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The firsts and lasts

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Xavier Dance Team poses at a Xavier football home game. 	     Sara Baldus Photo.

Xavier Dance Team poses at a Xavier football home game. Sara Baldus Photo.

Xavier Dance Team poses at a Xavier football home game. Sara Baldus Photo.

Erin Hassenstab, Copy Editor

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Six weeks ago I was standing in the Wells Fargo Arena, clutching hands with my teammates as a three-way tie for fifth place was announced. As we waited to hear our placement, I looked up at the crowd and tried to savor all the feelings of my first and last state dance competition. Being a first-year member of the varsity dance team has made my senior year all the more sentimental. I’ve learned how to experience each new step and event all while savoring it, because I’m experiencing my firsts and lasts simultaneously. Many people argue that being on a varsity team for one year is a waste and doesn’t give me enough time to enjoy my experience. However, I would argue that being a first-year senior on the team has made me appreciate my time more, and has taught me to cherish each moment of this amazing season.

Above all, this year has taught me two very important lessons, the first being to not take any part of the activity for granted. That being said, six hour practices still aren’t fun, but instead of focusing on how exhausted I am, I’m able to appreciate how much we improve during those practices and how they bring us closer together as a team. Additionally, mutual muscle soreness is great for team bonding! This lesson is one I’ll be able to take with me throughout the rest of my life, as I’ve been taught to persevere, even through the hardest of days.

The second lesson I’ve learned this season is to cherish the time with the people around me, because they won’t be with me forever. One of my fondest memories of the season was driving back to the hotel after winning the state championship, when 15 of us crammed into the hotel shuttle and screamed along to the lyrics of our favorite song. The complete elation and unity felt in that moment is a memory I will never forget. This lesson is so easy to let slip away, and it can be so easy to ignore how big of a blessing the people around us are. While my teammates won’t be with me forever, they’ve taught me to appreciate the people in my life now and to continue to do so in the future.

As I prepare to head into my first and last national dance competition, I will not take a single second of it for granted. I will cherish the time I have with my teammates, because while my firsts are also my lasts, it won’t stop me from enjoying the experience along the way.

Erin Hassenstab 

Copy Editor

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The firsts and lasts