January 6, 2020

Briana Benenati

Dance, Dance, Where Ever You May Be

Hop two, three, four, five, six, seven... back two, three... back two, three. If only I had known thirteen years ago how much these steps would form my life. Irish dance. To some, my obsession may seem like a silly cultural phenomenon. Big curly hair, 1950's style poodle socks, leprechaun shoes, and dresses plastered with rhinestones. To me, it is something that I am proud to call my life. While some kids choose to listen to Puff Daddy on the radio, to this day Dean Crouch's treble jig remains the soundtrack to my life. Dancing has given me the courage and opportunity to step out of my element and share my love of dance with the world. It has also taught me lessons that I have carried into other elements of life including my academic studies.

Whip two, three... step leap down and one, two three... step leap down. Irish dance has blessed me with the opportunity to soar to great heights. In my short life, I have been able to achieve more than I ever dreamed. With the luck of the Irish on my side, I won my first world medal at the 2009 World Championships and my second one this past year in Ireland. What may seem like a small piece of metal is nothing short of a huge accomplishment. Dancing in front of a huge room of people is no easy task. With years of dedication and perseverance mixed with a small dose of blood, sweat, and tears, I have reached a new level of confidence that I will carry with me throughout my life. This same level of commitment is found in my studies and as a result I have consistently achieved honors.

Leap down and spin...treble, heel, toe, and click. Dancing has provided me the opportunity to give back to my community. I have performed annually for various charities, hospitals, nursing homes, senior centers, schools, fundraising events, and the Helen Graham Cancer Center. Every spring, I have danced at cultural events at the Hagley Museum. Delaware Children's Museum has filmed me dancing and it is part of a permanent exhibit.

Bang, bang... treble and a treble and a treble hop back. The hard shoes are known to be the heart, soul, and rhythm of Irish dance. Although my own pair is five years old and three sizes too small requiring the use of a shoe horn to get them onto my feet, I would not trade them for anything. When I put the shoes on my feet, it is as if they have magical powers and I can do anything that I set my mind to do. If only my magical shoes could find the limit to the given function for my Honors Calculus homework! Over the last few years I have been able to mold the shoes, and in return, they have molded me into a hard-working, dedicated, caring, competitive young woman with the determination to succeed. These are the same skill sets that are required to be successful in pursuing a college degree.

Point and bow. Although every dance eventually comes to an end, there is always a new one to learn, new steps to practice, higher heights to leap, more beats to treble, and new adventures to embark upon. I would like to study Communications and have a career in media or journalism. As I leave Padua Academy to enter into the University of Delaware, I am excited to see what the next dance of my life takes me to experience. I feel confident that my high school experience has prepar

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