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Great Expectations

Making the Jump from Collegiate to Amateur

By Omar Abdelfatah

Recently, I attended my first NQE at the Summer Sizzler competition in New Jersey. I was very intimidated by the idea at first; however, I told myself that just like all new experiences, they seem frightening at first and then once you get used to it the fun just hits you. For some reason, I thought it would be drastically different from collegiate competitions. Of course, I was wrong; it was pretty much the same, except for the obvious opportunity to qualify for Nationals. There were some slight differences, namely the seniors and youths' brackets, but these just made the event more memorable. But what really made this weekend more special than the regular collegiate competitions was simply that it wasn't one. The fun didn't have to end there; the story could go on. Seeing everybody else as hungry for dance as you, knowing that you're part of something so much bigger, seeing these people that have been dancing for countless of year--it gives you a sense of belonging that is completely priceless. It's the first step in a big journey that leads to something remarkable.

This is when you realize whether you're in this for the long run or not. This is when I decided that I want to keep dancing until my body can't do it anymore. I saw what could be, and I loved it. Actually, one of my favorite moments was watching the Open level dancers compete. They were magical. Besides the joy I got from watching their technicalities and skills, I was very inspired and my hunger for dance grew even more. It was extremely beautiful to watch. I was so moved by it, and I wanted to move people like these dancers moved me. I believe that this is the reason we dance. To inspire and be inspired. To move and be moved.