Back To A Familiar Place
Where do I begin? This is my first time to write a blog, and I really am unsure what I should write about or where I should begin. I guess I will start at the beginning. I was born and raised in Midland, Texas, which is where my West Texas accent comes from, especially when I get excited. As a young girl that was not even 3 years old I was put into dance class at Bingham Dance Studio. My mom put me in dance classes to learn how to carry myself and gain posture, but little did she know at the time these classes would shape my career and my future. Dance has been a part of my life ever since taking every class that I could averaging over 10 hours of dance class per week by the time I was in High School. I tried playing other sports such as softball and tennis but when they conflicted with my dance schedule and I had to choose I always chose dance.
My parents sent me to a private school 1st through 9th grade, but when I was going to be a Sophomore in high school, the private school I attended did not even allow us to dance socially, so I decided it was time for me to try public school and join the Midland High School Starz Dance Team. The best decision I could have ever made. I was a member of the Starz all 3 years and served as a Jr. Lieutenant and Sr. Lieutenant. This was the most influential 3 years of my life, even though I did not realize it at the time. The end of my Junior year, it was time to audition to be an officer of the next years team and for me it was my goal to be captain, but God had a different plan for me. Auditions were the Friday before prom with the list to be posted the day of prom. I felt like I had captain in the bag, but when I went to check to see my name on the list it did not say captain, instead I was listed as a Sr. Lieutenant. How could this happen? I was the one who had danced my whole life, and had worked so hard for this position. I was devastated. I no longer wanted to go to prom, all I wanted to do was to lay around feeling sorry for myself. My mom, who has been and always will be my rock, calmed me down and encouraged me to go and be around my friends. So my boyfriend at the time picked me up, and we went to dinner and then the prom as much as I just did not want to face anyone or for anyone to see me so upset. As my story progresses I realized that it was a lesson that I learned that would shape the rest of my life and my future. I found out how strong I was as person.
After High School it was time for me to go to college. As much as I wanted to go away to college and attend a 4-year university I decided to stay in Midland and attend Midland College. There were many reasons I chose to stay in Midland. One was because it was free tuition since I graduated from Midland High School. Secondly, I could still attend my dance studio for free as well as teach many classes. Third and most importantly was to stay at home and help my mom take care of my grandparents. See, at the beginning of my Sr. year my parents decided to move to a new house and bring my grandparents in to live with us. My grandmother was shortly put on hospice and had Alzheimer’s and my Papa had Dementia. There are so many stories I could tell from this experience, but one major thing I learned was what a strong and amazing woman my mom is and what an amazing man my dad is. There are not many people who would move, remodel a house, and bring in their elderly parents/parents in law to come live with them. I helped my mom cook, give medication, dress, bathe and even change depends. My grandmother was the first to pass away, and one of the hardest things I ever had to do was either tell my papa that my Granny, his wife, had passed away or lie to him and tell him that she was somewhere else at least once a day. Once again this was one of the best decisions I ever made and one that would shape my life.
While at Midland College I decided to get involved and step out of my bubble. I joined Students In Philanthropy and Student Government Association. In SGA I decided I wanted to be in a leadership role and ran for Vice President over Midland College as well as Vice President over Region 1. I also decided I would join Midland Community Theater and try out to be a dancer in Summer Mummers. This is where I met my boyfriend of now 8 years Chaston Rankin. Another story for another time, but he was and actor and I was a dancer and you know how that goes. I continued to perform in Summer Mummers for the next 5 years even when I went away for college and would come home for the summers. Also being named Mummer of the year in 2008. It was also during this time that I decided I should start working out and eating better. In high school I was not healthy, and would eat and do whatever I wanted. Yes, I danced a lot, but my body was use to that and while I had muscle I did not understand my body. When I show people pictures of me in high school they do not believe that it’s me. I did not wear much make up if any at all, and my hair was almost always in a ponytail. I joined weightwatchers with a friend and lost over 20lbs. I felt better and clothes started to fit me better. I knew that fitness and nutrition would be part of my life for the rest of my life. I also wanted to be a professional dancer, and I would have to be in the best shape of my life if I wanted to be on any professional team.
