Step Ahead 2014: Madison's Experience


My Experiences with Step Ahead
by Madison Chambers

I’ve never been so open in all my life.

I currently study acting at Duke Ellington School of the Arts. When my theatre history teacher gave a friend of mine a note about how dance involves vulnerability and being comfortable in your body and how they should dance because it would help with their acting, I took the note for myself and ended up here at Step Ahead. I’ve danced before, but it was never this intense or involved this much sweating. Before this I never really knew my physical abilities and limitations. The teachers here are so willing to help and are so supportive, I’m glad that, even though I am in Level One, there are still great expectations set so I won’t have to be at Level One next year.

In my two weeks here, I’ve already learned so much! I’ve grown mentally and have built strength and flexibility. When first coming here, I had no idea that it would be so intense. I thought that I would learn a few dances, have a performance, get paid, and leave. The bar was set high in my mind when, on the first day, they showed footage of last year’s performance. It was excellent and in that moment I decided that I wanted to look just like that by the end of this summer. Whether I’m in Level One or Level Three, I’ll be the best in my class. Sadly I dislocated my knee and most likely have to discontinue dancing for the summer, but this injury has just pushed me to want to dance even more. I want to dance during the fall this year and the summer next year, and beyond!

I love dance so much, I came to Step Ahead just to be more vulnerable in acting, but now it has made me realize that I can dance, and I can be open and share a story not only through my words but through my entire body.