconds after the music had cut, we heard the voice of the announcer come on overhead.
“We’re going to have to ask you to stop, ladies,” she said apologetically.
We all stopped dancing and could not believe it. How could they just ask us to stop in the middle of that?! The team congregated in the middle of the floor as we waited for instructions. Our captain gave us a pep talk and told us to just do it 10 times better the second time. Soon the announcer told us to return to our spots and the music would start shortly.
We settled into our positions and the moments seemed to drag on until the music finally restarted. I pushed through, a bit tired and with my spirits significantly deflated. I listened intently at the spot where the music skipped and then where it stopped, but it continued to play smoothly. We finished the exhausting routine and hurried off the floor. We knew we had done well, but if only they could have let us keep going the first time; surely that would have earned us first place.
After every team had performed all of their numbers, the awards ceremony began. We anxiously awaited the results, not knowing what to expect. Finally, they arrived at the Small High School Kick Team category. At this point, we were just hoping for the best. The announcer began reporting the runners up, and after 4th and 3rd place, we had still not heard our name.
“And now, in 2nd place,” the announcer declared...
In a split second, we had all jumped to our feet, screaming and cheering as we received our trophy. Even though we didn’t win, 2nd place still felt like 1st. We now knew we could overcome a difficult situation that we never imagined we would be in. The remainder of our dances all received 1st place trophies and we went home feeling like champions!