In fall of 2008 I moved to Denton, Tx where I attended the University of North Texas where I was a dance major. The UNT dance department was not the best fit for me so I transferred to Texas Woman’s University. This is also when I became even more serious about fitness, going to the TWU recreation center almost every day to take group fitness classes or do workouts in the weight room. I really didn’t know what I was doing so I decided to hire a trainer who I worked with 2-3 times per week. She got me into the best shape of my life and I finally gained the confidence to try out for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders in 2011 and 2012 where I made it through the first round both times. Yes, only the first round but less than 100 girls are chosen out of 400-500 girls who show up so it is still a huge accomplishment for me. This is still a dream that I am willing to work towards again and try one more time, maybe not for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders but another professional dance team. In December of 2011 I graduated with a BA in Dance with a Secondary Teachers Certification and a Minor in Business.
In the fall of 2012 I started as a dance teacher and an Assistant director of the Denton High School Fillies. This is where my love for teaching really begins. I began to realize that God had a plan for me all along and everything that I have been through has been to prepare me for my future. I also know that I am only 27 and this is only the beginning. In December of 2014 I graduated with a Masters in Business Administration from TWU. My original goal was to open my own studio, but my goals changed as I started my career.
My love for fitness keeps growing as well. I have probably tried almost every work out on the market. I have had a personal trainer, CrossFit for 2 years, Insanity, P90X, Jillian Michaels workouts, Pinterest, ect… I have really enjoyed them all and choosing what is right for you is what is most important. I have finally found what is right for me, and that is working with Twisted Bodies. As a dancer body image has always been hard for me. It has always been impressed on me that what you look like is just as important as how talented you are. You have to have both in order to be successful, although I have recently realized that this is not true. Body image has been and still is something that I deal with every day and because of what I have been taught as a dancer. Twisted Bodies has been a place for me to not only work out and get stronger, but a place to release stress, make friends, laugh, cry, and have fun. Since I have been a part of a studio my whole life, I feel like Twisted Bodies is a familiar place that I can go to and not have to worry about what I look like that day because there is no one there to judge me, only to help me be the best I can be whether it is doing the hundred correctly, pounding sticks on the ground, or flying in the air on the silks. I am so thankful that me and my friend Monica who decided we wanted to find a studio to add some yoga and pilates fitness classes during the summer because we didn’t want to be bored some how ran across Twisted Bodies. When Carissa and Khristen thought it would be a good idea for me to get my Pound Certification so I could help teach, I did not know it was going to be the beginning of something more.
Now God has put me on another path as the Director of the Braswell High School Drill Team the Royals and I could not be more excited. I have the opportunity to start a program from the ground up and is a way for me to start a studio without the initial overhead cost. I am excited to teach kids how to be the best they can be. Using my knowledge I have learned through my life and help them become strong, confident individuals.
HER TOP FAVORITES
Favorite Indulgence: Ice Cream and TV
Favorite Movie: Ten Things I Hate About You
Favorite Twisted Class: To Take – Aerial Silks
To Teach – Pound
Hidden Talent: I am really good at Madden Football
What she does when life gets stressful? When life gets really stressful there are many things I try to do. One would be to take a deep breath and make a list of things I need to get done. This helps me see what all needs to be done and it feels good to cross things off the list. Sometimes I will sit and watch my favorite TV show at the time with an adult beverage. But mostly I will go to Twisted Bodies and take a class.
Dream Vacation: I have not been to many places so I have any places I would love to go. But one dream vacation of mine would be to go to Norway and stay in an igloo hotel to watch the stars and the Northern Lights.
Historical figure she most identifies with: Gussie Nell Davis – Helped to create drill team dance.
If there were a soundtrack to her life: Depends on the day.
Beauty product she can’t live without: It’s a 10 for my hair and Mascara
Twisted Client she is most inspired by and why: Lisa Whipple. She has gone through so much and has never given up. She comes into class and always gives 150% with a smile on her face. She shows me that no matter what we are all strong ladies and we have to keep fighting. She makes no excuses.