Page 83 - First Ladies of Football
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  Growing up, after a dance recital, rehearsal or just showing off in the living room, my dad would compliment me with, “you’re an athlete.” This remark was usually followed by a response of, “yeah, but I have to look good while doing it.” What started as casual banter between father-daughter has evolved into something I truly stand for and believe in. To me, Grace and Grit is putting in hours of physical, mental and emotional work (all things that dance entails), but putting on a smile – and maybe a few rhinestones – so that you also see the enjoyment I get out of dancing. I’ve been a dancer since the age of four – performing and competing on a stage in all styles from tap to modern to hip-hop. My life was a scary resemblance to Dance Moms at times, to give you a clear visual. In college, I tried out for our dance team and completely fell in love with sports entertainment dance. As a dancer during a stage performance, all eyes are on you – there’s literally nowhere else to look. Spotlights, theatrics, music: everything is setting up the dancer for a successful performance. As a dancer during a sporting event, we’re fighting for the attention. We don’t get a spotlight. All we have is our raw talent, passion, and charisma to connect with fans as we perform. Sometimes we can’t hear the music. Sometimes a referee or player will walk through our formation, but the smile never falters. We are athletes. What we do is difficult – and that is grit. What fans see makes it all look easy – and that is grace.    81     Swimwear by • D’Milikah 

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