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How dance brought our family together

Kidsday reporter Giovanna LaGrega dancing on the beach.

Kidsday reporter Giovanna LaGrega dancing on the beach. Credit: LaGrega family

Move over, “Dance Moms,” and look out for my dancing family. At age 7, I decided that I wanted to be a dancer when I was scouted for a dance team at a local studio. My older brother and younger brother were toted along to rehearsal, where they watched me dance and to my surprise were inspired to dance also. Once they saw my recital, I knew they were hooked.

My older brother was 11 years old when he started dancing and my younger brother was 5. We began just dancing around the house to now being young adults hitting the professional stage. As time went on, my brothers and I stood out in our classes, and together my family decided that we should dance as a team.

The adversity of a family dancing together is the schedule. Our mom and dad are constantly playing taxi driver. The schedule for each of us is different because of our ages and our individual strengths. My parents are constantly helping us to coordinate schedules, homework duty and trying to make time for family somewhere in between. Our dance competitions take place all over the country. We can’t go to school or have a social life like other kids do.

At school we are in a special program called the pre-professional program. This allows us to take classes we need but on a more personalized level, so we can accomplish more in the school day and have time for our professional career as well.

My bond with my brothers is very different from most siblings. We love being around each other. When things get overwhelming, they will always be there and will help me. Dance has taught us about teamwork and being there to help each other. When my brothers and I dance on stage, we all get nervous, but we are always there to calm each other.

The world of dance is challenging, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s what you get when you have a crazy dancing family.

Meagan Miller’s students, Ivy League School, Smithtown

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