Walking down the streets in New York City is unbelievable, looking up at skyscrapers and being surrounded by hundreds of businesses is eye opening. With in all the businesses you can find restaurants, offices, and most importantly shops. In New York City there are so many shops It Is impossible to view them all in a four day vacation. On Frommer’s website for shopping in New York City he explains how many visitors appear in the city to shop right around fall time before Christmas, Chanukah, and Kwanza. Mr. Frommer believes the spenders want to get their holiday shopping out of the way. Shoppers know the big city of New York will have what they want so coming to New York is easy and fun. Frommer’s website also explains how you can find a way around the sales tax and bring home some good bargains. When my family and I vacationed to New York, we did a lot of sight seeing and touched on a couple days of shopping. My mom and I love to shop and we took a shopping tour in the Garmet district which is a part in the city where a lot of show rooms are hidden. On this shopping tour our tour guide took us to 6 different show rooms with different designer items. We got to look around and purchase some new fashion pieces. A couple of the pieces were kimonos, bohemian styles, furs, dresses, jewelry, and footwear. Everything was very new to my eye considering I come from Iowa where the fashion isn’t city like at all. Other then the shopping tour in the Garmet district, my mom and I boarded the hop on/hop off city bus tour. On board of the city bus we got to experience an awesome tour guide and we got to stop in the top rated village for shopping, Soho. Soho village included so many shops that given two hours my mom and I didn’t even tackle 1/4 of them. Just to look around and walk through all the unique boutiques was really neat, defiantly something we don’t have here in Iowa. For the least I can say, the shopping was incredible and I would love to go back and maybe shop during the fall/winter time when I can shop for the holidays. Mr. Frommer had a great idea and I would like to take part in it. Check out his website here and maybe consider making a trip to New York yourself before the big holidays.
My favorite part is getting ready with the team. Before all our performances wether it be football games, camp, or a competition the Kennedy Dance Team always gets ready together. Usually, a senior year member on the team will have the team come over to their house and get ready. Getting ready isn’t just putting on an outfit and looking at ourselves in the mirror. In order for the dance team to be ready, we do our hair together, apply each others makeup, eat a meal, and take many pictures. Specifically for football games, we have the choice of curling or straightening our hair and can do whatever we please with our makeup. Everyone generally wears their hair down, the only requirement is to have our bangs out of our face so we can see while we are dancing. Now, for competitions the rules are way more strict stating our hair has to be in a high bun on the crown of our head. Makeup is strict too, we do some eye shadow with lots of glitter covering it to stand out to the judges. Both performances are fun to get ready for, we all sit around and talk and get each other pumped up to dance. A lot of the time music will be playing and snacks will be set out; my favorite is the desserts! Lastly, we all have to get to our destination somehow and this consists of everyone pilling in a bunch of cars. On the way we jam to music and follow each other down the road. When we finally get to either the football field or the competition we all walk in together. One of my favorite parts is walking into a football game with my team and walking past the crowd all in uniform and ready to perform. The memories will never grow old and I’m so happy I have got the opportunity to experience being a part of the dance team.
Going into a new season is so unexpected. You don’t know how the new team will cooperate or how your routines will develop or even how the dances will place at every competition. My first year on the Kennedy Varsity Dance Team I had no clue what I was getting myself into. Quickly, I realized how hard working the team was. We practiced everyday of the summer for at least 2.5 hours and during the school year as well. Before we knew it, our first competition hit at the University of Iowa. Pom and Jazz are the two dances the team always takes to compete. Our pom placed higher then jazz, although pom placed higher, we still didn’t win. Winning is always a teams goal no matter what you compete for. We didn’t give up, this was a “wake up call,” we needed to step up our game and bring it for the next competitions. The Prarie competition was next, since we had been practicing for numerous hours we did improve. Prarie has many teams at their competition, some good and some bad. We were one of the better ones and knowing that we didn’t have too much to worry about. The dance team was well aware we would be facing way more extreme teams at the State level. Scary as it is, we had to compete against all the teams in the state. We had several three hour practices after school trying to perfect and complete the routine. Then, the time had come and we were inside the Wells Fargo Areana waiting to take the dance floor. After our two performances we knew we did the best we could and that’s all that matters in the end. We didn’t place as high as we wished for but again we were up against the number one teams in the state, the teams who place in the top five or ten at Nationals. Nothing to get down about, we had one competition left and that was Regionals. No giving up now, we have had a whole year to get ready for this moment. Taking on Regionals at the Mall of America was so much fun! Our coach took us up a day early to go shopping and kind of relax our minds before the big day. Waking up on competition day is frightening, you are nervous about your turns, jumps, remembering certain moves and just doing your absolute best. As we entered the competition, we went straight to warmup for the real performance. Then the judges called The Kennedy Dance Team to take the floor. We knew it wasn’t spectacular but everyone was proud of each other and what we had come to be. Beginning the season with three returning members and 11 new members, we had an excellent season. As we hugged everyone goodbye I was already excited for the next season. I thought to myself, “this is just my freshman year, we have so much potential in years to come.”
From the movie Step Up Revolution, Ryan Guzman the lead male dancer likes to express himself through his tweets. I read all his tweets day to day, this tweet I picked specifically shows Ryan is hard working. To post “Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one,” Ryan is telling us that everything done is worth while. The quote is focusing on not wishing for things to come easy, harder is better. Although this quote may work for many aspects, It goes great with dancing. When dancing or learning a new dance, you may struggle with serval moves or have issues with judges evaluating and preferring your style over someone else’s. Being able to understand and change is good, you can’t take the easy way out. There is no easy way out in dance because everything is so particular and specific. Each move has to flow, hit, and be executed well or else there goes half or a whole point. Dance is difficult because It’s not a win or a lose situation. The competition depends on the level of ability, how well a certain style is performed, and mainly on preference and opinion of your six judges. Year to year, the Kennedy Varsity Dance Team goes to a State competition and performs a jazz and pom routine. Usually the pom routine will place higher then jazz, not because jazz is terrible but because jazz can be interrupted in so many different ways and each year it comes down to what the judges enjoy watching the most. Pom on the other hand is more straight forward, your hard hitting type of dance with many jumps. I would definitely say after competing both dances pom is harder then jazz but that doesn’t mean jazz comes easy. Jazz is still hard and becomes harder every year when we as dancers know the dance lacks points at the State competition compared to Pom. Just as Ryan quotes, “..pray for the strength to endure a difficult one” because in the end everything is worth it. After placing sixth at State last year in jazz, our team worked so hard and at the Regional competition a month later we won first place. Nothing came easy for the team but as soon as we won we knew all our hard work had paid off. Being champions was an awesome feeling to end the season with.
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